Money Manners: What’s the Table Time Limit on a $400 Restaurant Meal?

Friends toasting each other with white wine, smiling, sitting in restaurant.
zoranm / iStock.com

The situation: Two couples recently dined out at a popular restaurant on a sunny summer weekend night. They spent over $400 on the two-hour dinner and were starting their last round of drinks when the owner came over to ask them to hurry up because they had people waiting for the table. The party, which had not been forewarned of a dining time limit and also had just been asked by their server if they wanted dessert, replied that they were just finishing the drinks and would leave after that. 

Take Our Poll: Is an Expensive Restaurant Justified in Asking a Party To Leave After Two Hours?

The owner thanked them and left, only to return a few minutes later to hasten them out again — offering them a bench seat in the tiny waiting area to finish their drinks. One annoyed couple chose to quickly depart and the other pair stood outside and finished their drinks.

The question: Was the owner justified in hurrying them out after two hours? Or should they have been allowed to finish their drinks at the table after spending $400 at the establishment?

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Take Our Poll: Is an Expensive Restaurant Justified in Asking a Party To Leave After Two Hours?

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