I’m not suggesting that we go the whole hog and put a maître d’ on the doorway, but perhaps there needs to be some signage in the coffee shops in Stratford that you actually buy something before you all sit down at a table.
I’d been queuing up to get a very late lunch (a Panini at nearly 5, could have been described as an early light dinner) and had noticed that there weren’t that many free tables left. However there were some.
In the time it took me to put in my coffee order and pay two large groups of tourists had walked in and plonked themselves down on most of the spare tables, without any of them bothering to actually come up and order anything.
It was pretty obvious to even the least observant person that the system here was queue up, pay up and collect your drink, there was no table service.
Thankfully a table did become free as I was walking away with my piping hot Panini (not something you want to be holding for a particularly long period of time looking for a table), but it was a good few minutes before a final member of their group walked in and one of them went over to order.
Of course, I haven’t ruled out the possibility that they were just being plain rude.