6 of us went out to dinner tonight. The service and food was all pretty awful, and while they did give us a discount... it didn't really change our opinion of the place. The excuse the restaurant gave was that it had been hit by a few large groups shortly before we arrived, and that had thrown the kitchen off. While we saw no evidence of the alleged large groups, we know that it can break the rhythm of the kitchen when it happens.
If a restaurant knows that seating a group of more than "x" people is going to ruin the dining experience of all the other patrons for the rest of the day, wouldn't it make sense to limit the size of groups that it accommodates at any given time. "Oh, we would love to take your party of 17, but for serving purposes, we will be treating you as three groups of 6 or 7. We hope you understand." Would that be so awful?