Travelling to new countries is a challenging and fun adventure and it’s all about experiencing new things – the culture, the people and most importantly, the food. But how do you go about making restaurant reservations at the most trendy places?
For many, having the quintessential food experience is the highlight of any trip. With something this important, the last thing you want to do is take chances. You don’t want to ruin your perfect trip because you did not get to dine in your dream restaurant!
Here are a few tips to making restaurant reservations and ensure you lock a guaranteed spot in your top choices whilst traveling abroad.
Most people tend to get very busy planning other things for their trip and push the “food” factor aside for the last minute. However, with the growing popularity of certain iconic restaurants, its highly unlikely that you will be able find a spot if you don’t plan way, way ahead. A lot of famous restaurants, like the ones led by celebrity chefs start taking reservations 3-6 months prior.
As soon as you book your trip, do your research to find out which restaurants you want to visit and how they go about with their reservations to make sure that you are able to book a spot without any issues.
Use a Reservation App
Thanks to the rise of the digital age, we have access to everything on our fingertips through instant apps. There are many apps across the world that can help you with making restaurant reservations, depending on the region you are heading to.
Find apps that allow you to take online reservations beforehand that are popular in the country you are travelling to. These apps will not just help you with booking a table, but will also help you discover popular spots in the city that you may not be aware of. Some apps will also give you details about special events like ladies’ nights at restaurants and even help you grab deals like happy hours or discounts.
Most apps will let you create an instant booking and take away the hassle of calling a restaurant to try and make a booking, which can be very difficult while travelling due to the language barrier and also quite expensive.
Ask your Hotel
Another great way to secure difficult restaurant reservations that most of us have probably never tried is asking your hotel for assistance. Most hotels have good relationships with popular restaurants given that they cater to a large number of tourists.
If you are having trouble securing a table, try asking your hotel to help you with it. A lot of restaurants provide additional tables to the concierge teams of reputable restaurants. The additional touch of speaking in the native language by the hotel might also help the process.
Just shoot an email to your hotel once you know which restaurants you need a booking for and they will most likely be happy to help.
Connect with the Locals
No one knows more about a city than the locals and expats that have been there for a while. If you know anyone in the city you are visiting, speaking to them will be very helpful as they will be able to tell you exactly how the reservation process works in the region.
They can also tell you about all the must-visit restaurants and how you can land a booking with them. They might even have a few insider tricks or connections that may be able to get you an impossible reservation.
If you don’t know anyone living in the region, try searching for travel bloggers on the internet that have visited the country – they are likely to know a lot about the place and may be able to help you with restaurant reservations. Don’t hesitate in contacting bloggers, they will be happy to help you!
If nothing else works, you always have the option to just walk in. It may seem impossible to get a table at a popular restaurant that’s always booked out, but tables become available more often than you think. Restaurants tend to have a few cancellations and if you are lucky and walk in at the right time, you might be able to land a spot.
Your best bet would be to try going in during non-peak hours. Reach the restaurant a little before their dinner service starts so that if there are any last-minute tables, you can grab one. You can also try a little late when the dinner service is almost ending as there may be people who did not show up or finished early which may create some open tables.
However, lunch would probably be your best chance as restaurants are always busier for dinner.
It’s also harder for restaurants to say no when you’re standing in front of them, so they might work out something for you.
Most importantly, remember to be polite. Don’t be mean or bitter if they are not able to help you out – sometimes it’s just not possible.
We hope you land the table of your dreams. Happy Eating!