Cropped shot of the inside of a modern cafe
Food - Drink
Restaurant Wait Times Have Little To Do With How Many Tables Are Open
Eating out can be a great way to try new foods, hang out with friends, or sit back and relax while someone else does the cooking. However, dining out can quickly turn frustrating when there’s a long wait to be seated despite multiple open tables, so it’s important to note that restaurant wait times have little to do with how many spots are available.
If you're heading to a restaurant and are really hungry, you may want to grab a quick snack on the way, because research shows that the average wait time at a restaurant usually ends up being around 30 minutes. Even if you spy open tables around the restaurant, you likely haven’t been seated because a waiter isn’t available to take your order.
One server told Food & Wine that wait times often have to do with the number of servers on shift, saying “Not all tables can be used and there may only be two servers working.” Another restaurant employee noted that staffing is currently a “nightmare,” so the next time you dine out, try to be patient and understand the staff's perspective.