The survey of 1,500 people from the online restaurant booking platform also revealed that two-thirds of diners (66%) admitted they had requested to be seated on a different table. One in 10 went so far as to claim that they do this almost every time they visit a restaurant.
While the table location was the main factor, modern décor (36%) and fresh flowers and plants (33%) were also seen as contributing to the perfect restaurant ambience.
Of those surveyed, two in five claimed that a tablecloth was a must-have and a table overlooking the whole restaurant was said to be important by more than a quarter (26%).
UK diners said they preferred their dining experiences to have as calming an ambience as possible with over half (57%) saying that a restaurant with a sea view was the ideal location.
The research also found that the perfect number of fellow diners considered acceptable was up to 10, with two thirds (67%) of the nation saying this was the ideal number. Almost half of Brits (44%) claimed they did not enjoy dining with strangers on a long table.
OpenTable’s survey of operators also revealed that cramped seating was the most frequent reason diners gave when asking for a table move. This was closely followed by being seated next to a draughty door.
One third (36%) said customers asked to move because of a noisy table being too close. In fact 84% of Brits said they preferred a small, intimate atmosphere to a bustling one.
“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,” said Adrian Valeriano, vice-president, Europe.
“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.”