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Sep 30, 2012 08:38 AM

OpenTable--Strategy For A Difficult Reservation

I'm getting ready to try to book a reservation at very popular restaurant that only takes reservations 28 days in advance starting at 9AM. I've been watching the reservations and can see that within 10 minutes they are completely booked.

Booking the reservation requires a credit card which slows down the process of getting the reservation.

My question....should I book a reservation a few days in advance and then "modify" it so that the credit card information, table, etc are already in the system?

Thank you!

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  1. I use OT extensively. Be sure to check with the restaurant in advance and be certain that you know the precise date and time that they will begin to accept reservations for when you want to come in. If it's in another city, be certain to take time zones into account. Go online at precisely the starting time and unless the restaurant is playing games (holding many tables at best times for "special" guests), you should be able to get what you want. I'm pretty sure that the credit card info is generally requested after the reservation time is selected...but if in some restaurants they ask for it up front, everyone else will be facing the same delay and the 20 seconds it takes enter the number is unlikely to be an issue. I have used OT to get reservations at some of the hottest places in NYC and I've only once failed to get what I wanted. Another hint...if you can't get the exact time you want, take what you can get...and then call the restaurant every few days to see if you can change the time.

    3 Replies
    1. re: josephnl

      Thank you. It is 28 days in advance starting at 9AM. I'm really hoping this works out. Everyone has been looking forward to this for over a year! I'll just type as fast as I can.

      1. re: DaisyM

        When you say everyone, it worries me. Many restaurants limit the size of the party they will accept on OT...sometimes to 6, but often to 4! Check with the restaurant in advance. You may need to make your res by phone!! Good luck...and let us know what happens.

        1. re: josephnl

          Yes, I've spoken to them. We're going to be a group of 5, but Opentable only offers a 4 or 6 option. The restaurant told me to book a 6 and then to call them and reduce it to 5.

    2. Something you can try to speed the process up is to have all of your info (name, phone number, etc) typed up in an Excel spreadsheet document before the reservation time. Then if you have your browser sized to half your monitor, and Excel to the other half, you can quickly click the correct cell in Excel, copy, click the corresponding box in the reservation menu, and paste. This is how I sign up for vending at large conventions or art shows as sometimes their vendor spots sell out in 90 seconds or less.