The Lowdown: The perfect table

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Lowdown: The perfect table
Booking giant OpenTable claims to have identified the formula for the best seat in the house following a poll of its users.

Not too near the bogs and not too near the door?

Not a bad strategy but it’s a little more complicated than that. OpenTable claims to have identified the formula for the best seat in the house after polling diners. Brits apparently favour a round table by a window overlooking the entire restaurant. Perhaps most surprisingly, they want it covered in a tablecloth.

Tablecloths? I thought they’d been consigned to the laundry bin of history...

Apparently not, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the 1,500 people surveyed were all OpenTable customers. The bookings giant also found that its users aren’t fans of the recent trend for communal tables, with almost half claiming to not enjoy dining with strangers on a long table. It’s unclear whether or not a round table would make communal dining more palatable. Incidentally, the perfect distance from another table is four to five feet.

What a sociable bunch they are...

Indeed. 84% prefer an intimate atmosphere to a bustling one and 67% of respondents believe that the perfect number of fellow diners is up to 10.

Anything else?

It won’t come as much of a surprise to those at the coalface that the dining public are a fussy bunch. Two thirds of diners admit that they have requested to be seated on a different table and one in 10 do it almost every time they visit a restaurant, the swines.

What are the most common reasons to ask to switch tables?

OpenTable looked to restaurateurs for the answer to that. Cramped seating is the most frequent reason diners give when asking to move tables, closely followed by being positioned next to a draughty door and being seated next to a noisy table. So in summary, limit your total number of diners to 10, fish your tablecloths out the bin, ban talking and watch the money roll in. Or not.

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