I don't know whether you've been to a Chinese restaurant during the busy hours. If you have you will know what I am about to describe. The most congested place at a Chinese restaurant is at the hostess' podium. People usually crowd around the podium waiting for a table, as you can see from the photo below.
People do not just wait around quietly for their number to be called. For some reason they seem to have the need to constantly hover over the hostess to find out exactly, minute by the minute, how many people are ahead of them on the wait list.
It is not as if the hostess does not announce the current number. The people who wait have a constant need to look over the hostess' shoulder to find out their place on the wait list.
What is the reasoning behind this phenomenon? Your guess is as good as mine.