I have a question for you all - what do you think about the "we do not seat incomplete parties" rule that many places have? On the one hand, I appreciate that if someone can't get their butt in on time, then let them wait, but on the other hand, I find that I don't buy drinks if I'm waiting for someone to join me, because I hate having to walk through a restaurant with full hands and generally I'm going to want wine with dinner. But I often will get a drink if I'm seated and waiting for a friend. So by not seating me, they lose out on liquor sales. Do other people buy drinks if they have to wait at the bar?
This is prompted by a long wait for a 5th of a party of 5, during which we didn't know it was a case of "we don't seat incomplete parties" and thought they were just confused about whether we were going to be 4 or 5 and didn't have the right sized table or something. Later we found out it was due to our friend being late. (I was so annoyed by the lack of communication, during which at least once they told us to follow them and then sent us back to the bar, that I didn't order ANYTHING to drink at the meal).