+
Entertaining & Etiquette

Table Hogs and Coffee House Etiquette

teezeetoo | Sep 25, 201306:55 PM     124

So I'm curious what others do when they come into a Peet's or Starbucks, no seats, lots of empty chairs at tables occupied by one person, usually on a computer, often with no food or drink, and often with their bags, coats, etc. occupying the remaining chairs. When I lived in Seattle, the etiquette was pretty clear: if there were no seats, you moved your stuff and invited the stranger with the clueless look clutching her coffee to have a chair. On the East Coast, I've been looked at as though I'm a two-headed pariah when I have politely asked to use an empty chair. I now don't ask: I smile and sit down at the empty chair and open my book. This week I encountered the weirdest yet. My friend, who is elderly and uses a cane, went to a table marked "for handicapped guests" which had four chairs, one of which was occupied by a young man who appeared to be ablebodied and his computer. The second chair was occupied by his coat. I was meeting her and she asked, politely, if he would mind if she occupied a chair and she would be joined by a friend. He said "no, I'm sorry, but I'm busy and I don't want to listen to anyone chattering." She was stunned. When I arrived she explained there was no place to sit and suggested we leave. She then told me the story. I asked why she didn't ask staff to intervene, particularly since he was occupying a table marked "for handicapped guests." Being the lady she is, she said she didn't think it was worth a scene. I frankly would have made one. What is appropriate here? Should management be prepared to intervene? Are an increasing number of people being raised by wolves?

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

9 Veggies You Can Grow in a Fall Garden & Why It Pays to Be a Late Bloomer
Food News

9 Veggies You Can Grow in a Fall Garden & Why It Pays to Be a Late Bloomer

by Anna Hecht | Planning on tending a fall garden? Didn't even know you could do that? Here are the best things to...

13 Essential Apple Recipes for Fall
Recipe Round-Ups

13 Essential Apple Recipes for Fall

by Chowhound Editors | There are so many things to love about autumn rolling around again, especially apple season. Make...

Ready, Set, Watch: 'The Great British Baking Show' Is Back This Week
Food Trends

Ready, Set, Watch: 'The Great British Baking Show' Is Back This Week

by Jen Wheeler | In this tumultuous year of oh Lord 2020, many of us are looking for any silver linings we can find...

Star Gifts for Fans of 'The Great British Baking Show'
Shop

Star Gifts for Fans of 'The Great British Baking Show'

by Jen Wheeler | If you know a fan of The Great British Baking Show (aka, GBBS, GBBO, or The Great British Bake Off...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.