Read up on some posts and books. Restaurant work can be really rewarding. I'll just give you some comments...
I want to do restaurants but I still feel like I have no idea exactly what I'm getting into.
Then you aren't ready. That's not to say, you can't do it. If you have some routines set, and become educated on the subject, a restuarant, as I found, can really help you improve your work, as with any walkaround enviroment.
When performing on stage, lets say you have a 45 min show, you perform your show, you can always improve, but its a very separated perfomance, from the time you can reflect. With walkaround, you literally have 10 . . .15, 20, 30 performance, of mostly the same tricks. You literally pick up on exactly what works and what doesn't after a night. Something that you'd never get from performing for friends, family and a mirror once in a while.
The repeition is what is awesome, I have NEVER performed a night without learnign some new, or forming my performance, evolving something new in my routine etc. And I find you are 1-on1 with so many different styles of people, so you can even learn directly from them, seeing feedback from tens of people all within minutes, and hour etc. My point with all this is, well... you don't need to be PERFECT to perform. Bring your skills up to a reasonable standard and no matter who you are, you can always improve. Restaurants are awesome for that.
what would you do right after working a table? Go directly to another one?
What if you need to reset an effect? Go to the bathroom? Wouldn't it be slightly awkward to go to the bathroom after every table?
I have *tried* to perform with tricks. Sometimes I might buy something and want to try it out. I find I will instantly kick that out of my repretoire and go back to the basics. What I always found works.
Basically, you'll find yourself not worrying about this, as you will quickly learn your tricks are ones that dont need set-up. if you cant put the deck back into its case and be ready, you probably won't be doing that card trick... trust me.
After working one table, would you then move directly to the next table over if they're also waiting on food? Do you just sort of wander around looking for a foodless table so you'll know that they are waiting for their order?
I wouldn't say wander, but take a look and go to the next avaialbe table, sometimes you'll see obvious suspects. ones that have been staring you down. Go check 'em out
sometimes thats right beside you, sometimes not. Does it matter who you go to next? I tend to criss cross to not go table 1 to table 2 to table 3. I don't have a pattern, but I just keep it mixed up a bit, to make sure I cover all sections.
Is there ever a time where most everyone in the place is already eating so there really isn't anyone to perform for at the moment?
Yes, that can happen, so find someone that wants to see your magic, sometimes people request you to come back to their table, so why not? Go show them some more magic, and surely there will be someone who would like to see magic. As a rule of thumb, its better to perform for someone without food, but that doens't mean that everyone will get offended if you ask them while they are getting some food or just finnishing up. You tend to learn who these people are with time.
werd to thy mother.