What Makes The Perfect Table?

With two thirds of us saying we’ve asked to change tables in a restaurant, OpenTable has revealed what makes the perfect table (and it’s all about how close we are to other people)

With two thirds of diners (66%) admitting they have requested to be seated on a different table and one in 10 going as far as to claim that they do this almost every time they visit a restaurant, OpenTable, the world’s leading online restaurant booking platform, has conducted research into what exactly makes the ‘best seat in the house’.Booking platform OpenTable, has conducted research into what exactly makes the ‘best seat in the house’.

Two thirds (61%) of diners revealed that the table being near the window makes for the perfect dining experience, two in five claimed a tablecloth is a must-have and a table overlooking the whole restaurant was said to be important by more than a quarter (26%). Additional OpenTable research found that restaurateurs and diners alike are also fans of rustic wooden tables above all other styles (38%). UK diners prefer their dining experiences to have as calming an ambience as possible with over half (57%) saying that a restaurant with a sea view is the ideal location.

While the location of a table is the main factor affecting UK diners’ experiences, modern décor (36%), fresh flowers and plants (33%) also contribute to the perfect restaurant ambience.

Additional OpenTable research found that the perfect number of fellow diners is up to ten, with two thirds (67%) of the nation saying this was the ideal number. Shying away from the trend for communal tables, almost half of Brits (44%) claim they do not enjoy dining with strangers on a long table.

OpenTable’s survey of restaurateurs revealed that cramped seating is the most frequent reason diners give when asking to move tables, closely followed by being seated next to a draughty door. One third (36%) say customers ask to move because of a noisy table being too close. In fact, 4 in 5 (84%) Brits prefer a small, intimate atmosphere to a bustling one, and half (49%) say, if possible, their perfect distance from the next table would be around 4-5 feet.

Adrian Valeriano, Vice President, Europe, OpenTable, comments, “The table you sit at is quite literally the centerpiece of any dining experience. From rustic wooden benches to marble table tops and communal eating arrangements, we all know what we like and more importantly, don’t like! Whether you prefer the window seat or a tucked away booth, our advice to diners is always to be honest with the restaurant team, let them know which table you’d like to be seated at from the outset to make the most of your experience!”