Four guidelines when choosing the safest place to sit in a restaurant or other public place:
FACE THE ROOM WITH YOUR BACK TO THE WALL
Situational awareness requires that you SEE what’s going on. Pick a seat where you can see other people to observe their behavior and demeanor. Try not to sit where someone can come up behind you.
SIT CLOSE TO THE AISLE
Whether choosing a seat at a table, a movie theater, or anywhere with a row of seats, sit close to the aisle. This will allow you to get out quickly and less likely to be become slowed during an emergency situation.
SIT NEAR AN EXIT
Know where the entrances and exits are, and sit near one of them if possible. This will enable quick egress during an emergency. That said, don’t seat yourself closest to the entrance – which is an immediate point of focus.
DON’T BOX YOURSELF IN
If sitting at a restaurant table with a bench style seat or U-shaped seat, sit on the end. When the group is being seated simply allow others to slide in before you and take up the end…
VISUALIZE AN EMERGENCY
If you quickly visualize an emergency scenario, not only will it help you choose where to sit, but IF an emergency actually takes place you will be less likely to freeze up. You will be more likely to remain relatively calm and make the right decisions. Take a moment to think it through as you enter the establishment. Where applicable request a specific table that seems best to you.
Here’s a good example how a restaurant full of people froze during a shooting scenario, while two people did the right thing.
Related article with additional opinion:
How To Choose The Best Safest Seat In A Restaurant Or Public Place
Other than not being in a public place at all, what are your suggestions or opinions about the safest place to sit in public places like a restaurant (or other)?