I wish you would have asked, "why do some restaurants refuse to sit 2 of a party of 4 before the whole party has arrived". There are several places in the area that follow this practice and I just don't get it. If we arrive early we always order a drink and possibly an appetizer and I don't think we are alone in this. I can understand not sitting one person to hold a table for 8 but when half the group is there, it only makes sense to accommodate those that have already arrived. From a business perspective, its going to increase that tables sales by a minimum of a round of drinks. Perhaps some of your interviewees could comment.