I would say I make sure my table is set 90% of the time when the entire family is going to sit down for a meal together. I also use a cloth tablecloth on the dining room table at least 95% of the time when serving a meal in the dining room.
As a newly wed I did try cloth placemats for awhile. I also know I had cloth napkins at some point. I think I want them again.
Is it work? A labor of love? A habit?
I think a set table matters visually and hope it says to the diner, "I care about you and the food experience you are about to have here."
This was the table at my sister's house for my birthday last year - a casual taco meal was dressed up with a festive table and margarita glasses. How fun and fabulous!
The setting below is a bit fancier, also at my sister's house for a holiday...
I've yet to learn how to fold the fancy cloth napkins like fans!
Two heads of table chairs - side by side. A laid back starter course for Thanksgiving.
Clusters of red carnations as a centerpiece with a second bunch at the other end of the table.
Cloth tablecloths are also brought along if we are going to eat in the park and I throw one on the patio table in the summer. It adds to the whole experience for me.
I like to remember special event tables as well...
So, does a set table matter when it comes to feeling Fed Well? Probably not really, but it does fancy things up a bit and tulips never hurt anyone!