Diners waste almost a day per year waiting to be seated at restaurants

–          The average time spent queuing for a table at a restaurant with a no booking policy is 27 minutes

–          British diners waste 21 hours a year – almost two months over a lifetime – queuing to be seated at restaurants

–          Almost 20% say the first thing they do after getting a table is sit down feeling annoyed at having to wait so long


London, April 21st 2015… Renowned for forming an orderly queue whenever the need arises, Brits certainly aren’t ones for pushing in line. In fact, the art of queuing is seen by many across the globe as one of the country’s most common traits, and new research by OpenTable has revealed that Brits are undeniably living up to this stereotype.

Research,1 released today by the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, has discovered that the average time spent queuing for a table at a restaurant with a no booking policy is 27 minutes – making up a quarter of the customers’ full dining experience.

With Brits on average eating out at least once a week, 89% of the time at a restaurant with a no booking policy, the tradition of patiently waiting in line means 21 hours of precious time is squandered each year, amounting to 55 days – almost two months – over a lifetime.2

The OpenTable research went on to reveal that almost 1 in 5 British diners think that restaurants with a no booking policy are annoying and almost 70% of Brits report that not being able to book at a restaurant doesn’t make it feel exclusive or high-end in any way.

Having to queue so long for a table can in fact have a negative effect on the dining experience – almost 20% of those surveyed admit the first thing they do after finally getting a table at a no booking policy restaurant is sit down feeling annoyed at having to wait so long.

Londoners are most likely (57%) to make a reservation before going out for a meal. Northern Ireland diners appear to be more accepting when it comes to having to wait for a table with 61% admitting they never book before dining out.

The Welsh seem to be the most patient among us, with residents admitting they are willing to wait almost 19 minutes for a table. Those in the East Midlands are not so patient, stating they would only be willing to wait for 16 minutes before abandoning the queue.

Mike Xenakis, Managing Director at OpenTable comments, “Most people in the UK lead busy lives and don’t want to waste valuable time queuing for a seat at a restaurant. Booking your table in advance eliminates the chance of having to queue which means you can spend more time enjoying the important things – great food, great atmosphere and great company.”

To reduce the amount of time you waste standing in queues, book your table quickly and easily via the OpenTable app or online at

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For more information or to talk to an OpenTable spokesperson please contact: / 020 7291 3041 / 020 7291 3030


Notes to Editors:

  1. 2000 people took part in the survey. Survey took place on 16th February 2015
  2. Based on eating out across 63.5 years on average – calculated by the ONS average life expectancy of 81.5 and paying to dine out from the age of 18

About OpenTable:

OpenTable, part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 16 million diners per month via online bookings across more than 32,000 restaurants. The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back. The OpenTable service enables diners to see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus, and other helpful information, and easily book a reservation. In addition to the company’s website and mobile apps, OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners, including many of the Internet’s most popular global and local brands. For restaurants, the OpenTable hospitality solutions enable them to manage their reservation book, streamline their operations, and enhance their service levels. Since its inception in 1998, OpenTable has seated more than 760 million diners around the world.  OpenTable is headquartered in San Francisco and available throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the UK.


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