One that I would go too for once in a lifetime...say on holidays overseas....maybe 1 hour tops.
After all I would have pre booked anyway.
If you mean as far as a booking, well I guess a few years...waiting on a list, is fine.
These days I wouldn't wait - If I can't go pretty much straight through then I will choose somewhere else. If it was a super special occasion I'd pre-book and wouldn't be happy if I had to wait longer than about 15 mins. If it's a case of just wandering around town and deciding I really like the look of a place I'd maybe wait half hour - enough time for a drink, but that's it. I'm not terribly patient when it comes to food!
It would depend on what they could offer me whilst I was waiting. If there was a comfy place to sit, a complimentary drink and the menu so we could order and be served our starter as soon as we got the table, then I would wait up to 45 minutes. Anything, I would go elsewhere. If it was somewhere I was determined to dine at, then I would have pre-booked a table, in which case I wouldn't expect to wait any time at all!
Speaking of which, I had a reservation at a supposed 'silver service' Restaurant which I frequent, & in doing so, have a particular table at which I like to sit.
When I arrived there, others' were seated at 'my' table. Upon questioning the Maitre'd, it turned out that this couple had 'brow-beaten' him into giving them the table, by making 'a scene & arguing' so he just 'rolled over' & gave it to them!
I was seated elsewhere, but not at all happy.
I went over to the couple & politely asked them when did they 'book' this table. Oh! 4 days' ago. Really? I booked it a month ago! As they'd started eating, I couldn't ask for them to be moved.
Next best thing was to contact a Manager ASAP. This I did. The Manager was furious, as I've 'VIP' status at the Restaurant.
So it'll be interesting to see what happens on my next visit, within a fortnight.
Watch this space, as is said!
If I can't have a table immediately and there was provision for me to sit comfortably, 10 minutes maximum then I walk. However if it was a place I really wanted to dine at, I would have reserved a table to avoid disappointment
I don't think I would wait in a line.
If it is a sit down restaurant, you would probably need a booking, and I would not like to wait more than about 5 minutes if I have a booking at a good restaurant.
Though this has only happened to me a few times as generally they have the table ready -sometimes they just have to re-set it or wipe it but that is no major problem.