Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How-To: Book Reservations at Tickets


Note: Reservation instructions have changed from 2011 (changes are in red). Please refer to the booking website for the latest information on how to secure a reservation.

I always have a strategy when it comes to booking reservations to highly sought-after restaurants. A seat at Jose Andre's 6-seat miniBar, done it. Alinea, done it TWICE. Lotus of Siam, many times with zero waiting. El Celler De Can Roca, yup I got one! The French Laundry is another story but I have gotten into the phone queue within 10 minutes every time.

The key to success: RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH

The next reservation I plan on obtaining is for Ferran Adria's newest restaurant in Barcelona called
Tickets. The restaurant recently opened a few months ago but seats are nearly gone every day. Dining at Tickets is probably the closest I'll ever get to having dishes from elBulli.

To prepare my strategy to book a reservation, I first read the
fine print on the Ticket's website. It states:

How to book

1

Click on the Bookings button in this website.


2

Choose a date in black and click on it (if there are no dates in black it means that there isn’t any availability, and you will have to wait until another day is opened for bookings or until a cancellation is made).


3

Fill in the booking form.


4

Once the reservation is made, you will receive confirmation via SMS and e-mail.


Note

A

It is only possible to make a reservation within 60 days.


B

Everyday a new day will become available for booking in 2-months-time (for example, at the end of the 31.03.2013, there will be 100 80 seats available for the 29.05.2013).


C

There are 100 new seats available for our clients every day.
Every night at 12 am there are 80 places at our clients’ disposal.


D

It is not possible to book by email or telephone. You can only book in our website option, through the site El Tenedor.

It seems straight forward but it's not. First of all, the 90 60 day reservation window does not mean 3 2 months to the calendar day (for example: Book on August 5, 2011 for October 5, 2011). It's actually 90 60 days from the date of the reservation. So basically I needed to calculate what that date would be. I found a date calculator website to calculate 90 60 days from the reservation date. It can be found here. Enter the date of the reservation, subtract 90 60 days and click on "Calculate New Date!". For example, to book a reservation on Oct 5, 2011, I have to book it on July August 6, 2011 local time.

Next, 100 80 new seats are available at the start of the day which is 12:00am local time. Now I have to calculate what 12:00am local time is in my time zone. I used another website to convert the time zone from Spain/Barcelona to U.S. Pacific standard time. 12:00am local time is 3:00pm PST the day before.

Finally, I tested this theory. Around 3pm to 5pm PST, I would check the reservation book to see what was available. For a Tuesday reservation, I saw a few openings from 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm, 10:00pm. I believe the prime time for dinner in Barcelona is 10:00pm local time. I would suspect weekend dates (Friday-Sunday) are probably harder to get than during the week. Fortunately, a credit card is not needed to book a reservation. I assume the demand is much greater than the supply. I believe a few seats are available each night for walk-ins but I bet the line for this will be long.

So my strategy is to book two reservations for two separate days. If I don't get either day, my back up plan is to contact the concierge at the Hotel Arts of Barcelona to see if they can some how book reservations in my behalf. That's it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one.

2 comments:

Angela Killpack said...

But if you make the reservation, doesn't that guarantee you a spot at the restaurant? I haven't really looked around your blog yet, but I like the idea! I hope your reservation pulled through.

Angela | http://hottunavirginiabeach.com/reservation/

Daniel Hussey said...

this is a great post

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