HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


Restaurants; Square Tables vs. Round Tables

I was just wondering, is there a psychological difference between square tables and round tables in restaurants? Also, which one do you prefer?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Come to think of it, I really don't have a preference. Good question!

    1. Don't care.

      Except if there is a large group when I would always prefer a round table as I can hear folk better - if they're off down the end of a rectangular one, then I can't (yes, I know you asked about square and I've answered about rectanguler - sorry)

      1. for small parties, 4 people or less, I prefer square. While they probably have the same amount of room my anal brain likes the appearance of even spacing. For bigger parties I prefer round as I think it helps with conversation.

        1. I think restaurants prefer square so they can move them together if they have a large party.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Philly Ray

            Bingo! You won't see round table at a place that needs rearranging and flexibility with seating.

          2. I'll take a circle over a square or rectangle any time, for any purpose. It's just philosophically and psychologically more meaningful, spiritually more powerful.

            1. I agree with foodieX2.

              If it's a party of 4 or less, I prefer square. Everyone is visible for conversations, and those corners give you a little extra elbow or food room. More than 4, round is the way to go.

              1. Square for small (4 and under), round for larger.

                1. I prefer square tables for small groups, and round tables for large groups with shared food (aka Chinese banquets). For large groups without shared food, I would go for a long rectangular table, because you have more people you can easily talk to than a large round table, where you're stuck with the people on either side of you and no one else.

                  1. This is actually a great question and one I've never thought about when dining out, since most tables are square or in the case of a large group, rectangular. That being said with any group over four, a round table is the way to go if possible. With four, it's comfortable to have everyone in a box, but when there are more people, there becomes that awkward thing about who sits at the ends. I recently went out to dinner with 15 people and we were set up at tables lined up. I happened to sit at one end and couldn't hear anything that five of my dinner guests were saying. It was not enjoyable.

                    1. I really like the square tables that have flip up sections to convert to round.
                      The tables for 4 at our area diners have these. When the kids were real small, we'd leave them down on the kids' places so that a high chair could be pulled close to the able. Now, with a 90+ yo mother in a wheelchair, we leave hers down and she wheels in close and the rest of us have the round sections up for more room.

                      1. You've never heard of the 'knights of the square table'.' LO
                        Lots of 'literature' about the differences in seating people at different shaped tables.

                        1. I hate too small tables and pedestal tables. But other than that I don't care about the shape.