Stop lingering over coffee and dessert – your favorite restaurant wants you out! That’s because the latest trend in dining out is having a table time limit! And it seems most people don’t mind – because they know how annoying it can be to wait for a table.
Here’s what’s happening: It started about 5 years ago when famous chef Gordon Ramsay opened his restaurant called “The London” in New York. He had a 2-hour rule on tables – and wanted to get each table to turnover 2 or 3 times each night.
That’s pretty acceptable here in North America – but in Europe, it’s unheard of. People in Europe linger over meals and to be rushed out, so more people can be seated, is the height of poor taste.
But the trend started catching on – especially in New York City. That’s because a lot of customers want to get in and out quickly so they can catch a Broadway show. The Hourglass Tavern in Manhattan uses actual hourglasses on the table to keep track and enforce 60-minute meals. That way, the can ensure diners get to the theater on time.
But the trend is spreading to other parts of the country – and surprisingly, people don’t mind.
Zagat, the restaurant guide people, polled diners and found that 60 percent were in favor of table time limits. In fact, most would rather be rushed out the door than have to wait for a table when they go out. So don’t be surprised if the next time you’re eating out, the check gets dropped on the table as a hint – or your plates are cleared away prematurely.