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How to Get a Reservation at Sought-after Restaurants, According to Resy

Photo: Courtesy of Middle Grey Studios
Photo: Courtesy of Middle Grey Studios

Reservation demand at restaurants is at an all-time high. In fact, in March 2023, Resy, a digital dining platform, logged the most reservations that it has ever booked in a single month. But it’s not just about scoring a reservation – it also has to be the right reservation. 51% of Gen Z and Millennial diners said they want to make sure they choose a restaurant that will impress their guests, according to data commissioned by the American Express-owned platform.*

Enter Reservationships, Resy’s new global brand campaign aimed at creating deeper connections between guests and restaurants by helping to provide diners with intel on the hottest restaurant openings, access to events, and tips for where to go and how to get in.

As part of the campaign, Resy will be dropping a limited number of digital reservations to top restaurants across the country. From May 8-12, 2023, foodies can visit at 10:00 a.m. local time for the opportunity to receive a reservation for certain pre-booked time slots in May. Among the coveted restaurants participating are Lilia (NYC); Anajak Thai (Sherman Oaks, CA); Le Diplomate (Washington, DC); Joe’s Stone Crab (Miami Beach, FL); Rich Table (San Francisco, CA); and Galit and Elina (Chicago, IL); among others.

To kick off the first round of reservation drops – in advance of those that will be released online – Resy created an exciting pop-up tent in New York City’s Flatiron District, giving away more than 600 reservations to New Yorkers to dine at over 20 top New York and Brooklyn-based restaurants including Shukette, Golden Diner, Le Dive, Cosme, and La Vara.

“Reservations have become cultural currency and Resy is at the center of it,” said Hannah Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer at Resy.

And for those who want to stay informed about hard-to-grab reservations, Resy continues to reveal tips through its column, The One Who Keeps the Book, where industry insiders answer the question: “How will we ever get a table?!”

New York: Tatiana

“We hold the bar for walk-ins and if the bar doesn’t have enough space, you can go to the outside bar and move around in the different halls,” said Restaurant Manager Kelly Linton.

And for what to order when you get in, Hospitality Director Chrissy Sookoo added, “To start, I recommend ordering the andouille sausage, crispy okra, curried goat patties, cornbread and cod, and honey nut piri piri salad. For your entree, consider the braised oxtail, short rib pastrami suya, Mom Dukes shrimp, or brown stew red snapper. And don’t sleep on the Bodega Special for dessert!”

Miami: Mandolin Aegean Bistro

“Mandolin is a first and last stop for the airport. People don’t even go to their hotels or Airbnbs first. They come to Mandolin with all their luggage to eat lunch as soon as they land,” said Brand and Operations Manager Margot Eisbart. “And we’re the last stop before going back to the airport. On Sunday people are going back home and on Thursday people are coming into town, so Monday through Wednesday are the best days. Prime time for lunch is 1-1:30 p.m. and for dinner it’s 7:30-8:30 p.m.”

Eisbart also added that a general trick to getting seated is to remember that kindness goes a really long way at the door. “It helps to start a conversation with whoever is at the door and be patient,” she said.

Washington, DC: Oyster Oyster

Oyster Oyster takes a seasonal approach to its reservation drops. The restaurant releases reservations per menu – and there are four to five hard menu changes a year.

The next time the book will be open is mid-May or at the latest early June as part of the solstice menu, which will be available from mid-June until early September. And it’s important to note that these exclusive reservations can only be made via Resy, not by phone nor walk-in.

So how does one get in the door? General manager Tyler Mitchell said, “We have a 72 hour cancellation window for reservations. And Resy sends emails reminding people of that. So 72 hours is the last chance they can cancel. And that’s a good time to be watching your phone for the Notify list.”

Philadelphia: Alpen Rose

Known to be Philly’s most sought-after steakhouse, this intimate setting holds 12 tables and four bar seats. Reservations drop 30 days out and when setting a Notify on Resy, the best time is probably in the first hour of service, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Vice President Kareem McCafferty said, “Most people have an internal clock at 7 p.m., but if they’re more than willing to stretch it out a little bit and be more flexible in terms of dining time, there’s definitely a possibility to get in via Notify.”

Otherwise, the restaurant holds two bar seats that people can snag if there is a last-minute cancellation or if it’s early enough.

San Francisco: Flour + Water
Reservations drop 28 days in advance – four weeks exactly, at midnight. The busiest nights run from Thursday through Saturday.
With a Notify list ranging anywhere between 20 to 60 names every night, Director of Operations Amanda Flores shared, “I think that’s the coolest way to get last minute reservations – at hard-to-eat places. Another way to get last minute reservations with us is to check 48 hours out — that’s when we send our confirmation texts. So people who need to cancel end up cancelling then. That’s what you can get a reservation that normally wouldn’t be available.”
For diners committed to the Notify list, she added that late night weekday reservations can be scored last minute more than primetime 7 p.m. reservations.


*Survey Methodology: This poll was conducted between March 13-20, 2023 among a national sample of 4,016 general population adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data for the general population was weighted to approximate a target sample of U.S. adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and religion.

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