People think management is about timing and tactics, but its really about values and focusing on what matters. We're lucky to have two good options for Dim Sum in the Cities. Both of them require getting there early. We arrrived at Mandarin Kitchen a half hour early this Sunday, and the parking lot was empty, first in line - win! Within 5 minutes there were 20 people. Then the manager drove by, parked in back, and we did not see her again for at least an hour.
By the time the doors opened, there were at least 80 people in line. We got seated and had a great meal.
The room was swirling chaos. Carts clunking and dumpling bowls clattering, people everywhere. Several dozens of more people waiting for table. The aisles jammed so full you had to stand on your tip toes to make it through the mass of humanity.
Then an elderly woman with a walker appeared at the front. The manager who we hadn't seen since before the place opened, appeared out of nowhere, and all of a sudden the chaos turned to order. The aisles that were previously filled about six people per square foot were cleared in an instant, wide enough to drive a Honda Civic through, and continued clearing the way like hacking through a dense, jungle forest all the away across the restaurant.
Its hard to describe how fast this happened. To give an example, our server was in the midst of serving dumplings with the bowl in her hand. She turned back to put down the bowl and in the blink of an eye the manager had whisked away the cart to clear the way.
The woman was seated, the gaps in the aisle filled in in an instant, and the mix of chaos, commerce and delicious meal continued.