I dated this guy from the 90210 zip code that would complain to the hostess if he didn’t get the table he wanted when we went out to dinner. One night at Spago’s, we had to switch tables three times. Our first table was a booth by window looking into the kitchen. The second tables was in the middle of the restaurant. The final table was on a raised platform overlooking the restaurant. To me the first table was good enough to serve us the meal. I come from a background that I’m thankful for what I’m given. I was given a table and eventually I’ll be given a delicious meal that I didn’t gave to cook and I won’t have to wash the dishes. Plus, I was grateful that we could get a table without a reservation. But his idea of being seated at a restaurant was getting the best seat in the house. Was the third table really a better table than the first?
Some restaurants have a designated table that denotes the guest is extra special. This is usually the table with the best view. Sometimes it’s raised a little higher or has the best view overlooking the skyline. Other prestigious tables are set up in the kitchen, a chef’s table. The guests that sit at those tables normally pay a premium and get a tasting menu and extra special delicacies from the chef.
Those tables are designed so that other patrons look at that guest with envy. Part of paying premium for that table is that everyone else thinks, “I wish I could be them.” And that’s what our insecurities has brought us: jealously. We all know it and have felt it, from probably both sides. At one time we were the guests sitting at the best table wanting all the attention. Other times, we sitting begrudgingly wanting to sit at the best table.
I used to do this at nightclubs all the time – wanting to sit at the best table. Eventually, I just invited myself to sit at the other better tables. And from the outside, these appear to be the best tables, but they really weren’t. The best tables were the ones that my friends were making fools out of themselves.
It translated the same at the restaurants. Regardless of location or chairs or booths, I want to sit at a table with people that enjoy each others’ company. The focus should be on the table that you are sitting at, not wanting to be somewhere else. I bet that the meal on your table tastes like the meals on the other tables. Taking the time to focus on your dinner and your company and appreciate that you have the best seat in the house.