Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

If you're eating at a restaurant with family or friends, do you worry if others are waiting?

Asked by JLeslie (59781points) April 10th, 2015 from iPhone

If the restaurant has a line of people waiting for a table do you care? Will you skip the after dinner coffee or chit chat to finish up fast?

I was out with friends, and the initial place we were going to eat had a long wait so we went to a different restaurant that had no wait. At the end of the meal my mom said she was glad our friends (a husband and wife) suggested going there, and our friend (the wife) said, “yeah, we like it here, the food is good, and we don’t need to rush to let someone else have the table.” That’s the first time I have heard someone say that outside of my own family. I guess it’s because our friend is from NYC also.

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14 Answers

janbb's avatar

Yes. I wouldn’t gulp my coffee but I would be mindful of not sitting overlong if others are waiting.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Depends. If I can see the people waiting, I might be more mindful about how long I’m sitting there. If I can’t see them, out of sight out of mind. I’m not one to get coffee after dinner (never understood that) or sit around for an extended period of time after eating anyway, so I don’t typically worry about stuff like this. I do get dessert from time to time, though, and I enjoy it at a normal pace.

When we go to Olive Garden or Outback on a Saturday night, the wait is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and that’s an early-ish dinner (6:00PM). I know people are waiting, but I’m not rushing through my meal. If they decide to show up at peak dinner time, they should know the wait will be long. Not our fault if people didn’t think ahead.

jaytkay's avatar

I waited table for eight years, and I am quite aware of the servers’ and restaurants’ need to turn tables, especially the tipped people.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Gracious, yes I worry about it. It stems from working in the hospitality industry in the US. Servers’ wages are supplemented by tips, so the more people they serve, the more money they may make….except for the rare occasion that an overly generous tip is given.

fluthernutter's avatar

Yup, like @jaytkay and @Pied_Pfeffer, I used to work in a restaurant. So I try to shimmy out the door at a reasonable pace.

Strauss's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Servers’ wages are supplemented by tips. a better way to put that is server’s wages only supplement the tips!

I waited tables when I was in college, and worked in the service industry for several years after that. I think the time spent at the table should be taken into account when computing the gratuity.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

I avoid places with long lines – I’m not a hipster (just recently learned what that is (I think)) <—closed out both parenthesis whattya make of that? ha

.. I think I’m just not so hard to please – a place need not be that popular for me to enjoy it.

When I’m with my wife though – we suffer the lines because I rarely have enough husband points to cash in to get out of it. In those instances I think I’m pathologically aware of the wait time for everyone.. to the point I become irritable. Sometime I would like to just get a bullhorn and say “there are plenty of nice spots, let’s just split up”.

canidmajor's avatar

I spent a lot of years waiting tables, so I am mindful of how I tip, but no, I don’t worry if others are waiting. Enjoying my time with my friends and family is my first priority. I live in an area where there are a number of restaurant choices, and frankly I’m not cutting my evening short because others either didn’t make reservations or didn’t get there earlier.

I don’t linger for an absurdly long time, but I won’t hurry because there’s a line.

Blondesjon's avatar


Chances are that I waited too.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

If I’m out during the day and we stop somewhere for a quick sandwich, we would probably be eating and leaving fairly quickly anyway. If I noticed a queue, I wouldn’t hang around. If I’m out in the evening, I can’t recall going to a restaurant where there’s been a queue for a table. Usually we’ve had to book so I’m not going to rush my meal to give it to someone else. Equally, if the restaurant was teeming with people, I’d probably want to get out of there.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

@chyna Ok, you got me – I just have no idea. Isn’t it someone who refuses to do anything mainstream just because it’s mainstream? shrug

I thought of this question while driving today too – I’d much rather drive slowly and just enjoy the ride. People in a hurry will find that I slow way down and move over just so they’ll go away. In a sense I don’t want them waiting, but really its more selfish.

ibstubro's avatar

Likely not. If “the initial place we were going to eat had a long wait”, then part of the mystique of that place is the wait. Hub-bubbing with the popular locals. If I was dragged there I would stay until the majority left.

Blackberry's avatar

Yea, I don’t like drawing out time when eating at a restaurant, whether it’s packed or not. I kind of think restaurants are for eating good food, then leaving. Staying at a restaurant for an extended period of time for the “atmosphere” or whatever just seems kind of strange, but that’s just my opinion. What sounds like a better idea is eating, leaving, then going for drinks somewhere else if you still want to be out. This way you clear your table for someone else, and then at a place like a bar or pub, you can sit and drink/talk there as long as you want.

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