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Open Table reservation policy

Geoff Jul 29, 2013 02:25 PM

I've sent open table a message but maybe somebody in the Chowhound community knows - if i want a reservation at a restaurant that has a "one month to the date prior" restriction, at what time (East Coast) will the system let me make that reservation? thanks!

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    Bkeats RE: Geoff Jul 30, 2013 01:03 PM

    That is determined by the restaurant, not OT. For example, IIRC Eleven Madison opens its phone lines and OT at 9:00am 30 days before. In my experience, by 9:15 they're done. You may have to constantly hit refresh on OT as everyone else is doing the same thing if you are trying to get a reservation in a similar type place. Its advisable to also have the number on speed dial on your phone and call at the same time, hitting redial each time you get the busy signal. To get the exact time, maybe ask on the relevant regional board. Good luck.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Bkeats
      josephnl RE: Bkeats Jul 30, 2013 04:00 PM

      Typically OT opens its reservations at precisely the same time the restaurant starts taking telephone reservations. For a difficult reservation, I suggest checking with the restaurant for this exact date and time. If you have an American Express platinum card, I would definitely ask their concierge service to book the reservation for you. I've had wonderful luck with this at some of NYC's top tables.

      1. re: josephnl
        Bill Hunt RE: josephnl Jul 30, 2013 08:22 PM

        I agree completely.

        As some restaurants do NOT open all tables to OT, there can be issues. When we cannot find tables, though OT, we call the restaurant directly, and usually find that there are some available.

        OTOH, in some cases, AMEX Platinum Concierge HAS come through, like a table at the last minute at Restaurant Daniel in NYC, where I had hit a wall.

        I try to keep several options available, and usually, one can come through for me.


        1. re: Bill Hunt
          josephnl RE: Bill Hunt Jul 30, 2013 09:47 PM

          Good point about calling restaurant directly when OT fails. Also, it generally pays to accept an OT reservation even if it's not the time you want. Often a phone call to the restaurant can result in a change in time.

          And yes, I don't quite understand how Amex Platinum concierge gets it done, but they seem to have clout at some top places. (Even at $450/year the Amex Platinum card is a bargain. On a recent 3 night stay at the Four Seasons, Vancouver, between one free night, a $100 credit at their superb Restaurant Yew, and breakfast for 2 each day we saved $650 + had an upgrade to a deluxe suite and a late checkout!)

          1. re: josephnl
            Bill Hunt RE: josephnl Jul 31, 2013 07:09 PM

            Great point. We have done that, then called, to move to a time, that the restaurant had not released to OT.

            Some restaurants will ONLY release X tables to OT, so they may be available, they will not show up.

            AMEX Platinum Concierge CAN be a great asset, though not always. They are usually our second go-to.

            Thank you,


            1. re: Bill Hunt
              josephnl RE: Bill Hunt Jul 31, 2013 07:29 PM

              What's your first go-to...other than direct contact yourself?

              1. re: josephnl
                Bill Hunt RE: josephnl Jul 31, 2013 07:46 PM

                Normally, our first choice is OT, or the UK version, TopTable. We have tons of restaurant ideas, and usually start with those, with one of those two services. If things do not work out, and a call cannot fix it, then AMEX Platinum Concierge is our second choice.


                1. re: Bill Hunt
                  josephnl RE: Bill Hunt Jul 31, 2013 09:15 PM

                  Oh...of course, it's the same with me...OT, then AmExp. Thanks!

                  1. re: josephnl
                    Bill Hunt RE: josephnl Aug 1, 2013 06:53 PM

                    Depending on some other aspects, I might contact the hotel's/resort's concierge. Again, and depending, I have had some very good luck going that route.

                    In the distant past, I tried for The French Laundry, but every sting that I pulled, came back empty. I had given up, until I called the resort's concierge. She asked us to stop by her desk. She placed a call, and what I heard, went like this: "Yes, they are well-dressed. OK, how about 6:00PM? Fine." Done. Shoot, I had called in favors from everyone, who even knew of Chef Thomas Keller, and tried to use a meeting with him, at a culinary event at Disney, a couple of years before, as leverage. No go, but that concierge got it for us!

                    Last week, we were in Sydney, and staying at the Sydney Hilton. I had done a lot of research, mostly here, and had a list. The concierge, one Ben Thomas, took my list, and booked 8 nights of dining, even at some spots that claimed were booked of months. Could not have been easier for me, other than having to FAX several of those restaurants with some credit card info. Done. Great. A couple of e-mails, and a few FAX'es, and all was taken care of.

                    Different locations require different techniques, but I am with you - Open Table, or Top Table, then AMEX, then direct contact, then the concierge. I can only recall one time, that I failed with all of those resources, which is not bad.


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