I am a server at a restaurant that is located downtown in my fair, little city. We are a very small place, where the inside is all the bar area, and the tables are predominantly outside. We are the only restaurant on our block, but like all the other eateries in the downtown area, our outside seating is confined to the sidewalk that extends in front of our store. Now, while we are the only restaurant on our block, we are right next door to a coffee shop that offers outside seating as well. Both we and said coffee shop have gone to great lengths to differentiate our two areas by placing a considerable amount of space between the two sections, as well as marking our tables to set them apart from one another. Both of our businesses had to go that far, because apparently the difference in size, shape and color of the tables, as well as their placement, is just not enough for the average patron to judge which table belongs to which business. To me it seems like common sense. I could look at both sets of tables, and get what was going on right away. Yet, these are the questions I am asked every day, and the words that come out of my mouth every day:
“Can we sit at one of those tables over there?”(pointing to the coffee shop)
“I’m sorry, our outside section is full, those tables are next door’s.”
“Well why can’t you just serve us over there?”
“Because those are next door’s tables, and we aren’t going to steal business from them.”

That’s not to mention all the people that sit at our tables from the coffee shop that I kick out, because in my mind, they are taking up my tables, and therefor costing me money. Or the people who bypass the hostess, and go straight to a table, and expect service. They didn’t check in with us, or let us know at all that they wanted to eat with us. If I see people sitting at one of the tables next door, and they’ve said nothing to me, I’m left to assume they are waiting for coffee. I think the only reason I write about this is to vent. This has happened everyday since they opened, and it will never stop. I guess I just needed to vent about it. But everyday that I have to repeat the same thing a few dozen times shows me what little common sense there is out there.

~Justin

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