I don’t seem to run into this problem so much anymore. Most places like to front load the majority of your wait into the beginning before you even get a table. It rarely works as a well oiled machine and results in a crowded mass of people that everyone else has to fight through to get on the waiting list or to leave the dang place. I do enjoy the combination drink coaster/light show/pager devices that are popular now to hand out to the people on the list. It’s a much nicer system than mumbling your name over a much too quiet speaker.