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Consolidated "Open Table" thread

Consolidated "Open Table" thread

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Old Dec 18, 15, 1:26 am   -   Wikipost
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opentable wiki

the basics:
1. create an account at opentable.com. i believe you assign your default metro area when you make your account.
2. use the website to find restaurants in the neighborhood of your choice. you can pick a specific neighborhood if you know it. there is a hidden map feature, accessed through an upside-down raindrop.
3. pick the location, time, and number of people in your party. note that some places impose min/max party size.
4. you can also find 1000-point times for certain locations, which appear on the list of times with a "+."

using points:
  • start here to access the list of restaurants that accept opentable gift cards.
  • gift cards are sent via email.
  • OT gift cards are either tied to a specific restaurant, or you can choose a generic card that can be redeemed later (if anyone has done this, please update the wiki as to whether you still have to choose the restaurant and redeem online)
  • note: the number of restaurants that accept OT gift cards is significantly smaller than the number of restaurants that award OT points.

tips and tricks:
  • if a location is not busy or the receptionist is forgetful, they might not remember to check you in, so it doesn't hurt to ask.
  • you often can be early or late and still get points, but the flexibility depends on the specific restaurant.
  • sometimes they can be flexible on the party size - this is particularly useful if it's just yourself (for places with a min of 2), or you have a large party.
  • if a place doesn't credit, usually an email to OT will get it credited. you might need a receipt as proof.
  • some places credit your points as soon as you check in with the restaurant, while some can wait until several hours later.
  • some restaurants allow reservations but do not award points. some have point-earning times and non-point-earning times. and some really sneaky places give points made through OT, but not through the OT/reservations link on the restaurant's own website. worse, they may set a "session cookie" that ensures your reservation is flagged "no points," so your best bet is to close and reopen your browser to reset the session cookie before making the reservation (or canceling and rebooking).
  • don't forget that OT has nothing to do with how you pay for a meal. so it "stacks" with chase first friday bonuses, rewards network, restaurant.com certificates, coupons, etc.
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Old Jan 5, 04, 3:20 pm
  #1  
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Consolidated "Open Table" thread

I have never used it. I came across it for some NY restaurants last night.

Anyone used it? Any advantage/disadvantage?

I put in one restaurant and all their reservation slots were 5:30 pm. I wondered if you have better/worse luck calling the restaurant directly?

Thanks
ALadyNCal is offline  
Old Jan 6, 04, 2:28 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Seattle, WA
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I haven't used it in quite some time, but the times I have used it, it worked great. I used to swear by it as I hate calling around for reservations.

My understanding is that it ties directly into the restaurants reservation system (which is what OpenTable is really selling) so that in theory there shouldn't be any difference between calling the restaurant and using the OpenTable website. That said, it can't hurt to talk directly the restaurant as they may be willing find a way to fit you in.

carlhaynes is offline  
Old Jan 8, 04, 11:34 am
  #3  
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I love it. It's really convenient to see a whole swathe of possibilities come up at once. I've never had a problem.

I'd only echo that it can be worth calling a place that doesn't show availability -- if you're set on a particular place or time -- because sometimes they'll still seat you.
gleff is offline  
Old Jan 9, 04, 2:24 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: NY
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Use it all the time. Just used it to make reservations for Restaurant Week in NYC.
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Old Jan 11, 04, 11:04 pm
  #5  
 
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We used it this weekend for Cafe Esin in San Ramon. We were a little busy and wanted to go out to eat, but I didn't have time to go to the city, so we went to Open Table and got in right away and since it was earlier, they gave us 1,000 points instead of 100, so it saved us $10! Worth a try if you're going to the place anyhow. Cafe Esin is noted for desserts, but the chocolate decadence was a bit dry, so they brought us extra raspberry, chocolate, and caramel sauces. The salmon was excellent.
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Old Jan 12, 04, 10:36 am
  #6  
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I like OpenTable because I frequently get to the "make reservations" task on my list in the morning and I don't have to worry about waiting until the restaurant is open to call. It is also great for seeing what availability looks like at several places rather than calling around to each and then having to decide.
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Old Jan 13, 04, 1:57 am
  #7  
 
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I've used it for places that were "full" when I called... Got to the restaurant no problem and they saw we had a reservation. So far so good.
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Old Jan 25, 04, 12:02 am
  #8  
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I have used it three or four times in DC with excellent results. Strangely enough, it never occurs to me to use it anyshere else, but this thread may remind me to use it.
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Old Jan 30, 04, 3:45 pm
  #9  
 
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i use it all the time and love it.

since this is flyertalk, I should add that they do give you "VIP" status after 12 reservations in one year. from my experience, this status means absolutely nothing.

snorkmaster is offline  
Old Feb 6, 04, 6:46 pm
  #10  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by NickP 1K:
I've used it for places that were "full" when I called... Got to the restaurant no problem and they saw we had a reservation. So far so good.</font>
I love OpenTable -- probably use it about once a week. But strangely, I had the opposite experience than Nick a couple weeks ago. A restaurant that I wanted to go to in the Bay Area was showing as booked on OpenTable, but when I called them they had no problem making the reservation.

The moral of the story? If it's booked on the phone, check OpenTable. If it's booked on OpenTable, give 'em a call. And if you're still hungry, c'mon down to Las Vegas, and I'll take you out for a 99 cent breakfast.
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Old Feb 6, 04, 7:46 pm
  #11  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by snorkmaster:
since this is flyertalk, I should add that they do give you "VIP" status after 12 reservations in one year. from my experience, this status means absolutely nothing.</font>
Is this calendar year or rolling 12 months?
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Old Feb 6, 04, 9:12 pm
  #12  
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I am an Open Table regular and swear by it. Not only for booking reservations in NYC where I live, but also out of town when I travel. Often times I make a reservation only an hour or two before I wish to dine in the hottest spots, where if you were to call there is nothing available. My wife tells me that I have forgotten to use Zagat's guide because of Open Table. In fact most of the OT restaurants have received great write-ups in the Zagat guide. "Restaurant Week" is another great perk of using OT, and often times I will meet fellow FT'ers for lunch during that time.
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Old Feb 6, 04, 9:47 pm
  #13  
 
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Calendar year.

Here's the Open Table blurb:

Welcome to the OpenTable VIP Program!

You reserved online, you dined, and now you've earned VIP status. VIP status is earned by seating 12 or more online reservations made via OpenTable.com in the current or previous calendar year. You are currently a VIP member in 2004 because you seated 12 or more online reservations in 2003 or to date in 2004.

Thank you for being one of OpenTable’s most valued members. Please enjoy the exclusive rewards created just for you!

VIP MEMBER BENEFITS
Restaurants know you are an OpenTable VIP. Your reservation is flagged with a special note
Periodic perks such as VIP invitations, premium offers, and more
Exclusive recognition on OpenTable.com for VIP Members
We greatly appreciate your loyalty and thank you for "opentabling" when you need restaurant reservations. We are 100% committed to providing you with an outstanding reservation experience.

Sincerely,
OpenTable VIP Member Services


<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by gleff:
Is this calendar year or rolling 12 months?</font>


[This message has been edited by snorkmaster (edited Feb 06, 2004).]
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Old Feb 6, 04, 11:10 pm
  #14  
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I use OpenTable from time to time. Very handy. And I've redeemed a couple of the $10 dining checks at participating restaurants with no problem.

Don't forgot about the 1,000-point bonuses offered (SF and NYC offer this -- don't know about other cities). Some OpenTable restaurants give you 1,000 points instead of only 100 for booking and dining at off-peak times. Check the website for details.

We should compile a list of restaurants that participate in BOTH OpenTable and idine. I know of one in San Francisco, and it even has the 1,000-point off-peak deal on some days! On second thought, if this information is shared too widely, the "deal" may disappear....


Kathy
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Old Feb 8, 04, 2:23 pm
  #15  
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i love opentable and use it frequently. i am a VIP member and have never really noticed any difference between opentable pre-VIP and post-VIP in terms of announcemetns (i.e., spam) and/or how i am treated at the restaurants.
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