Skip To Content
    This post has not been vetted or endorsed by BuzzFeed's editorial staff. BuzzFeed Community is a place where anyone can create a post or quiz. Try making your own!

    What Your Seating Choice At The Food Court Says

    You may come to the food court to grab a quick bite between stores, but have you stopped to think about the decisions you make as you find a seat?

    You and your friends are finally taken a break from all of your shopping and now you're hungry


    For our project we observed small groups in mall food courts. This article focuses on the Physical Environment of those groups.

    But where do you sit?


    We observed four different mall food courts and cross referenced the observations to find patterns. The points below represent those patterns.

    There are a lot of options to chose from...


    During our observation we noticed a variety of sizes and two shapes of tables: round and square. Tables, for larger groups, really did not exceed over 6 seats (the 6 ft rectangle above) and if there was a larger party, they needed to combine tables.

    But....does it really matter what choice you make?

    After all, personal space is important!


    Sitting at a table in the food court of a mall means you are keeping with the personal and intimate space measures of your table. Social and public space are the people sitting next to you and the food court as a whole.

    So choose your seat wisely because your choice sets the mood for your future interactions


    During our observation we noticed five type of seating arrangements: sitting next to, across from, with families, against barriers, or alone. Each had a particular non-verbal "vibe" that it gave off.

    Sitting next to someone (rather than across) means you're more open to conversation


    This is an example of Hall's Intimate Space zone. We noticed this with a lot of couples - they would sit next to each other and lean in to intimate space. These couples were engrossed in conversation compared to the couples who sat across from one another.

    Or you can sit across from someone and strike up a casual (or awkward) conversation


    ...if you value your Personal Space. Couples and friends who sat across from one another did not seem to converse much. They were there to eat and most conversation came to common pleasantries: "how is the family?" "how is work?" etc.

    Families, or large parties, sat in an order that would cause the least amount of chaos


    Families would sit with parents in the middle of the group so they could have access to all of the children. In a table of six, parents would be in the middle on either side and kids would fill the spots around them. Whether this was a conscious or subconscious thing, we couldn't figure it out, but this seemed to be the best way to control behavior.

    You can sit next to walls or barriers if you don't want to talk


    The seats in the mall next to barriers (i.e. booths, near dividers) were coveted, mostly by people who sat alone. This made them very closed off from the rest and implied that they valued their privacy, even in a public space.

    ....or you can sit by yourself and not worry about conversation at all


    We noticed a few mall workers or single shoppers sitting alone, most of the time with headphones in, so they can quickly eat and get back to shopping.

    In the end, you and other shoppers are there for a common purpose!

    So the next time you go to the mall


    Remember that where you sit says more than you think it does!


    Malls can be a nasty four letter word, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy your time there!

    Create your own post!

    This post was created by a member of the BuzzFeed Community.You can join and make your own posts and quizzes.

    Sign up to create your first post!