What a joke... Even if the place is busy it is no excuse for poor service. The management should know how to staff their restaurant so the service is up to par.
When a restaurant automatically adds gratuity they owe it to the customer to be worthy of such by giving great service no matter how busy they are.
Had the wait staff at least made sure their table was properly set before they were seated they would not have to have gotten their own silverware. When I was in the business I used to send a round of drinks or offer to comp desert for the table IF there was a wait. It's fairly inexpensive and helps let the customer know you appreciate their business.