Some people have asked why not just tell him to go away and I understand that might backfire. I’ve worked with a lot of women executives who have to travel a lot and I know this male behavior can be a problem. I’ve seen these women swap techniques for dealing with it and I’m surprised no women have offered this advice:
Have something to read with you, even if it is just your phone. If someone tries to chat you up and you are not interested, just say politely, “Sorry, I can’t chat now. I need to do something else right now”. If interrupted again. “Do you mind”? If it continues, move to another seat. If he pursues you it is pretty obvious and even scary at that point. Ask the staff for help and explain that you moved to another seat and he continued to come over. He’s definitely a predator at this point, not just being friendly. Most decent places will ask him to move away or leave.
I know you shouldn’t have to go through all that and it sucks — unless he is desirable. But if you’ve made it clear he isn’t, any decent guy would leave you alone if only to protect his own ego.
I’m not mansplaining here. I am asking because I find it odd that no women are telling you to do this instead of abandoning your fries. It is women who have told me this is what they do and it seems to work for them. I’ve seen some women who had no problem dealing with rude men quite forcefully too. A guy would have to be a sociopath to strick around and take it.