As skyrocketing rents force more and more of the city's beloved restaurants to close, those that remain have to be strategic in their business models to avoid going under. As CBS New York reports, a lease for a Midtown restaurant can be as much as $70,000 a month, and things aren't much better in the outer boroughs: last December, Williamsburg's Nita Nita was forced to close when its rent tripled to $24,000 a month. One common solution to the tricky math involved in keeping a restaurant afloat? Rush customers through their meals to seat as many as possible in one night.

You know how this goes: you finally get a reservation at that trendy new restaurant no one will shut up about, and have just taken the last bite of your entree when the plates are swept away and replaced by the check, just 45 minutes after you sat down. Thinking of ordering some dessert to stretch out your dinner date? Too bad: some restaurants are actually ditching the dessert menu to cut down on the time that parties spend at any given table.

"It's hard to make money on desserts in the restaurant business today," economist Tyler Cowen told The Washington Post when asked about that new trend. "I don't think many [restaurants] benefit when people order them anymore...Dessert needs good ingredients to taste good, but you can't psychologically convince people to pay even $20 for dessert."

Another time-saving and cost-cutting trend, according to Rigie, is the use of iPads in place of waitstaff. In theory, that technology could effectively eliminate the need for some waiters and waitresses, making ordering and paying a digital-only experience and requiring just a few servers to deliver food to tables. That said, there are still a lot of kinks to work out (at least in the United States): I had the displeasure of experiencing this newfangled technology at one of the restaurants in Newark Airport last December, and found it to be anything but efficient. It took at least three tries to get the device to read your credit card (and passport), which you had to swipe before ordering, and the iPad was hooked up to the airport's public WiFi, which cut out approximately once every thirty seconds. The server wound up being more of an IT technician, as she was contractually not allowed to take our orders herself.

In 2011, Zagat surveyed people to see whether they'd support explicit time limits during peak hours, the idea being that if you know what you're signing up for, you can't bristle every time the waiter asks if you're finished eating. Sixty percent of diners nationwide thought that sounded great—but New Yorkers, or at least the sample that responded to Gothamist's poll on the matter, swung in the opposite direction, with 66 percent opposing a dining time limit.

For what it's worth, the New York Times frowns upon hurrying customers. In a list of the 100 things that restaurant staff should never do, it's number 17: "Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait."