Where would you sit in this coffee shop? I always sit where I can see the door. Let’s examine that.
Greg Ellifritz has been a police officer since 1995 and spent 13 years as the full-time tactical training officer for his central Ohio police department. He was responsible for developing all of the in-service training for his 55-officer police department. More of his impressive credentials here.
Here’s where he would sit and not sit in the coffee shop above.
When I am choosing seats in a restaurant, he writes, I use the following selection criteria:
1) I prefer tables to booths. Tables are easier to maneuver around. Tables can also be overturned and used for cover/concealment. It’s much harder to do that in a booth.
2) I want a clear view of the front door to see any potential threats enter.
3) I want a view of the cash register (if there is one). If there are any problems, they will occur at the cash register.
4) I want a table that is close to the kitchen/alternate exit.
5) I prefer an area where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic moving behind me
Here’s what Ellifritz sees in the diagram.
There’s too much foot traffic heading to the bathrooms for tables a, bi and c. I don’t want to have to physically check out people as they move behind me to use the toilets.
Criminals call the seats with their backs in a corner where they can see every other seat in the venue the “cop seats.” That’s where cops sit. The criminals know this and will take out the “cops” at the first opportunity. Sometimes the best seat in a venue is also the worst seat.
I suggest occupying seats 1 or 2 at tables D, E, or F as the best seats in this layout. You can see the front door. You can see the cash register. You are close to the emergency exits, but you don’t have constant bathroom traffic moving behind you to evaluate.
An alternate plan: