Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who mistake professional niceness for genuine interest and assume that the waitress or the bartender is really into them.
Those cute designs in your latte foam are more about getting you to be a regular than sending you secret affogato-encoded love notes. Seriously; women in the service industry deal with guys who think that they are the Casanova she’s been dreaming of all these years.
Also: remember what I said about the “do not disturb” signs?
There will always be exceptions to every rule and people who may be receptive to being approached under these circumstances.
Many people – myself included – have experiences where they have successfully gotten a number or a date or what-have-you from a bartender, a waitress, someone they met on the bus or the train. You can’t bank on people explicit indications that she’s interested in talking to you… It’s better to “miss out” on an opportunity than to end up being yet another warm body in the asshole conga-line of her day.
Anyone who reads my site for long enough knows I’m a big proponent of the cold approach.
Learning how to approach women, strike up a conversation and charming them into being interested in going on a date with you is a difficult – but important – skill to master.