Perhaps someone can explain this to me.
I was in San Francisco with my gf in March 2005 (yeah, sorry, I would have asked earlier but a friend only recently clued me into this board), and one day we decided to drop in to Betelnut for lunch.
Most tables were occupied, but we still "lucked" out and got a seat along the mirrorer wall. The food was, um, okay. Just okay. My sweetie was seated on the banguette, I was on the chair opposite, back to the bar. The table next to us left and, between courses, I get up to sit next to my companion.
We're not making out or anything; it's simply nice to be able to lean in to each other to talk, without having to raise our voices above the din. This is something we do everywhere. (Heck, at a certain laundry resto a few days before, a waiter came along and asked if we wanted our table re-set so that we could continue sitting together.) So, not two minutes go by, but the manager (I guess) comes over and tells us that we're not allowed to sit together.
The reason? Well, if we sit toghether, then everyone will want to do the same.
So, query: Is this a common policy? And, if so, why?