(a) When we arrived, there was / were no people at the restaurant.
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When we arrived, there was no one in the restaurant
You go to a place where people go. There's no one there.
Do you say "How odd. There are no people here" or "How odd. There's no one here"?
(Again, I'm not arguing the correctness of the first. Only the naturalness.)
People are waiting to help.
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