Here's a new dating app: OpenTable

Illustration for article titled Here's a new dating app: OpenTable
Photo: nd3000 (iStock)

No luck on OK Cupid? No luck on Tinder? No luck on Plenty Of Fish, Bristlr, Coffee Meets Bagel, Bumble, Farmers Only, or Hinge? Sure, give OpenTable a whirl, because why not. OpenTable has launched a small program called OpenSeat—which is just in Virginia, for now—that pairs up single diners who want to be seated with another single diner.

It’s a partnership with Virginia’s Tourism Corp. (the “Virginia Is For Lovers” people), and it works like this: A diner makes an OpenTable reservation at participating restaurants, writes “OpenSeat” in the special requests section, and gets paired up with another solo diner. Oh, and the table gets a free appetizer. Romance! (OpenTable notes that groups of any size can participate and ask to be seated with another person or people, so they’ve got swingers covered, I guess.)


The official line from OpenSeat is that it could be used for non-romantic meet-ups, too: “The OpenSeat program wasn’t necessarily created to make love connections between strangers (though, that would be a cool story if it happened!)” So yeah, if you’re a person who likes eating alongside random people—totally platonically!—I guess you could use it for that, too.

I don’t mind dining by myself, and rolling the dice on a random stranger seems like it would take a lot of social fortitude. But hey, at least you’d know you have similar taste in restaurants. (And if it doesn’t work out, The Takeout has your back.)

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.


Can you leave a review of your random dining companion?

“Ate with mouth open, would not share table with again.”

“Rolled eyes while i explained my various allergies, sensitivities, dietary restrictions, preferences, and dislike for all things red and crispy (but not crunchy).”

“Brought own monogrammed thermos, requested server to fill it up. Who does that?”

“Had a lovely dinner. Followed them home from a discrete distance, will see again.”