You probably already know I am not a big fan of buffets. Hubby loves them and I go along because in most places I can order something off of the menu. I end up taking half of it home with me anyway.
But there is another angle. Most of you have already read my rant about restaurant booths being too small; well, news flash - in many restaurants the tables are entirely too close together.
I always try to guide our party to a table around the edge of the seating area so when I try to slide my chair out I will be sliding into the aisle, rather than being packed in back-to-back with someone at the table behind me; especially if we are at a buffet-only place.
Then there is another aspect - for me, at least. Hubby is right-handed; I am a lefty. He always wants to seat us where we won't be "bumping elbows", even though, in the 10 years or so I've been eating with him, I can't remember us ever bumping elbows. If we are eating at a buffet place and land in a booth, if anyone is dining with us I always get shoved to the "wall" side of the booth, then have to try to scrunch up as much as possible to fit my purse on the seat beside me and leave room for Hubby to sit since he makes many trips to the buffet - and I can't exactly say this makes for a relaxing experience.
We have a few restaurants in our town that have non-crowded seating, places where I actually "fit" and I can have a nice relaxing meal. Needless to say, I tip better in the places where I am more comfortable.
So I will say, IF you are one of the folks I have (through no fault of my own) been placed back-to-back with in a restaurant, and I have bumped your chair trying to get in or out of my seat, I am truly sorry. Now, come complain to the management with me!