In a square table the most important seats were once the one from the short sides.
In old time these seats would be the one of the king and queen!
But this is not the case!
There are two seats in particular you should know:
- The best seat is the one opposite of the room door. The most important guest sits there, opposite of the room door.
- The host, the one who organizes, the Chinese "maîtresse de maison", will sit with his back to the door. He or she order the dishes, talk to the waitress if necessary. And at the end he or she pays the bill!
When as a couple you invite guests to the restaurant, the wife sits with her back to the door. While her husband can take the best sit, facing the door.
Thus, the wife can take care of the service, while her husband animates the talks!
This is probably a little macho but many traditions are seen as "macho" with our modern perspectives.
As you can see in this traditionnal Chinese restaurant, the handkerchief for the seat close to the room door, looks like a swan. Thus this seat is probably more suitable for a woman!
While the handkerchief for the seat facing the door kind of matches a man!
While today few restaurant fold towels like this, it is a old traditionnal Chinese art and skill.