Cross-posted to my personal journal...
I really can't figure this one out. Can somebody who's been a waiter/host(ess)-for-longer-than-a-month explain it to me?
So I decide I deserved dinner out this evening and took myself to Pizzeria Uno, as I was desiring cheese-tomato pizza. Place was jammed, but it's 6:30 on a Sunday night, so I was willing to wait. I heard the host/waiter saying they were short-staffed due to the weather. Okay, fine.
I sat and waited for awhile--not a big deal. Then host/waiter comes back and starts working out which parties are here (party of two, party of four, etc) then there's me: party of one, and another guy (looks at least 50 years old) also there alone.
Waiter/host: Can I get you to order up at the bar and I'll still put you in a booth?
Me: Yeah, no problem.
Waiter/host: Okay, I'm gonna put you and you in a booth (meaning me and the other party of one.)
Me: (Wha?! I am not especially inclined to have dinner in a booth with a complete stranger!)
Me: Er...never mind, I'll just...go...
Off I went and got dinner somewhere else that could manage to seat me alone. No pizza for me. Sadness.
Is that acceptable restauranting, even when it's busy or short-staffed, to try to shove two separate parties, whatever the size, into the same booth? I could understand ASKING two parties if they'd mind or be interested in sitting together, but Waiter/Host tried to just do it without bothering to see if the completely unacquainted young woman and older man were okay with the idea!
Should he have just said, "Sorry, we can't seat you (or can't seat you yet) right now"? Should I complain?