(Credit: Helena Lopes)

Online restaurant reservation service OpenTable is upping the ante on its offerings and now lets diners book their favorite table at a restaurant before arriving.

Previously, people were at the mercy of hosts who could easily take your reservation and place you anywhere they had space, leaving many frustrated with areas of the restaurant that they did not like.

With OpenTable's new feature, about one third of all restaurants in the app will allow you to pick a section in the restaurant with your reservation, saving you the hassle of trying to haggle with hosts struggling to fit everyone in and keep everyone happy.

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The app is available on desktops, iOS, and Android devices, and OpenTable offers a number of other features with their service.

"OpenTable's Seating Options functionality is a win-win for guests and operators alike," said Kristopher Collins, Operations Manager and Maître D'Hôtel for the Restaurant La Banane in Toronto.

"Guests have greater control and access to seating. Restaurants can optimize their revenue and offer distinct dining experiences."

It frequently releases lists on the most popular or trendy restaurants in its service, harnessing the power of their 12 million active users. Over 46,000 restaurants are signed up to the service across all 50 states and Washington D.C.

OpenTable also serves a range of international cities -- including London, Mexico City, Tokyo, and Melbourne -- and handles a variety of languages, such as Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

Since opening in 1998, OpenTable claims to have facilitated 1.6 billion diners via online reservations around the world and they now seat 25 million diners every month.

"With Seating Options, diners have the flexibility and freedom to make each dining experience exactly what they desire, whether it's an awesome scene by the bar or a quiet spot outdoors," Joseph Essas, Chief Technology Officer at OpenTable, said in a press release.

"It's also a powerful tool for restaurants, who can now offer diners even more choice, while maximizing every seat in the house."

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  1. OpenTable now lets you reserve specific tables, saving you time and helping businesses market more spots at their restaurant.
  2. The service is available at about one third of the 46,000 restaurants signed up to OpenTable

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Jonathan Greig is a Contributing Writer for He's a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.