It could also be that the more established restaurants simply have more experience with this and have developed a policy on the subject, whereas newer, smaller & trendier restaurants may not have had the experience to develop a cohesive & well-informed policy.
The bar makes a huge difference– and I’ll bet that if the server at Joe Doe had apologetically offered a special after-dinner drink at the bar on the house with a small dessert or something, they may have been happier about it. A small restaurant set in a house simply doesn’t have those kinds of options available to them.]]>
That’s basic consideration on the customers’ part.
The restauarant – if they are unable to seat you on time, should offer you free appetizers and a drink while you are waiting. That is basic consideration on the restaurants part.
If you make a reservation at a popular/crowded time at a FINE DINING/MICHELIN STAR RATED restaurant where 8 and 10 course tasting menus are common and it is considered an experience to dine there – the restaurant needs to be aware that 3 hours is likely to be the extent of the meal service and book accordingly.
Therefore, if they book a 7:00 and then an 8:30 it is their mistake/greed.
Sometimes it is the customers who are rude.
Sitting all night at a table because you want to talk in a busy restaurant is just thoughtless. It’s one thing if it is a birthday or anniversary or special occasion and you let the restaurant know this in advance so they were aware your table might not turn over.
It’s also one thing if you stay at the table and tip the server accordingly for the fact that she/he is losing money by only having you there. (I am very conscious of the fact that they are working for minimum wage usually, and depend on their tips.)
If I’m going to ‘hog’ a table on a regular lunch or dinner, I tell the server when they come to my table that I want to sit and chat with my friend(s)- and I also let them know I will pay them double their usual 20% tip on the bill because I am inconveniencing them.
On holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s and Father’ Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc., restauarnts should give ample time over and above the norm for their customers and not expect to rush them.
So lots of different factors come into play with this.
Great discussion topic !