When I lived in Tokyo, there was a restaurant fire in which more than 40 people died. The restaurant was on the second or third floor and the fire escapes had been used for storing extra tables and chairs etc and were blocked. After that, we always made a point of checking the fire escapes before we sat down at any restaurant.
Advantages and disadvantages - is it better to be closer to the exit in case of fire or evacuation or to sit with a commanding view and a wall to your back ?
No person can watch their own back so I'd rather eat with a trusted friend...