I understand why some restaurants are reluctant to seat incomplete parties. Sometimes the rest of the party doesn’t show up and the restaurant is left with a deuce at a four-top during the dinner rush. Lost revenue on valuable real estate. Allowing two people to sit while they wait for another couple can also throw the pace of service off: two separate drink orders and/or two different water pours. If a restaurant is busy, they have to remain firm on this policy. I get it.
However, a few weeks ago my mother and I showed up at a small restaurant for a 5:30PM reservation. We were on time, but our other two friends had called to say they would be 15 minutes late. I told the hostess our situation. She told us she would seat us when our party was complete. The restaurant was empty. Oh, sorry, there was one two-top in the back. The hostess handed us menus and walked away. A few minutes later, I broke up a conversation between said hostess and a server and asked if we could order a glass of wine. She brought us the wine. We stood for 18 minutes with a menu in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. No other diners entered the restaurant. When our tardy party arrived, we were escorted four steps to our table.
Restaurateurs, tell us why this is right or wrong.
Dishers, tell me some similar stories.