I went to one of my favorite chain restaurants for lunch today. Usually on Sunday it's dead in the dining room so I can sit at a booth and read, but today it was really really busy, because people wanted to watch soccer on the tv screens. I told the host I was by myself and asked if it was ok to sit in the dining room and he said it was and they put me in a booth for two. (I didn't realize right away just how busy it was; I didn't realize until I was seated and had ordered my food).
I noticed while I was eating there were people at the front waiting for tables. My waiter was really nice and wasn't trying to rush me (he even asked if I wanted a drink refill) but I felt bad about taking up a booth for two so I ate as fast as I could and I also tipped him really well (I gave him what I estimated he typically would get from two people at lunchtime). I felt funny reading my book when it was that busy so I didn't take my book out.
I was thinking later I didn't enjoy lunch as much this time, that I had felt the need to rush to finish. Maybe I should have asked to be transferred to the bar area? I could perhaps have had a more leisurely lunch and not suffered from guilty feelings about taking up a table for two. On the other hand that could lead to logistical problems, eg., how do you then tip the original waiter? (I know maybe I should have thought to sit at the bar right from the beginning, but the host did say it would be ok to sit in the dining room).
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