The poor waiter. I know from my interview with the purveyor of Butlers to the cruise industry Why do Cruise Ships have Butlers
that they teach waiters in synchronized service (I think you call it butterfly service?) - all he was saying is that there is more food served per table at a table for 8. I assume he saying the challenge is getting everyone at the table "synchronized.
I have asked the same questions of waiters - "what do you do when three people order salads but not appetizer, two people order appetizers but no soup or salad, four people order soup and salad, one person orders, soup, salad and an appetizer... see?
I have noticed a trend on cruise ships lately to shorten the number of courses on the menu - they put the soups & salads in with the appetizers, for example. They probably did that to save time.
Now - I assume of you wanted to memorize rules (like counting cards in BJ) you could come up with a system to always have a course for everyone at the 8-top, but in reality it seems half the people are eating while the other half are waiting.