Zagat Survey Says 60 Percent Of Americans Think People Take Too Long To Eat

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It is a timeless experience, but not in a good way.

You wait and wait in a packed restaurant for your table, but nobody gets up to leave.

However, according to a new survey many diners say it’s time for a change.

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You’ve seen it a million times: someone or a group of people hogging a table for two hours. It’s almost like you want to get their attention, point to your watch and say, “hey, tick-tock, dude.”

On Wednesday, CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport spoke to some annoyed diners that said they just wish more people showed common decency.

“I wish they would move along and leave so I can sit down,” one person said.

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That seems to be the sentiment of many restaurant goers these days. A nationwide Zagat survey of diners says 60 percent of foodies favor putting time limits on people eating at restaurants during peak hours.

“I agree because then you give everyone a chance to sit there,” one person said.

If done, it would eliminate the seemingly endless wait for tables created by lingering customers and their marathon-like meals.

C’mon, you know who you are.

“They should be courteous and get up and leave,” one diner said.

Oh wait, not so fast say others.

“I wouldn’t want a time limit because I wouldn’t want a time limit imposed on me,” one person said.

At the iconic and posh Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan, where a dinner for two can run $500, owner Julian Niccolini says time limits are off limits.

“I think it’s disrespectful because they are basically rushing you out,” Niccolini said.

At The Four Seasons, the average dinner lasts about 2 hours, 45 minutes. And if it’s longer … so be it.

“I think when people go out they should enjoy themselves. After all, they’re spending their own money,” Niccolini said.

Yeah, but try saying that at the Balilo diner, where customers are in and out in about 20 minutes.

“Half an hour at the most,” one patron said.

It is food for thought for the next time you sit down for a long meal, because to somebody waiting, the clock may be ticking.

Workers at The Four Seasons restaurant said the longest meal there was five hours. It included champagne, white wine, red wine, cognac and then cigars, which are no longer permitted.

Do you think there should be a dining time limit in NYC? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.