I’m one of those people that hate to be shown to a bad table. In addition to the discomfort of being by the kitchen or next to the screaming baby, I always take it as a personal insult. The host just assumes I’m an idiot and doesn’t know the difference. Or I’m too unimportant to be shown a decent table. Better to leave the good one open just in case the Pope should happen in off the street.
I feel all diners should enter a restaurant wearing a badge. Either a green one or red one.
The green one means “Hi, my name is Gomer and you can seat me in the kitchen next to the grease trap if you want, or put my party of eight at a table the size of a silver dollar in the section with no view and trainee waitress.”
And the red one means, “Stop. I don’t pay your prices to sit next to the coat room, behind the bus station, under the hurricane-strength air conditioning vent, or next to Fran Drescher. Yes, I’d like a booth. Why would I prefer a table that’s in every waiter’s path? And if you try to give me a bad table I’m only going to ask for a better one so save yourself the step.”
Restaurant management might balk claiming everyone will then surely wear red buttons. But you know what? I bet 70% of the population still opts for the green.