How to get a good table at a restaurant

Confidence and communication are the keys to getting a good table at a restaurant, as this simple guide explains.

Just ask

State any special requirements when you make the booking, advises a former editor of The Good Food Guide. Be specific, and if you want, for instance, a table on the terrace or by the window, just ask for it.

speak up

Of course, promises made on the phone are not always passed on to the waiting staff. So if you asked for a terrace table and they're all full when you arrive, complain to the manager. You may not get what you requested, but you're more likely to be seated somewhere good or be compensated in some other way. And if, when you arrive, you decide you don't like the table you specified, act quickly. Most places are happy to move you, if possible.

build a rapport

Once you've been to a restaurant a few times and built up a good rapport with the staff, getting the right table can become as simple as just asking for your usual spot.

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