You know the industry is getting back to normal when academic researchers publish an article like “Cherry-Picking Customers by Party Size in Restaurants.” It suggests that operators can optimize revenue during busy times by “quoting longer-than-expected wait times to those they wish not to serve,” i.e., large parties. This technique sounds good on paper; do you want to be working the hostess stand when it’s time to use it? Dr. Gary Thompson specializes in nuts-and-bolts restaurant issues ...

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