Table Size and Counters for Eating Out

By: Masahiro Miyake  

This paper reports on a table size for eating out in France and Japan and discusses the different sizes. A table for eating out has different functions roles as compared with a table at home. Some societies place priority on meals for socializing around a table at home than eating out. For example, French society selects to enjoy meals at home for social life. However recently many Japanese don’t want to invite people to their home. Therefore they frequently use a table at restaurants. Social facts may be a reason for this contrast. I have researched table sizes in restaurants or cafe in France (118 tables) and Japan (365 tables) and have found significant difference between the two countries. Many Japanese restaurants provide tables for four people. The distance between the people is usually 75cm. Interpersonal distance could be relative to societal factors. Further Japanese meals consist of a variety of dishes served at the same time. In France, restaurants (except for a banquet) tend to use tables for two people, and that distance of the table size is relatively shorter than Japanese restaurants, In contrast to the French serving at home using a large size table, setting a pot at the center of the table. The social meanings of food diverge.

Culture, Table Size
Food, Politics, and Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Masahiro Miyake

Assc.Professor, Faculty of Human Environmental Sciences, Mukogawa Women's University, Japan
Hyogo, Japan