POPSUGAR Food Poll Does It Bother You When Restaurants Don't Seat Incomplete Parties? Does It Bother You When Restaurants Don't Seat Incomplete Parties? by partysugar 1/24/08 0 Shares Like us on Facebook Source Read More EtiquetteRestaurantsPoll POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests. Get inspired with our daily newsletter Food Love and Sex Vegetarian Home Tech DIY Sign up with By signing up, I agree to the Terms and to receive emails from POPSUGAR. celebrity_soup 7 years is the restaurant has their reasons, and they better be damn good ones! lol kiwishe 7 years I've worked in the restaurant industry in the back of house, and going to restaurants and seeing what they do, I catch them in their errors and tell them off. I hate when they don't seat incomplete parties. I know exactly why they're doing it, and the it gets to the point where multiple incomplete parties are standing around and when a party is finally complete, the table may not be available anymore. If you're not going to seat incomplete parties, potential customers should be told in advance. I also think that it's a waste of their money since parties seated may end up ordering more at the table. *May* highly unlikely though. But since I know restaurants do this, I linger longer at tables to make them squeamish and annoyed that I need to leave asap so they can turn the table for the next patrons. imalifeguard 7 years as a waitress, i can tell you I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE ARE SEATED WITHOUT A COMPLETE PARTY. if there are 8 of you and you show up 2 at a time, that equals 4 times i have to get drink orders and 4 times i have to bring drinks. i have other tables too and that equals a LOT of my time. plus, it almost ALWAYS works out that the party is finally ready to order right after i've been double-sat, meaning that i am now responsible for taking 2 different tables drink orders, a parties food order, bringing the other drinks in a timely fashion, dropping rolls at the parties table, taking the 2 tables orders, and dropping bread at their table all in the time that i should have to do it for just one party. not to mention the fact that i probably have other tables that need their food/refills/checks/desserts etc. its just not fair to seat incomplete parties. guinnevere 7 years there are so many variables, but IF the place is busy, it makes sense not to seat incompletes. it also depends upon whether or not i've a reservation. time slots are very important to business like that. as well as doctors offices. abryant850 7 years If the place is busy, it is completely reasonable. Say I made a reservation for 8 and 6 of us were there and the others were going to be a while, I would offer being seated at a table for 6 if it meant freeing a bigger table for another waiting party. The 2 late people can squish in when they get there. I don't mind being inconvenienced for my friends tardiness but wouldn't want other patrons to be inconvenienced. malibuisburning 7 years If a restaurant can, they will seat you early, complete party or not. If they cannot seat an incomplete party, it is because the flow of business would make it impractical for them to do so--both at the time of your reservation as well as in two to three hours when your reservation is scheduled to have departed. By sitting in the lounge or bar area and having a cocktail, the restaurant doesn't miss out on the business it would have had from you being seated early. You can have appetizers and drinks while you wait, which stimulates bar business--often slow during dining hours. Most of all, the time spent at the table is quality time with quality service. A server that sees empty chairs may anticipate that you're waiting for the rest of your party and hesitate to initiate service. While that isn't necessarily the warm and fuzzy hospitality feel we want to get when we go to a restaurant, it's the truth of the business. Restaurants pay their staff in many states around $2 an hour; this is eaten up by federal and local taxes. This creates an inevitably desperate situation, with restaurant owners trying to get five-star service from their staff for nickel wages. This means that most servers' incomes and livelihoods depend on their waiting on as many tables as possible in a night. While the rest of your party arrives 45 minutes later, your server has turned another table, putting $20 in his or her pocket and netting another $100 or so for the restaurant. It's a business, just like any other. Imagine the service we'd get if cell phone, cable and Internet companies worked off of tips. JaimeLeah526 7 years If the place is busy then I have no problem letting others get seated before me. I think that it's rude to expect them to give up money for people who can't even be bothered to be on time. HotPinkChameleon 7 years Yes. Why can't we be comfortable just because another couple is running late? wackdoodle 7 years it bothers me - I have been one party member short (she was handicapped and walking up the hill to the restaurant very slowly was gonna take her 20 minutes). We told the hostess, she said well you'll have to wait. We all tried to explain that its easier if when she comes in she sees us all and can just come in and immediately sit after hiking up the hill. NO! No incomplete parties. Then she gave away our table for 8. Ok but you've never faced the wrath of this person before. Our disabled friend arrives mere minutes later (I think she took a cab up the hill) and all hell breaks loose. We had to wait for 30 minutes because not only did the hostess give up our table but the only handicap accessible table in the place. So she had to move the other party anyway. They didn't want to move-we didn't want to stay but our friend didn't want to let the restaurant win. Now we all just say our party is complete when we arrive and let other members 'crash it'. Fashion 7 years It definitely bothers me. My blood is boiling just thinking about it. xo. Super_Fly 7 years Waiting for a complete party is pretty much bull as far as I am concerned, especially if I have a reservation. If I get to a restaurant before my friends and am seated, I always order a drink and/or appetizer which I would not do if I was standing around just waiting. One drink always turns into 3 so they restaurant isn't losing $ when I sit down before others arrive. Also, if you have a reservation and they are waiting for the complete party they are holding up the table anyway. Totally LAME! Soniabonya 7 years if over 1/2 the party is there, sit us at our table please. if it's 2 of us waiting for the rest of the group, i don't mind waiting for the table. bah. tlsgirl 7 years It only really bugs me when the majority of the party is there. If we're only half complete I don't mind waiting for the rest to get there. bethyj 7 years Working at a restaurant it's hard for me to pick either Yes or No, because it depends on the size of the party and how busy the restaurant is. If it isn't busy and we have a lot of empty tables then we don't really mind seating them no matter the size of the party. However if we're busy and have limited tables we'd prefer to wait until the entire party is there. This is mainly because no matter how sure one person is that the other four people will be there soon, 9 times out of 10 only half of those people actually wind up showing up and rarely show up in a timely manner. We don't want to waste a bigger table on an incomplete party who may not order for another half an hour, and then have to turn away another complete party who would order right then. GlowingMoon 7 years I agree with MandyJoBo. :cocktail: MandyJoBo 7 years Doesn't bother me; I completely understand. Besides, I don't mind a drink before dinner. ;) GrapeBubbleGum 7 years I can understand not seating if most of the party is missing, but if most of the party (say 75%) IS there then I like to be seated. It gives me a chance to order a cocktail and chat a bit...I don't really like drinking cocktails during dinner. partysugar 7 years This happened to me the other day at brunch. We were a party of 4 and my dad was parking the car. My mom, sister, and I were waiting for the table. They refused to seat us even though my dad was a block away and we were anxious to order mimosas! piecesbroken 7 years just think- if that table gets seated with an incomplete party and they wait to order until everyone shows up the server is losing out on money. by the time the people usually show up they could've already had a party in and out and made a few bucks. The majority of restaurants only pay $2.15 an hour, the lowest amount allowed for a job that receives tips. So by you waiting for the rest of your party, this person is making less than minimum wage. And don't yell at the hostess, b/c I've seen that too, it's not their policy, they're just doing their jobs. We're all adults and rules are rules. Why should we be allowed to follow rules that we want and not the ones already in place? If the people you invite out to eat are habitually late then tell them the reservation is a 1/2 hour earlier. You or I have managed to make it on time. I understand there are some extenuating circumstances but rewarding bad behavior by letting them sit right down and order without having to wait, they'll never learn for next time. And it'll keep happening. I hate having to wait for a table but i hate it even more when my "friends" are the reason that are keeping me from sitting down. I think that's the bigger problem. seespotrun 7 years It doesn't happen where I am at. What does bother me is I that: 1. I have a reservation for 14 people. 2. Restaurant called couple hours before to confirm reservation. 2. 12 people arrive together ON time. 3. Restaurant was SPARSELY filled when we walked it (early dinner)yet I still have to wait 10-15min for the hostesses to put the tables together. 4. Why the heck did I make a reservation for?! If the restaurant was busy, then sure, I understand I have to wait. But it was absolutely not! geebers 7 years I see where ooosara but let's be honest- if ONE person doesnt show why penalize everyone who did? I understand if a party of 4 show up for what is to be a party of 8. I think if the reservation is at 6:30 and the entire party isnt there at 6:45- seat whomever is there and let the party know that if they choose to wait-they risk losing their table. That way you can seat people at the smaller table. The people who arrive more than 15 minutes late shouldnt be accommodated at that point since in my opinion it is rude. starofsorrow 7 years It doesn't bother me if they refuse to sit an incomplete party. In fact, I'd prefer it be that way THAN the other way around personally, because hey, if you can't be bothered to show up on time, don't bother making a reservation for a large party. While there ARE situations (I know, I've been in a couple myself), it is ultimately the person's responsibility to call their friends and let them know they will be late, and as a result, they'd eat later. *shrug* I deal with friends who are frequently late (We all run on Deaf Standard Time..whee!), so yeah, we need to be willing to wait for a bit. xD Lovely_1 7 years It drives me bonkers! Like come on! I am PAYING YOU for service! Otherwise I would have just stayed at home :P aimeeb 7 years I find this to be super annoying... CoconutPie 7 years Never happens in Quebec City.