This article will explain why restaurants are packed at 6pm, right before the sun has a chance to set. If you are reading this and you were/are at the restaurant at this time, then the people there at the restaurant may be there for the same reason you are. Restaurants being packed at 6pm isn’t a new thing in America. However, for individuals that don’t eat at the restaurant often at this time, may be unaware of this.
So here we will give the reasons why restaurants are packed at this time. There are many reasons to why there are so many people at the restaurant at this time, but we will cover the main reasons why they are packing the restaurant at around 6pm majority of the time.
Reason #1: It Is The Time When Everyone Is Getting Off Of Work
At our restaurant 6pm is the time when everyone is getting off for the day and have finished their jobs. When they do finally get out of the work building and get into their car to head to the restaurant, it is usually around 5:00pm when the traffic in the restaurant starts to pick up. When everyone begins to head over to the restaurant at the same time, then it can get packed really fast, and stay this way until 8pm or later.
This can happen especially at dine-in restaurants where people are coming in to sit and eat. Some or a lot of people coming in may have to wait until a table is ready. If fast food restaurants are getting packed at 6pm, then definitely most dine-in restaurants will have it worse.
Of course, not everyone gets off at the same time, so that is why the restaurant can be packed at 6pm or even hours later. Even though it is still early to eat dinner at this time, usually most people will still go to the restaurant at this time to get food, because they are too tired from working to want to make anything at home for dinner.
Also, most of the people packing the restaurant that have just gotten off of work are really hungry. They haven’t eaten any real food since noon (lunch time). The combination of not eating for 4 to 6 hours while working hard can make them pretty hungry. So instead of them waiting until 8pm or 9pm to eat dinner, they go ahead and eat as soon as they get off of work.
This eating schedule makes more sense for individuals that start working for the day early in the morning at around 6am or 7am in the morning. They will start at that time working, eat at around noon, go to the restaurant and order food at around 5:30pm at the restaurant, eat, and then head home to relax a little before going to sleep to get ready for work the next day. They would start work earlier, so they would naturally eat their food earlier too.
Usually, when a restaurant gets packed at 6pm from everyone coming at around the same time, then it also takes everyone there longer to get their food, because everyone is ordering food conveniently for their families too. This is why the restaurant can be packed for hours sometimes, even after 6pm.
It is also the time too when people are just getting into working their late night shifts if they work at night. This can cause the restaurant to be packed for a bit too.
Reason #2: You Picked A Bad Day To Go To The Restaurant
It isn’t just the rush that restaurants get from everyone getting off of work at the same time, but it can also be a combination of that and a special event. You may already know that it is already a little busy usually at restaurants at 6pm, and that the restaurant is packed because of this, but people also go to restaurants due to special events.
For instance, graduation can make a restaurant stay packed from 5pm to 11pm if the restaurant gets its evening rush of workers and it is graduation too. Also, smaller events like a local baseball game can cause this to happen regularly at the restaurant on specific days. Someone that regularly goes to the restaurant may think that the restaurant is also a great place to bring their youth baseball team to grab something to eat after practice or a game.
Of course, kids finish playing for the day usually before the sun goes down, so teenagers also hang out at certain restaurants at this time. Restaurants of course see this as good business whenever an entire baseball team shows up to their establishment, so they sometimes cut a deal with the adults that brought them so that they will return again in the future.
A restaurant can also get pretty packed on the early summer days at around 6pm when people come in from work and kids finally are out of school. Teenagers of course love this freedom, and will sometimes enjoy their adolescent freedoms with their friends hanging out once the sun is going down and eating at a restaurant. Usually, teens always come in as a crowd or with atleast a friend or two.
6pm just falls in the prime time for humans to get up and go get things done after work and school. It is usually a good eating time, and a good time for them to socialize with their families.
Main events that are planned out days before (like festivals or concerts) are usually done at this time too. People will fill the restaurants nearby when they are in the area where these events are held. It is not uncommon for people to pack a restaurant full for a short period of time to eat all at once and then leave the restaurant empty afterwards to go to these events.
People will sometimes pack a restaurant at 6pm before they go to what ever special event there is for that day, or they will pack the restaurant after their events are done for the day/evening. Sometimes it has to do with location of the restaurant too. Many times restaurants are purposely built in hotspots where a lot of people usually drive through. This is near offices, gyms, schools, and sometimes colleges.
If you are trying to avoid the rush when people pack the restaurant at 6pm, then you will have to think 3 steps ahead, because everyone is already thinking 2 steps ahead of everyone else. Restaurants are usually dead or less busy from 2pm to about 4pm. Everyone has already finished their lunch and everyone is either at work or school. If this isn’t a good time, then you could try 9pm or 10pm. The restaurant is usually more quiet at this time, but it does depend on the day and their location.