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Bad sitters - what do you do?

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muirford

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We have two dining room tables, oblong, that seat six people each. When we have six at one or both tables for breakfast, the first couple down will sometimes sit directly across from each other, leaving an empty seat at one end of the table. That forces one couple to separate - either at opposite ends of the table or with one person in between. If I catch this when guests are just sitting, I ask them to move around one to accommodate other couples but I often don't get to the table with the fruit course until DH has poured their coffee. He is more reluctant to ask people to move (he's more conflict-averse than I am by nature) although he will do it on occasion. He has been challenged once - a long-time guest who's getting very PITA-y in her old age snapped at him 'they'll just have to sit in the other room' to which he replied 'they can't all sit there' and made her move anyway.
We seem to be having a run of it lately. This week it's happened every morning. What do you do?
 

JBloggs

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I recall asking about this a year or so ago and the forum told me perhaps the couple wanted a break from each other anyway. LOL
I know they would be embarrassed to ask themselves, but when they walk in as a couple and others just ignore them, it is pretty bad. Unfortunately for me, with my stepfords, many times the refreshed happy morning guests do not look like the night before check in stepfords so I don't know who-goes-with-who.
The only way to fix it is to wait there while they all sit down, and you can't be there for that. I guess we can hope people will THINK and move on their own. I have had this where the TWO END seats of our table are open only, it is an obv scene that needs rectifying and some people just want the same spot every day and won't relocate.
 

Don Draper

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Ah, the old "Skip a Seat" syndrome...happens here quite frequently with our 8-top table. For us it's usually because one person doesn't want to sit at the head of the table. We usually just let it ride, and when the time comes that a couple comes in who will have to sit apart DH always says "Hopefully your relationship is strong enough to handle the separation here". That gets a laugh and usually the offending skip-a-seater will realize their mistake and get up and move.
Sometimes I will ask them to move if I catch it as they're sitting, but we have such a big breakfast range that it usually just works out, they'll be long gone before that last straggling twosome comes down anyway...
 

JBloggs

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I usually comment about the head of the table getting the check. I say "Here ya go everyone thought this seat would be perfect for you, since the head of the table always gets the check!" Or something stupid and corny.
 

muirford

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DH didn't say anything this a.m. when the first two couples sat badly, leaving the last couple to sit at opposite ends of the table. I think he was feeling it was karma for the last couple, since they were the bad sitters on their first day here, Thursday. As soon as one couple left the table, the hubby moved his plate down to sit next to his wife.
Since we serve over an hour range of times, I can't assign seating. One of the previous innkeepers here used to do that - as couples would move into the dining rooms (at one assigned breakfast time) she would direct them to one room or the other. Some of our PO guests told me she was like a drill sergeant. That's not really the look I'm going for, either.
 

Don Draper

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DH didn't say anything this a.m. when the first two couples sat badly, leaving the last couple to sit at opposite ends of the table. I think he was feeling it was karma for the last couple, since they were the bad sitters on their first day here, Thursday. As soon as one couple left the table, the hubby moved his plate down to sit next to his wife.
Since we serve over an hour range of times, I can't assign seating. One of the previous innkeepers here used to do that - as couples would move into the dining rooms (at one assigned breakfast time) she would direct them to one room or the other. Some of our PO guests told me she was like a drill sergeant. That's not really the look I'm going for, either..
See, I love this idea...their karma will equal itself out! I wouldn't like assigned seating at all, I like first come, first served...if it's that important to you then you'd better be here first to get the seat you want!
 

Morticia

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DH didn't say anything this a.m. when the first two couples sat badly, leaving the last couple to sit at opposite ends of the table. I think he was feeling it was karma for the last couple, since they were the bad sitters on their first day here, Thursday. As soon as one couple left the table, the hubby moved his plate down to sit next to his wife.
Since we serve over an hour range of times, I can't assign seating. One of the previous innkeepers here used to do that - as couples would move into the dining rooms (at one assigned breakfast time) she would direct them to one room or the other. Some of our PO guests told me she was like a drill sergeant. That's not really the look I'm going for, either..
I know this doesn't help, but Gomez and I would have been perfectly happy at opposite ends of the table. Then we could exchange info on the 2 couples we got to talk with.
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
However, in the long run they are all grown ups. Let them sort themselves out.
 

EmptyNest

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DH didn't say anything this a.m. when the first two couples sat badly, leaving the last couple to sit at opposite ends of the table. I think he was feeling it was karma for the last couple, since they were the bad sitters on their first day here, Thursday. As soon as one couple left the table, the hubby moved his plate down to sit next to his wife.
Since we serve over an hour range of times, I can't assign seating. One of the previous innkeepers here used to do that - as couples would move into the dining rooms (at one assigned breakfast time) she would direct them to one room or the other. Some of our PO guests told me she was like a drill sergeant. That's not really the look I'm going for, either..
I know this doesn't help, but Gomez and I would have been perfectly happy at opposite ends of the table. Then we could exchange info on the 2 couples we got to talk with.
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
However, in the long run they are all grown ups. Let them sort themselves out.
.
That's the way we are. We don't have to sit by each other. Its nice..but it is ok if we don't. I would just let things alone as well. Luck of the draw and that sort of thing.
 

Joey Camb

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we just had a chap stay (on of those I am a hotel inspector types) and he said they stayed at a place in scotland and you all had to come for breakfast at 8.30 all together (ie all guests) and all sit together on one table and you all had the same dished out to everyone and they felt like little children. We have 2 tables for 4 and 7 for two and they sort themselves out.
 

muirford

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DH didn't say anything this a.m. when the first two couples sat badly, leaving the last couple to sit at opposite ends of the table. I think he was feeling it was karma for the last couple, since they were the bad sitters on their first day here, Thursday. As soon as one couple left the table, the hubby moved his plate down to sit next to his wife.
Since we serve over an hour range of times, I can't assign seating. One of the previous innkeepers here used to do that - as couples would move into the dining rooms (at one assigned breakfast time) she would direct them to one room or the other. Some of our PO guests told me she was like a drill sergeant. That's not really the look I'm going for, either..
I know this doesn't help, but Gomez and I would have been perfectly happy at opposite ends of the table. Then we could exchange info on the 2 couples we got to talk with.
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
However, in the long run they are all grown ups. Let them sort themselves out.
.
Morticia said:
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
If we do ask someone to move, that is how we direct them - one to the end, one on the side, so there's no crowding and you can still talk to your partner without turning around in your seat.
Some people definitely don't mind splitting up - when we had the groups through July, even the new people kind of melded into the group and ended up not sitting next to their partner. There was only one case where I thought that indicated a relationship problem! (It was not the only clue.)
I personally prefer to sit with DH, especially in a group of strangers. I can tell that some guests aren't happy when they have to sit at opposite ends of the table. But you're right, I can't police them and they're usually grownups.
 

wendydk

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we just had a chap stay (on of those I am a hotel inspector types) and he said they stayed at a place in scotland and you all had to come for breakfast at 8.30 all together (ie all guests) and all sit together on one table and you all had the same dished out to everyone and they felt like little children. We have 2 tables for 4 and 7 for two and they sort themselves out..
camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk said:
we just had a chap stay (on of those I am a hotel inspector types) and he said they stayed at a place in scotland and you all had to come for breakfast at 8.30 all together (ie all guests) and all sit together on one table and you all had the same dished out to everyone and they felt like little children.
We serve 9am breakfast; everyone sits down together, and gets the same plated breakfast. If any of our guests feel like children, that's their problem...not mine.
 

JBloggs

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Our guests are treated as children here as well. The food is served hot plated on vintage china, to each person, they have cloth napkins, flowers as a centerpiece and a candle on the table, above is a large crystal chandelier (that needs cleaning currently) they drink juice from crystal goblets and separate water glasses, and have lovely background music. It is all very childish.

(PS disclaimer, I am pulling your leg no offense taken, just making a joke. Now where did I put those spinning tops and marbles)
 

Morticia

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we just had a chap stay (on of those I am a hotel inspector types) and he said they stayed at a place in scotland and you all had to come for breakfast at 8.30 all together (ie all guests) and all sit together on one table and you all had the same dished out to everyone and they felt like little children. We have 2 tables for 4 and 7 for two and they sort themselves out..
I watched the other day as a 5 yo kid went to sit at a table for 2. There were 4 in his family. His father walked over to him and pointed at the 2 chairs and then at the 4 of them and told him 'We are 4, we need 4 chairs.' Personally, I think the kid just wanted some space, but he went and sat at the table for 4.
I do wish the 2's would do the same thing and not sit at the table for 3!
 

Morticia

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DH didn't say anything this a.m. when the first two couples sat badly, leaving the last couple to sit at opposite ends of the table. I think he was feeling it was karma for the last couple, since they were the bad sitters on their first day here, Thursday. As soon as one couple left the table, the hubby moved his plate down to sit next to his wife.
Since we serve over an hour range of times, I can't assign seating. One of the previous innkeepers here used to do that - as couples would move into the dining rooms (at one assigned breakfast time) she would direct them to one room or the other. Some of our PO guests told me she was like a drill sergeant. That's not really the look I'm going for, either..
I know this doesn't help, but Gomez and I would have been perfectly happy at opposite ends of the table. Then we could exchange info on the 2 couples we got to talk with.
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
However, in the long run they are all grown ups. Let them sort themselves out.
.
Morticia said:
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
If we do ask someone to move, that is how we direct them - one to the end, one on the side, so there's no crowding and you can still talk to your partner without turning around in your seat.
Some people definitely don't mind splitting up - when we had the groups through July, even the new people kind of melded into the group and ended up not sitting next to their partner. There was only one case where I thought that indicated a relationship problem! (It was not the only clue.)
I personally prefer to sit with DH, especially in a group of strangers. I can tell that some guests aren't happy when they have to sit at opposite ends of the table. But you're right, I can't police them and they're usually grownups.
.
What kind of peeves me, but mostly if it's just really busy, is when a 2-some changes tables. They will sit down, mess everything up, use the spoons for their coffee and then decide they like another table better. Generally that table has just been vacated so it is a mess. Makes no nevermind, they move themselves over and shove the other guests' plates, etc to the side. So now I have to reset 2 tables and I didn't have a chance to clean off the table they moved to. (I will sweep off the tablecloth and get rid of the stickiness from jam & syrup.)
Oh well.
 

Joey Camb

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we just had a chap stay (on of those I am a hotel inspector types) and he said they stayed at a place in scotland and you all had to come for breakfast at 8.30 all together (ie all guests) and all sit together on one table and you all had the same dished out to everyone and they felt like little children. We have 2 tables for 4 and 7 for two and they sort themselves out..
camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk said:
we just had a chap stay (on of those I am a hotel inspector types) and he said they stayed at a place in scotland and you all had to come for breakfast at 8.30 all together (ie all guests) and all sit together on one table and you all had the same dished out to everyone and they felt like little children.
We serve 9am breakfast; everyone sits down together, and gets the same plated breakfast. If any of our guests feel like children, that's their problem...not mine.
.
It was the way they were treated and attitude of the owner that was the problem. You know what I mean where you are made to feel like you are an inconvenience to the host? Ie I am certain that you would never have the attitude of this particular place and this is a quote "Sit here eat this if you are even late by five mins you won't get any breakfast" and that was as they were checking in! Plus they all sat there in silence for fear of being told off for talking while eating!
 

Joey Camb

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Plus some people need treating like children I had a lad staying with his mother and girlfriend who sat pushing his beans onto his knife and then putting them in his mouth. I was this close to taking his cutlery away and giving him a spoon!
 

Don Draper

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DH didn't say anything this a.m. when the first two couples sat badly, leaving the last couple to sit at opposite ends of the table. I think he was feeling it was karma for the last couple, since they were the bad sitters on their first day here, Thursday. As soon as one couple left the table, the hubby moved his plate down to sit next to his wife.
Since we serve over an hour range of times, I can't assign seating. One of the previous innkeepers here used to do that - as couples would move into the dining rooms (at one assigned breakfast time) she would direct them to one room or the other. Some of our PO guests told me she was like a drill sergeant. That's not really the look I'm going for, either..
I know this doesn't help, but Gomez and I would have been perfectly happy at opposite ends of the table. Then we could exchange info on the 2 couples we got to talk with.
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
However, in the long run they are all grown ups. Let them sort themselves out.
.
Morticia said:
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
If we do ask someone to move, that is how we direct them - one to the end, one on the side, so there's no crowding and you can still talk to your partner without turning around in your seat.
Some people definitely don't mind splitting up - when we had the groups through July, even the new people kind of melded into the group and ended up not sitting next to their partner. There was only one case where I thought that indicated a relationship problem! (It was not the only clue.)
I personally prefer to sit with DH, especially in a group of strangers. I can tell that some guests aren't happy when they have to sit at opposite ends of the table. But you're right, I can't police them and they're usually grownups.
.
What kind of peeves me, but mostly if it's just really busy, is when a 2-some changes tables. They will sit down, mess everything up, use the spoons for their coffee and then decide they like another table better. Generally that table has just been vacated so it is a mess. Makes no nevermind, they move themselves over and shove the other guests' plates, etc to the side. So now I have to reset 2 tables and I didn't have a chance to clean off the table they moved to. (I will sweep off the tablecloth and get rid of the stickiness from jam & syrup.)
Oh well.
.
I absolutely hate having to set a clean place setting AROUND someone...give me 30 seconds to clean it before you plop down there! Geez...
 

Joey Camb

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DH didn't say anything this a.m. when the first two couples sat badly, leaving the last couple to sit at opposite ends of the table. I think he was feeling it was karma for the last couple, since they were the bad sitters on their first day here, Thursday. As soon as one couple left the table, the hubby moved his plate down to sit next to his wife.
Since we serve over an hour range of times, I can't assign seating. One of the previous innkeepers here used to do that - as couples would move into the dining rooms (at one assigned breakfast time) she would direct them to one room or the other. Some of our PO guests told me she was like a drill sergeant. That's not really the look I'm going for, either..
I know this doesn't help, but Gomez and I would have been perfectly happy at opposite ends of the table. Then we could exchange info on the 2 couples we got to talk with.
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
However, in the long run they are all grown ups. Let them sort themselves out.
.
Morticia said:
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
If we do ask someone to move, that is how we direct them - one to the end, one on the side, so there's no crowding and you can still talk to your partner without turning around in your seat.
Some people definitely don't mind splitting up - when we had the groups through July, even the new people kind of melded into the group and ended up not sitting next to their partner. There was only one case where I thought that indicated a relationship problem! (It was not the only clue.)
I personally prefer to sit with DH, especially in a group of strangers. I can tell that some guests aren't happy when they have to sit at opposite ends of the table. But you're right, I can't police them and they're usually grownups.
.
What kind of peeves me, but mostly if it's just really busy, is when a 2-some changes tables. They will sit down, mess everything up, use the spoons for their coffee and then decide they like another table better. Generally that table has just been vacated so it is a mess. Makes no nevermind, they move themselves over and shove the other guests' plates, etc to the side. So now I have to reset 2 tables and I didn't have a chance to clean off the table they moved to. (I will sweep off the tablecloth and get rid of the stickiness from jam & syrup.)
Oh well.
.
I absolutely hate having to set a clean place setting AROUND someone...give me 30 seconds to clean it before you plop down there! Geez...
.
They always try to sit at a dirty table or place don't they even when there are three or four other places set they are like a arrow. Aparently it is to do with pheremones (a scientific person explained it to me once) we can subconsciously smell that someone sat there before and assume it is better than X Y Z places as they chose it. Don't know how much I believe that but if you have one table sat at and then relay it before the next people come then they will straight away sit there over anywhere else 9 times out of 10.
 

Morticia

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DH didn't say anything this a.m. when the first two couples sat badly, leaving the last couple to sit at opposite ends of the table. I think he was feeling it was karma for the last couple, since they were the bad sitters on their first day here, Thursday. As soon as one couple left the table, the hubby moved his plate down to sit next to his wife.
Since we serve over an hour range of times, I can't assign seating. One of the previous innkeepers here used to do that - as couples would move into the dining rooms (at one assigned breakfast time) she would direct them to one room or the other. Some of our PO guests told me she was like a drill sergeant. That's not really the look I'm going for, either..
I know this doesn't help, but Gomez and I would have been perfectly happy at opposite ends of the table. Then we could exchange info on the 2 couples we got to talk with.
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
However, in the long run they are all grown ups. Let them sort themselves out.
.
Morticia said:
Also, if we arrived first, one of us (guess who) would have taken the 'head of the table' seat. (I don't like to be crowded.)
If we do ask someone to move, that is how we direct them - one to the end, one on the side, so there's no crowding and you can still talk to your partner without turning around in your seat.
Some people definitely don't mind splitting up - when we had the groups through July, even the new people kind of melded into the group and ended up not sitting next to their partner. There was only one case where I thought that indicated a relationship problem! (It was not the only clue.)
I personally prefer to sit with DH, especially in a group of strangers. I can tell that some guests aren't happy when they have to sit at opposite ends of the table. But you're right, I can't police them and they're usually grownups.
.
What kind of peeves me, but mostly if it's just really busy, is when a 2-some changes tables. They will sit down, mess everything up, use the spoons for their coffee and then decide they like another table better. Generally that table has just been vacated so it is a mess. Makes no nevermind, they move themselves over and shove the other guests' plates, etc to the side. So now I have to reset 2 tables and I didn't have a chance to clean off the table they moved to. (I will sweep off the tablecloth and get rid of the stickiness from jam & syrup.)
Oh well.
.
I absolutely hate having to set a clean place setting AROUND someone...give me 30 seconds to clean it before you plop down there! Geez...
.
They always try to sit at a dirty table or place don't they even when there are three or four other places set they are like a arrow. Aparently it is to do with pheremones (a scientific person explained it to me once) we can subconsciously smell that someone sat there before and assume it is better than X Y Z places as they chose it. Don't know how much I believe that but if you have one table sat at and then relay it before the next people come then they will straight away sit there over anywhere else 9 times out of 10.
.
That is totally cool. The old pheremones making them sit somewhere!
For us it is the window seats. Everyone wants the window. So I won't be able to prove or disprove what you say about the 'scent'. However, I do think the slowest sitters are the first to arrive. So, maybe you have a point. Maybe I should sit down and have a cuppa after I lay the tables and see if the first arrivers run for that table right away!
 
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