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5 Tips for Making Restaurant Reservations


Have you ever arrived at a restaurant, excited to sit down and finally eat, only to find out that you have to wait over an hour for a table? No one likes that. No matter if you're on a tight schedule or if you want to have a relaxing night out, making restaurant reservations can help you make the most out of your dining experience. Whether you want to dine out on a regular night or even for a special holiday, we've listed 5 tips on how to make a dinner reservation.

1. Know How Many People Are In Your Party

Once you've decided which restaurant you want to book, get a number of how many people are in your party. This is one of the first question's you'll be asked when calling for a reservation. If your party is on the larger side, it will be harder to get a table, whereas if your party is smaller, it will be easier. If the restaurant you want to reserve is popular or small, you may want to consider booking earlier than normal to make sure they will have space for you and all your friends.

It is also a good idea to assume that everyone who is interested in coming will make it. Book the table including everyone, even if they aren't sure if they can make it. This will make things easier for the restaurant. After all, it is better to have an empty seat rather than trying to add a chair when there aren't anymore spots.

2. Call Early

man sitting, smiling, and talking on the phone

When considering a restaurant reservation, you should call as early, before the date you want to reserve, as possible. Usually a few days will suffice, but during busier holidays and prime hours, getting a reservation will be more difficult. If this is the case, try to call at least a week in advance.

Of course, the day of the week will also have an impact on the restaurants availability. Weekends are bound to be busier than weekdays, and nights tend to be busier than mornings. If all else fails, make sure you have a backup date or restaurant in case there is no availability.

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3. Call to Confirm

After you call and get your reservation, you should make sure you call to confirm your reservation a few days before. This will give you some peace of mind in knowing that your reservation is ready and waiting. Calling also gives you the opportunity to ask any outstanding questions you have or make specific requests.

If you are unfortunate enough to find that there are problems with your reservation when you call, this gives you time to make other plans if you need to.

4. Show Up Early

golden clock on wood table

Have you ever heard the saying, "If you're early, you're on time...if you're on time, you're late...if you're late, don't even bother showing up"? This statement, said by Lombardi, carries weight in the restaurant business. When arriving for your restaurant reservation, be sure to arrive about 10-15 minutes early. This will give the hostess time to let other's know you've arrived and ensure that your table won't be given to someone else.

If, despite your best efforts, you find yourself running late, call the restaurant and let them know. Most times, restaurants allow a short window of 15-20 minutes of wait time before giving your table away. If you are running later than that, consider rescheduling your dinner.

5. Be Polite

thank you wooden block with lights

When making your reservation, the most important thing to remember is to be polite. When talking on the phone to a hostess or another employee at the restaurant, you want to be courteous and confident. Don't sound entitled to a reservation and be accommodating if the restaurant doesn't have any availability. 

Respect shouldn't end after you have your reservation either. Always be polite when you call and when you arrive. Thank the employees and be kind to them. This will paint you in a positive light and you will be welcomed back if you return.

These tips will aid you in successfully making a restaurant dinner reservation. Remember to be flexible and understanding.

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