I've never walked into the Cheesecake Factory at dinner time and been able to sit down immediately. And I've abandoned a summer night trip to Glace because the line stretched out the door and down Main Street.
The Pitch's Charles Ferruzza hilariously covered how long one should wait to be served. What about when you're just trying to get inside a restaurant?
Long restaurant lines for me present the same dilemma as being a driver and a pedestrian. When I'm a driver, I want pedestrians to mind the signals and stay out of my road. When I'm walking, I want drivers to be considerate and let me go if it's raining, even if they have the right of way or I'm clearly jaywalking.
I feel the same way about lines. If I beat the rush at Bo Lings' dim sum and find myself seated as the wait approaches close to 45 minutes, I feel like I have won. And if I'm stuck at the Bonefish Grill's bar, nailing down Bang Bang Shrimp, I can't help glaring at the couple lingering over dessert.
Serious Eats considered the issue of long lines yesterday, and it's hard to disagree with this thought:
...you just sort of feel like a sucker standing for that long, barely inching forward, ogling at the seated diners through the one front window.The cost of waiting in line is a great debate. Are we all just suckers or does great food simply come with a great cost in time?