McDonald's are training people to order food through a screen and then receive speedy table service.
They also have large windows, are well lit, and have power sockets and phone chargers at most tables.
JDW also has an app that allows you to order without talking to staff.
As does Yo Sushi.
It's one thing to say people enjoy ordering at the bar, or the human interaction with a waitress/waiter.
But in reality?
Most people want whatever is quickest and the least distraction from whatever they are thinking about.
When the smoking ban came in, I noticed groups going outside together for a smoke, even when some of them didn't smoke.
Now smokers have moved to e-cigs so they can stay at the table with their group.
Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)
Same goes for buying a round at the bar. A 10 minute queue and 5 minutes to get served and pay?
In today's fast-paced world that's a lot of time away from your mates.
I'm not saying tear out the bar and sack all the staff.
But really consider some form of ordering system that allows speed of ordering. - Table service that's quick to come over, - a separate part of the bar for cocktail orders, - WhatsApp your order from the table once a card has been pre-auth'd
Whatever it is, offer a quicker way of ordering that allows people to stay 'In' with whoever they're with.
Every time they have to stop chatting to go waste 15 minutes, you're potentially losing an order.
And those that still want to queue, can.
It's adding an option, not restricting people.
Food for thought anyway