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Get that outdoor table. 

Caitlin Petreycik
August 08, 2018

OpenTable wants to eliminate those stressful few seconds when you show up to a restaurant (with a reservation), give your name to the host, suddenly think to ask, "Hey, would it be possible to sit outside?" and wait as they squint at the seating chart, your fate in their hands. Starting today, the online reservation network will offer users the option to book their favorite table at select restaurants (as of right now, about one third of the businesses that use OpenTable are on board). 

While, yes, this feature should help you avoid that slow-burn of dread as you're led past the good tables and finally arrive at your spot right outside of the restroom, or next to a drafty door, it's also beneficial to restaurants who want to maximize every seat in the house. Participating dining venues can label each available spot on their floor plan as either standard, bar, high top, outdoor or counter—meaning that if there's a single bar stool up for grabs, the person who really just wants to order a glass of wine, try, like, three different appetizers, and read their book will be able to find it. Similarly, that diner who refuses to sit near the kitchen won't need to follow up their online reservation with a phone call to the venue and a back-and-forth with the host. 

You can try out OpenTable's new booking options across desktop and mobile web, as well as on the OpenTable iOs and Android apps. Want to give it a go but stuck on restaurant ideas? Just last week, OpenTable unveiled their list of the 50 best Southern restaurants in the country (spoiler: two of them are in New York City, although 44 of the 50 spots that made the cut are south of the Mason Dixon line). Or, check out OpenTable's roundup of the 100 most scenic restaurants in America, and really put that new ability to book a window seat to use.