When my dad started tinkering with restaurant ventures with a relative many moons ago, he learned the most important operating procedure for even hoping to make money in this rewarding but tough business: turn those tables. That is, attract the customers, but then feed 'em and get 'em out, so new paying customers can sit down. The last thing you want, if you really want to make money, is people who linger at the table, stretching out their single check over an extra hour in which another check could've been earned.
That said, it's still kinda ridiculous that this email recently came to Michael Bauer's blog at the San Francisco Chronicle:
My husband and I don't live in San Francisco, but went up to Spork last night for the first time, and while the food was overall very good, the service was off. One weird thing that happened was that when I tried to order tea (iced tea during the meal and hot tea with dessert) I was told that they don't carry tea. At dessert, the waiter finally explained that the restaurant had taken tea off the menu because "tea-drinkers would stay an hour and a half after their meal ended, it was ridiculous." Do you think this is true? Have you seen this at other restaurants?
Bauer investigated the matter here. I wonder, do tea drinkers linger longer than coffee drinkers? I'll bet we do. Tea is all about time, don't chai know.