Bon appetit! but hurry up jerk!
Raise your hand if you’ve wanted to walk over to the couple (switch preferred dilettante here) monopolizing the dinner table whilst you did everything short of flinging your watch at them as you waited for your table to come up? Well it seems restaurant owners have been listening to their diners (and by proxy their check books) as a new push is made to get restaurant goers to eat their meal and leave so they can make way for other diners (who often have reservations).
dailymail.co.uk: …a growing number of eateries are trying to get rid of delays entirely – by imposing time limits on diners.
Even the most expensive restaurants are now telling customers they have two hours from arrival until they have to leave.
Anybody still lingering over their dessert and coffee will be gently moved along or, if they refuse to budge, given a reminder of the official policy.
Yet if your impulse is to think the new codling suggestion is a welcome relief not all diners necessarily see it that way…according to a recent poll only 60% of diners back the plan whilst 40% remain wary of it. And perhaps for good reason…
Julian Niccolini, co-owner of the Four Seasons restaurant, said it was ‘mistreatment’.
‘I don’t think the customer’s going to come back if you make them feel like they have to leave. We’re supposed to be in the hospitality business – this is not McDonald’s,’ he said.
Frankly when I check into a fast food joint I can’t wait to leave as fast I arrived. Happy to quickly regret why I went there in the first place. With the price of fine dining not necessarily on the cheap one could wonder if often it’s not an exercise in the diner getting the feeling that it’s money well spent. After all, going out for a fine meal, is often so much more than the food but also about the atmosphere and the company at the table.
Then of course one has to appreciate the dilemma of those patrons who sometimes are made to agonizingly wait for diners ahead of them to hurry up, irascible death looks at the table aside.
Personally I have a rule of thumb when it comes to waiting more than an hour for a table. I walk down the street and find another equally amazing restaurant, this is NYC after all….