Whether being seated in a restaurant or some other public place, those who are in tune with ‘situational awareness’ will run through a set of criteria in their mind before settling upon a particular best, safest, seat.
Why would anyone care about how to choose a so called ‘safest’ seat?
Answer: Because being in a position that better enables your senses to monitor the surroundings will provide an additional layer of security around your person…enabling you to respond appropriately and more quickly if you need to.
With that said, here are some considerations while choosing that best, safest, seat:
Over the years I have written about this specific subject many times. However it’s always good to revisit it.
Consider these points while choosing the safest seat:
– Choose a seat which has the best line of sight to entrances and exits (especially entrances) without having to turn your head much while seated.
– Do not be the closest seat to the entrance – which is an immediate point of focus.
– Being tucked into a booth will be a hindrance, so better to choose a table.
– Avoid choosing a seat out in the middle. Best to sit closer to a wall, facing out – although not directly up against the wall which could hinder movement and options.
– It is very important to be seated in a position where you can get to your feet quickly and start moving.
– Choose a seat that enables you to see as many people as possible.
– If possible, choose a seat that allows you to be as far away from the main entrance but closer to a secondary exit.
Once seated, consider these actions:
– Always identify where the exits are.
– If in a restaurant, identify the pathway to the kitchen.
– Watch the bathroom routes.
– Pay attention to whatever may appear or sound ‘out of place’ among the murmur of the patrons.
– Watch the entrance for uncharacteristic characters…
While the points listed above may appear beyond paranoid, in the reality of practiced Situational Awareness these thoughts occur naturally and rapidly in your mind up until the decision is made where to sit.
Once seated, the rest becomes semi-subconscious without really interfering with one’s enjoyment of the event.
NOTE: A hostess in a restaurant will always try to seat you where he or she wants… typically to balance out their servers, etc… So, with that in mind, you will need to proactively request your own (safest) seating location. In most cases this should not be an issue (although a busy restaurant may not have much of a choice).
NOTE: Where legal, it is a good idea to ‘carry’ while in this situation.
Situational Awareness articles on Modern Survival Blog.