How to make those hard-to-get restaurant reservations with some handy apps
The age of smartphones has changed the way restaurant reservations are made. No longer do customers want to wait on hold, stand in line or exchange emails to book tables at their favourite eateries. Now, it’s a matter of utilizing the most effective mobile apps to ensure a great dining experience.
There isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all app to cover all the bases that go into booking reservations at upscale restaurants. Depending on where you live and how much you travel, one or more of the following apps will arm you with the tools you need for dining in style.
Anybody who lives in San Francisco and enjoys dining in style knows that reservations at the top restaurants need to be made weeks or months in advance. But, it’s impractical for people with busy work schedules and family lives to do that. Luckily, Table 8 can help you get seated at these fine-dining establishments mere hours or days in advance.
The Android and iPhone app pre-books reservations and sells them to users for a fee (typically $20). The app makes sense for frequent travelers and foodies. Table 8 currently services only San Francisco and Los Angeles, but will be adding Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and Washington D.C. in the near future.
Similar to Table 8, BeeLine functions as a concierge service for last-minute reservations. In comparison, BeeLine covers far more cities and creates partnerships with numerous restaurants to provide users a first-class experience. Whether you want to meet the chef at certain restaurants or book a last-minute dinner date, BeeLine eliminates the need to make a bunch of phone calls or send a bunch of emails to get everything lined up.
BeeLine members are treated as VIPs when they arrive at their destination by the maitre d’. Those with updated, recognizable profile pictures will be identified almost immediately and called by name.
The Open Table database contains over 20,000 restaurants in North America that can be sorted by price, Yelp rating and type of cuisine. All you have to do is enter the number of people in your party and the time you wish to dine. Open Table displays all available open reservations based on the criteria you enter and allows you to book it instantly.
The best part about this app, particularly for those with large screen smartphones like the iPhone 6, is that you can look at detailed photos of each restaurant’s top dishes before making a decision. Plus, the calendar feature lets you manage all your reservations and sends you reminders via email or text.
The New York Times refers to the competition between customers in the Big Apple among upscale restaurants as “cutthroat.” It has become a pay-for-play black market for premium tables, but without the restaurant owners getting their cuts. Resy addresses both issues.
Customers can now book last-minute reservations at New York’s (and now Los Angeles’) finest restaurants for a fee. Restaurants form relationships with Resy and split the profits on what the premium diners pay for those hot tables. It is similar to scalping for tickets, but since the restaurant owners sign on with them, it’s perfectly within the bounds of their business operations.