How To: Get A Tough Restaurant Reservation

It’s a common enough situation that most people can identify with it at one point or another. Unless you’re a celebrity or exceptionally wealthy, it can be incredibly difficult to secure a reservation at one of the hottest, newest, or most established restaurants in town, especially if you are doing so for the purposes of buttering up important clients, impressing first dates, or treating friends and family members to excellent dining experiences. Whatever the reason, the all too common result is that even once you manage to find a human being on the other end of the telephone line after waiting for well over half an hour for them to call you back, you might still have a slim to none chance of getting a good table–or even getting in for that matter.

There are a number of reasons why you might be having trouble securing that treasured reservation at that oh so fancy restaurant all your friends won’t stop talking about. For example, the restaurant may be a small one with only a few tables to choose from. It may be because the chef has become increasingly popular and every foodie in the country (or at least in the county) is already lined up outside the doors to check out what the restaurant has to offer. In other cases, it might simply be because the excellent restaurant you’re dying to get into places a higher priority on allowing celebrities like Brad and Angelina in instead of average Joes and Janes like you.

Whatever the reason, it can quickly become frustrating when you try to land that tough spot and get shot down time and time again. But before you give up and resign yourself to eating at Joe’s Crab Shack for the rest of your days, you should consider some of the following tips that just might help you find an open table at the hottest restaurant in town.

The first step to keep in mind when trying to land a tough restaurant reservation is to try to book your table in person. Whether it is a basic or a fancy restaurant, a restaurant will be far more likely to deal with you and make special accommodations if you take the trouble to show up in person when you are requesting a seat at a table. The restaurant will not only be more receptive to you since you made the effort to show up, showing up will give you the chance to talk to waiters and waitresses at the restaurant face to face, which will help you figure out other times and dates when you might be more likely to score good seats. At the very least, the next time you call, you will be able to ask for certain people by name, which is a good way in itself to get you in.

The second step to keep in mind when trying to land a tough restaurant reservation is to be persistent. If you’re doing this and reading this article you probably already knew that this was not going to be a simple task, so you should already be prepared to put in some face and phone time. If you are trying to land a restaurant that claims to only make table reservations a full month in advance, you should be prepared and on the phone from the first minute when they will take your calls. If you’re calling and they’re not answering, you should be redialing. If they pick up but don’t have the times you would prefer most, it’s up to you to exercise your flexibility and provide them with other times that would work. However, if you pursue this path, it is important to remember that there is a clear difference between being persistent and being obnoxious. The former will help you get in; the latter will not.