Friday, September 16, 2011

How To: Book Reservations OUS

Since July, I've been busy booking lunch and dinner reservations nonstop for our international travels. As of now, I'm still booking reservations! In my experience, restaurants outside the U.S. seem to be A LOT easier to book than, I dunno, the French Laundry! Next Restaurant is another story. I've already given up on that.

Anyways, I realized that there wasn't a comprehensive site to give me tips on how to land these coveted reservations. Shit, it's hard work! Some days I have to wake up early in the morning (I don't like waking up early), to call a damn phone line and to allow it to ring for 15 minutes before someone picks up and says, "Sorry loser, we're booked." So I decided to add another tab on this site to help people like me out. I'll even take an extra step and CALL the restaurant to ASK, "How do I make a reservation here?" Seriously, this stuff is important.

For example, Alinea. Ok, so I've dined there two times already but that was back in 2009. Times change, there are more crazy people out there that will pay large sums of money to eat there. So now what? Well, three months prior, I called the restaurant to make sure the information on my file was current and I asked when the books open for reservations in November. I already knew it was something like 2 months prior BUT I wanted to make sure. As I suspected, it was two months prior but on the FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH. So for the entire month of November, I had to call on September 1st at 10am CST. It's no surprise that when I called at 8:55am PST (9:55am CST), the line was busy. Oh hell no! So what did I do? I woke up, got dressed and went to work. I called them back at 11am PST (1pm CST). I actually got through on the first ring and booked a reservation.

So what was the difference? I avoided the "crazies" calling at 10am CST who were trying to book all of the Saturday reservations for the entire month of November. Lessons learned: If you want to dine at Alinea, book a day during the week or Sunday. THE END.

See, no one would never have known that if I didn't write about it.

Of the reservations that I booked this summer, Tickets in Barcelona was probably the trickiest. Something like 90 days prior (not to the day) and I had to book it at 12am local time (3pm PST). Tickets had the same online reservation concept as Next Restaurant but I wasn't competing against millions of Americans compared to maybe a 100 people around the world. Big difference there. I kinda feel sorry for tourists visiting the U.S. Like, how do you get reservations among the "crazies"?


Post a Comment