Take a look at the photo above. If you were visiting a coffee shop, which seat would you pick? I’ve seen recent articles discussing the topic and decided to weigh in with my opinion.
When I am choosing seats in a restaurant, I use the following selection criteria:
1) I prefer tables to booths. Tables are easier to maneuver around. Tables can also be overturned and used for cover/concealment. It’s much harder to do that in a booth.
2) I want a clear view of the front door to see any potential threats enter.
3) I want a view of the cash register (if there is one). If there is a low profile robbery (rather than an entire location takeover) it will occur at the cash register.
4) I want a table that is close to the kitchen/alternate exit.
5) I prefer an area where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic moving behind me.
6) In busy urban locations with a large homeless population or a history of group street violence, I don’t want to be next to any large glass windows near the front of the building or sidewalk.
Those are my primary considerations. Looking at my preferences, what seat would you choose?
The article where I originally found this photo (which has since been deleted) suggested that table A-B-C is the best spot. I would disagree.
There’s too much foot traffic heading to the bathrooms for those tables. I don’t want to have to physically watch that many people as they move behind me to use the toilets.
The article also discusses the advantages of table “I” in being able to see every other position in the restaurant. I would avoid that one as well. Criminals call the seats with their backs in a corner where they can see every other seat in the venue the “cop seats.” That’s where cops sit. The criminals know this and might look there to take out the “cops” at the first opportunity. Sometimes the best seat in a venue is also the worst seat.
I would personally suggest occupying seats 1 or 2 at tables D, E, or F as the best seats in this particular layout. You can see the front door. You can see the cash register. You are close to the emergency exits, but you don’t have constant bathroom traffic moving behind you to evaluate.
Sometimes the “prime seats” in any particular location aren’t always the “most tactical.”