Serious Eats has a post titled Secrets from the Host Stand: 10 Things a Restaurant Host Wishes They Could Tell You. If you dine out frequently, it’s worth a read, but it’s not to be taken too seriously. As a former waitress and as a frequent restaurant-goer, I find some of the items ridiculous. 

I particularly laughed at the anonymous host who said, “Remember that they call you a 'guest' for a reason. Act as such.” I’ve always found the term guest for restaurant customers silly. A guest, in the true sense of the word, does not pay. When someone is a guest at my dinner table, they don’t pay for their meal. And the fact that the guests are given a “check” and not a “bill” cracks me up, too. A check, in the true sense of the word, is money you’re given. A bill tells what you owe.

When I’m at a restaurant, I behave like a paying customer, not a guest. I’m polite. I’m considerate of the workers in the restaurant and the people around me. But, according to the Serious Eats post and many of the comments from readers, there’s one thing my husband and I do while at a restaurant that others might not find considerate.

We are, apparently, “same-siders.”

"Same-siders" are what some call the lovey-dovey guests that sit on the same side of their two-top rather than across from each other. Aside from the fact that this can crowd valuable banquette seating, making other guests uncomfortable, it usually indicates a much longer table time, as couples like this tend to be more excited to gaze longingly into other's eyes than at the pork chop in front of them.
Now, let me get something straight, we don’t sit on the same side of a two-top. That wouldn’t be comfortable and probably would be inconsiderate of the guests at the table next to us. But, if we’re seated at a four top, we often sit on the same side of the table. It’s so much more conducive to intimate conversation. And when I say intimate conversation, I don’t (necessarily) mean bedroom conversation. I mean in-depth conversation that two people with demanding jobs, two kids, community responsibilities, and everything else that comes along with life are able to have when they are out on a date and leave the rest of their responsibilities behind for a few hours.

Do we stay a little longer than some other customers? Possibly, but we also understand that if we linger at a table, we should tip accordingly. Do we sit close? Sure. Do we sometimes have small public displays of affection? Yes. Because of this, according to many of the people who commented, we are “just creepy” and “awkward for everyone else to be around.”

So I have some questions for you. Do you find “same-siders” creepy? Do you even notice people who sit on the same side of the table when they could be sitting across from each other? Or, are you like my husband and me, members of the offending “same-siders” club?

My newfound knowledge that people find the practice of sitting on the same side of the table to be creepy will in no way change my habit, but I’m truly curious about what others think of “same-siders.”

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Are you a same-sider?
If you sit on the same side of the table at a restaurant with your significant other, you might be creeping others out.