Dining alone is one of life’s simple pleasures: just you, the food and drink, and great people watching. While my preference when dining alone is to always sit at the bar, I understand that every once and a while, that might not be your preference.

If you are dining solo and the restaurant is crowded, it’s polite to defer to a seat at the bar to allow the restaurant to fill to its full capacity. However, if the restaurant is a bit slow, it never hurts to request a table instead of a bar seat. Most restaurants will seat you where you request if they have the ability.

But, if a restaurant does turn down your request to sit at a table, don’t take offense. The restaurant could be busier than you realize, or be expecting an incoming rush. Good restaurants always do their best to ensure their diners have an enjoyable experience. They want you to return, after all, so if your request can’t be accommodated, try to understand there is probably a valid reason.

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