Community Table, Part I: Sit as Strangers, Leave as Friends

One of my favorite breakfast spots is First Watch.  Sure, it’s great for family brunch out and the food is tasty and very consistent.  However, not surprisingly, they get pretty busy.  The best way to cut down on wait time is to “get in line” in advance through the restaurant’s mobile app, No Wait.

That said, not long ago, First Watch implemented a new type of seating opportunity – The Community Table.

Suffice it to say, I love the Community Table.  And, it is just like it sounds – essentially, it’s open seating.  If there is an empty seat, you’re welcome to it no matter when you arrived at the restaurant.  The caveat:  You’ll likely be sitting with other members of the community – people you probably don’t know when you take that seat.  But, WOW!  The possibilities… as First Watch says, “Sit as Strangers.  Leave as Friends.”

I know what you’re thinking:  Why would I want to sit with someone I don’t know?  My response:  Why not?  I find that you discover some of the most interesting, coolest folks around.

Once at the Community Table, my son and I met a former FBI agent.  Another time, we were thrilled to actually know our dining companions – the parents of a friend from preschool.  We’d never “gone out” socially with them and, boy, did we have fun that morning at breakfast!

Sure, if you want to grab the newspaper or bury your nose in text messages or Words with Friends, that is certainly your prerogative, but I challenge you to give the COMMUNITY aspect of the Community Table a try.  You never know, you might end up with a new friend for life… a job opportunity… or that perfect bit of information that you would never have acquired had you not been courageous enough to sit at the Community Table.

Do you know of other Community Tables in your neck of the woods?  I know there are several in large cities (check out the Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC and Eataly in Chicago for starters).  Do you have a local favorite to share?  Please take a moment to comment at

Next week:  Another kind of Community Table for your consideration.

Happy Networking!

4 thoughts to “Community Table, Part I: Sit as Strangers, Leave as Friends”

  1. A brilliant concept! It’s like bellying up to the bar but you get to face another guest. Absolutely love it, especially in our individualistic culture, where (whether people believe it or not,) we need community and connection!

    1. Hi, Laura! Yes, to my knowledge, all First Watch Restaurants have a Community Table. Check it out and let me know about your experience. Cheers! — Alana

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