Servers Mock Customers Who Request to Sit in Booths, Spark Debate

Restaurant customers request all the time to sit in booths, and now, the servers are mocking them in a relatable video that sparks an online debate.

Jamie Lerner - Author

Aug. 29 2023, Published 1:05 p.m. ET

Some people have never worked in the service industry, and those of us who have can tell, especially now thanks to TikTok. But more people have been servers, bartenders, worked in retail, and more than we’d expect. Even Jeff Bezos once worked at McDonald’s! But there are some things that everyday customers do that every service worker dreads … like the specific table request.

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To share this with the world, TikToker Madison Stigall (@madisonstigall) made a sketch video with her co-workers called “Pet Peeves of Working in a Restaurant,” in which they mock customers who request sitting in booths. If you’re now thinking, "Oh my gosh! I request to sit in booths!" don’t worry. You might not be the real culprit. The servers at Los Rodeos Mexican Bar & Grill are hilarious — and they make some good points! But that doesn’t stop a comment section from filling up with debate.

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Servers at a Mexican restaurant made a sketch video mocking customers with special requests.

Basically, Madison and her friend, who both work at Los Rodeos, made a video acting out the different outrageous, but common, requests from customers. It started with Madison acting out a party of three who requested to sit in a booth in a specific part of the restaurant. While it’s totally OK to request a booth over a table, restaurant hosts often need to seat people in specific areas of the restaurant.

What many people who’ve never worked in the industry don’t know is that servers typically have individual areas that they take care of, and those are often sat in a rotation so that the service is quick. If a server gets sat three tables at the same time, the service for all three of those tables will go down in quality. So if there are booths available in another section, just wait for the host to seat you!

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Another pet peeve is people who just walk in and ignore the host. It’s 2023, people! We can’t just sit down at a table — if everyone did that, the rules of society would fall apart! Then, of course, there’s a party of two who request the one open booth after the host asks if a table is OK. When this happens on a busy night, it can be an inconsiderate request. Why sit at a booth, which can seat more people, when there’s a table for two?

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People who’ve worked in the industry know never to take or request a table larger than their party unless the restaurant offers it. Otherwise, we’re cutting into their business … and the server’s tips! And then, of course, the ultimate pet peeve — customers who make jokes thinking they’re original that the servers feel forced to laugh at. We’ve heard them a million times!

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A debate set off in the comments of the TikTok video about proper restaurant etiquette.

Luckily for us and for Madison, most of the people in the comments are fellow servers and industry workers who have dealt with the same stereotypical customers. One person wrote, “My personal favorite is before I can even get a hello out a grown adult cuts me off and yells ‘BOOTH’ at me.”

Another shared, “Or when it’s the middle of a rush and you’re sitting [sic] somebody and they want to sit at a dirty table so you have to hurry and clean it off.” Why even request that? Someone else even wrote, “I work in a restaurant that does NOT have booths, and when people say, ‘I want a booth,’ I wanna slap them ‘cause where do you see one.” Yes, people can be that dumb.

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But others in the comments were confused about why they shouldn’t ask for booths. Luckily, Madison and some other servers kindly told them what the proper etiquette in a restaurant should be. When someone pointed out that booths are “more comfortable and cozy” and asked if it’s wrong if they “politely request a booth,” others shared that the request is fine, but demanding a specific booth can be a problem based on which servers are available.

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Someone else shared a personal anecdote: “I was pinned between two cars when I was young. I always ask for a booth. A chair is so uncomfortable for me. Hopefully, this isn’t too much to ask.” It’s not too much — it’s true that we never know what’s really going on for someone else, but servers just want to be respected as any other human.

Madison even responded, “No, when people ask for a booth it’s not a problem at all … It’s when people ask for a specific table/booth when it’s not in the next section … But usually I still will sit them in the table/booth that they asked for. It’s not that big of a deal, we just saw people doing these videos and thought it was funny so we wanted to make one.” Little did Madison know her charming personality would make this one go viral!

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