I made a fairly recent discovery of an eating establishment not too far from where I live. It's a bit "tea and scones", with the clientele's average age around 70. Sprinkled about the place are also some 40-something ladies-who-lunch. Despite not being in their target demographic, they do a damn fine burger and nice coffee so I like to pop in, even if the tables are a little cramped.
Last weekend I tried to sneak in a cheeky burger on Saturday afternoon but to my dismay there was a queue about three deep already waiting to be seated. It's not a huge place, but there are still about 10 tables. I decided that the quality of the food was worth hanging around at least a short time to see if a seat would become available. As I was waiting I cast my gaze over the grazers and you know what I discovered? No-one was eating!!! People were just sat there chatting. Elbows on table, stilts for their heads over empty plates hovering around post-lunch conversation. What annoyed me more than anything was, yet again, people's complete and utter disregard for anyone but themselves. I'd be lying if I said I've never over-stayed a welcome at a table, scooping the froth from a dead cappuccino into my mouth while I finish off the funnies in the paper. But not if there is a queue three deep waiting!
Restaurants need some form of special, express-style seating section. Now this is quite novel so bear with me…but it would be a special area in a restaurant for people who want to eat. Radical concept, I know, but I think it might just work.