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To get annoyed at people who grab a table in cafes while their friends/partners queue up and order?

(277 Posts)
silverphotoframe Sun 20-Oct-13 16:33:02

Went to a busy coffee shop this afternoon. Long queue etc. By the time I got mine, I was left waiting along with a few other people who had been served before me standing around with our coffees in our hands waiting for someone to leave and/or ask if they minded someone sitting at their table. What really got my goat was that there were 3 tables that were taken by people who had friends/partners in the queue and therefore did not have their drinks/food yet. I see this a lot. Sometimes the amount of time it takes for someone to queue up, order and get their food/beverages is around the same time someone else could have sat down and finished what they ordered.

Luckily after a short time, a table became free which I was able to take. It just annoys me that people do this. I think if we have a queuing system for food etc surely people with the food should get first dibs on the tables. Would it ever be appropriate to confront someone and turf them off their seat?

DoJo Sun 20-Oct-13 16:35:29

YABU - I can understand that it was frustrating, but it makes more sense to get a table rather than have a whole family standing in the queue. I wouldn't stay if I wasn't going to have a table to sit at, so it makes sense for one of us to sit down with my son whilst the other gets food and drinks.

KirjavaTheCorpse Sun 20-Oct-13 16:36:15

So... should they just stand around and clutter up the place while their friend places the order? What about those with children, should they all be made to stand to the side and wait until their order is walking back towards them before sitting down?

Sorry, yabu. I just can't imagine getting annoyed about someone taking a seat when they're paying customers.

YoureBeingADick Sun 20-Oct-13 16:37:30

I send the dcs to a table if i see a free one and i'm unapologetic about it. It's just sensible tbh. If you go to busy places expect to have trouble getting a seat.

Ursula8 Sun 20-Oct-13 16:38:14

YABU. I always do this! It can cause delay if a family of six all stand at the queue taking up room when 5 of them could be sat at a table while one queues.
What if one of the party is disabled and cannot stand for long?
To be honest I don't think I would want to go to a café that was that crowded that I might have to stand around waiting for a table to become free, so it wouldn't be a problem for me even if I was on my own. I would just jog on to the next, hopefully less busy café.

CrohnicallyLurking Sun 20-Oct-13 16:38:40

To be honest, if I can't see a seat free then I wouldn't bother ordering, I'd go somewhere else or order a coffee to take out.

And if I went to a coffee shop with my SIL, niece, and my baby, plus shopping bags etc it makes sense for one adult to sit with the little ones, save them messing around in the queue, touching things, risking getting coffee spilled on them.

AgentZigzag Sun 20-Oct-13 16:38:47

I know a lot of people don't like it, but the people they're with are just sitting down, why shouldn't they? I'm sure you'd be fuming if they were all crowding round you hanging about in the queue.

Even though it's a queuing system, they're only guidelines and not an exact science with penalties for breaching the rules.

'Would it ever be appropriate to confront someone and turf them off their seat?'

That could never be described as inappropriate if you're living in an alternative universe wink

Xmasbaby11 Sun 20-Oct-13 16:38:58

YANBU, but It's very hard to queue up with children and makes more sense to have some of you sitting down, if there is another adult. I think it's an unwritten rule that people keep a table while one person queues.

DramaQueenofHighCs Sun 20-Oct-13 16:39:28

YANBU at all! I hate this too. When DH and I see this we go and just sit on their table anyway and say "Well I'm afraid we need this table as our food/drink is getting cold. I'm sure there'll be another table avaliable for you when yours is ready, if not you may like to consider that it's people like you who take up the tables!"

I think it's slightly different if it's an elderly or disabled person or someone with a young toddler, but it's still unfair. My nan often saves tables as she has a bad hip and queueing is uncomfortable for her. However if someone comes along with food/drink and needs the table, she always offers them the space if there are no other tables.
Cafes etc usually do have enough tables to cope provided people only use them once they've ordered their food. In an average busy cafe you can usually find at least 3 or 4 'saved' tables with about 3 people/groups waiting do yeah - of no-one did it I would hazard a guess that everyone would have a table.

silverphotoframe Sun 20-Oct-13 16:40:10

People with small children I can understand. But there were no children in this instance. I see it as taking your turn. The same principle as queuing up to get your drink in the first place. First come, first served etc. First served, first to get the free seat.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 20-Oct-13 16:40:24


They're paying customers, they're entitled to get a seat whenever they like.

I can just imagine my local Costa with bunches of people stood in the queuing area and not sitting down until they'd been served, including young children. With other people with trays of hot coffee, trying to squeeze past. That's an accident waiting to happen.

HarderToKidnap Sun 20-Oct-13 16:40:52

This is an only-on-Mumsnet thing. I've seen a few threads about this and yet in real life, everyone grabs a table if there is more than one of you! Absolute madness not to do so, you'd have hundreds of people in the queue, pushchairs everywhere, people sweltering in heavy coats cos they can't take them off. You can always dump your coat on a chair if you want to save a space.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Sun 20-Oct-13 16:41:04

Yabu. If I went for a coffee with friends/family and there were not enough tables, I wouldn't stay. It doesn't make sense for five or six people to queue up and buy five or six drinks etc and then not have anywhere to drink them.

Sirzy Sun 20-Oct-13 16:41:07

So 8 of us should stand in the queue making it busy? What is gained by that?

It I don't know we can sit down then I don't get in the queue in the first place. I'm not wandering around with hot food an drink with nowhere to eat it!

And of course it is much easier for someone on their own to find one seat than it is for a larger party to find a table to accommodate them.

YoureBeingADick Sun 20-Oct-13 16:41:16

You sound delightful dramaqueen

You'd be booted back off your ass again if you did that to my dcs.

CaptainTripps Sun 20-Oct-13 16:42:31

YABU. All's fair and each man for himself!

I think Drama Queen is taking it a step too far though: When DH and I see this we go and just sit on their table anyway and say "Well I'm afraid we need this table as our food/drink is getting cold. I'm sure there'll be another table avaliable for you when yours is ready, if not you may like to consider that it's people like you who take up the tables!"


Tuppenceinred Sun 20-Oct-13 16:43:14

For a start, if it were really possible to finish food and drink in the same time it took to queue up, order food and get it... a lot of potential customers would be walking out in disgust. That would be a bloody slow queue.
If I'm with a friend and children then one of us will sit down with children while the other goes to collect the refreshments. What's the option? We all join the queue? I can imagine the threads - "AIBU to wish that people wouldn't clog up queues with their family of 5 and shopping?"
My mum and I like to shop together once a month or so. When it comes time to get a drink I sit her down at a table with all the bags of shopping. I go and get the refreshments. This is because a) she has a dodgy hip and finds it hard to stand still for long and b) because it's easier to carry a tray and pay without bags of shopping in my hands.
If anyone went up to her and tried to turf her off there would be trouble.

NynaevesSister Sun 20-Oct-13 16:43:24

Sorry I think YBU too. There is no social norm that I know of that says you have to do this. I try to avoid anywhere that is so busy but if not possible then I would definitely put children, bags etc down on an empty table then go queue.

If I am on my own I either avoid anywhere it is too busy or I just ask to share a table. As you said, you didn't have to wait long. I've never been left standing for my entire coffee.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Sun 20-Oct-13 16:44:29

Do you really speak like that, DramaQueen? Do you have a sucked lemon face whilst doing so? hmm

Nanny0gg Sun 20-Oct-13 16:45:14

Surely if it is acceptable practice, cafes wouldn't put up a sign asking you to pay for your food/drink before finding a table?

Featherbag Sun 20-Oct-13 16:45:37

YABU - I am currently sitting in a cafe waiting for DH to return with my hot chocolate. I'm heavily pregnant and have SPD (on crutches) and I also have DS (2) asleep in his buggy, which would totally block the queuing area.

DramaQueenofHighCs Sun 20-Oct-13 16:45:55

For all those who say its sensible to save a table or there'd be none left otherwise - you do realise that you're the ones causing the problem don't you? It's perfectly reasonable for a family to queue or to wait by the counter. What about single people or single parents with young children wanting a table? They cant grt someone to sit there and reserve it and also may not be easy for them to just 'go to another cafe'. Sorry, its just pure selfishness!
Or as I said above, sit down with children etc but offer the table if someone needs it immediately. Even with young DS I never saved tables - I sat at one once when exhausted and signalled to a couple to come and share it.
Of course, reserve signs or something similar would be more sensible - make it a propper rule to get your table first, put a sign on it then order food.

KirjavaTheCorpse Sun 20-Oct-13 16:46:16

I've never seen a sign like that Nanny confused

WestieMamma Sun 20-Oct-13 16:46:26

shock Drama Queen is that just internet bravado or are you really that rude?

YoureBeingADick Sun 20-Oct-13 16:47:15

Im a single parent and as i said- i send the dcs to a table if i see one. They're 8 and 4 and very well behaved.

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