OpenTable Hot Tables: Pilot Program Introduces Mobile Alerts for Highly Sought-After Reservations

Hot Tables blogAt OpenTable, we recognize that there can be a greater demand for tables at a particular restaurant than there are available tables. Whether it’s folks trying to book a table for two on Saturday night at the newest hot spot in town or those planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a bucket-list restaurant, diners may occasionally miss out on a reservation — even after it becomes available through a last-minute cancellation.

To increase diners’ opportunities to secure coveted reservations, OpenTable is pleased to announce the launch of the Hot Tables pilot program. With this exciting new feature, you can be notified when the reservation you want becomes available. Simply set an alert for a reservation date, time, and party size at a particular restaurant. If a table becomes available, you will be notified by text message. Please note that an alert is not a guaranteed reservation, thus diners receiving alerts are advised to act immediately.

The pilot program for Hot Tables mobile alerts is limited and is currently available to select diners in Houston, Los Angeles, and New York.  If you live in one of these cities and would like an invitation to the pilot program, email us at requestalertsinvite@opentable.com.

Aditya Singh is the Senior Product Manager for Hot Tables and Gifts.

The Foodspotting Book Is Here!

Foodspotting-book

OpenTable is proud to be the home of Foodspotting, a website and app for finding and sharing great dishes. But the lesser-known story behind Foodspotting is that long before it was an app idea, it was a book idea. Today, we’re excited to announce that this book is here!

Check out The Foodspotting Field Guide

Five years ago, Alexa Andrzejewski (now a lead experience designer here at OpenTable) traveled to Japan and Korea, where she was surprised to realize how many dishes she’d never heard of before, like Okonomiyaki and Tteokbokki. A few weeks later, Alexa woke up with the idea to create a “Field Guide for Food” — a pocket-sized guide to interesting dishes from around the world.

The book idea evolved into an app idea, and Foodspotting was born. Today, millions of food photos later, our friends at Chronicle Books and our beloved editor April Walters (previously Foodspotting’s Head of Community), have brought The Foodspotting Field Guide to life. If you’re curious about these and other dishes, or know someone who would be, then this book is for you!

Think you already know your dishes? See how many you’ve tried! Take The Foodspotting Field Guide Challenge.

Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Irish Fare

CBC-blogHappy St. Patrick’s Day! Even though it’s only March 17th one day a year, diners have been celebrating this fun holiday for several weeks. After all, who doesn’t want to repeatedly observe the holiday that encourages you to drink a Guinness? While everyone knows that corned beef and cabbage aren’t authentic Irish cuisine, they’ve certainly become synonymous with Irish-American fare every March. Find out what diners are saying about the Irish food, authentic and otherwise, and St. Patty’s Day fun they’ve been enjoying in the last few weeks in recent restaurant reviews.

Conor O’Neills, Ann Arbor, Michigan: “We met family from out of town at Conor’s after Shamrocks and Shenanigans. It was festive, fun, and, overall, a great place to enjoy food, Guinness, Irish dancing, and good times with friends and family. It continues to be my favorite neighborhood pub!”

Fado Irish Pub and Restaurant, Austin, Texas: “Authentic, made in Ireland décor. There is nothing on the menu that isn’t great, but the lamb is the best of all! Extensive beer and Irish Whiskey list, choices I didn’t know existed. Great for gathering with friends, watching sports, and St. Patrick’s celebrations are second to none!”

Great Street, Chicago, Illinois: “Booked with Open Table four days before the event, requesting a window seat. The seating area has huge windows facing the Chicago river. I booked for 10AM and then also called the manager saying, “We NEED” a window table.” Arrived 45 min before the event, watching the Chicago River turn green at 9:30AM. It was like having a warm box seat for the event while thousands stood 4 deep on the bridges in the cold. So fun! Did have to wait about 15 minutes for a table to clear….then got the best in the house by 9:45. I thank Open Table and staff at Great Street for giving us such a memorable (and tasty) mid-morning experience on St Patrick’s!”

James Joyce Irish Pub & Restaurant, Baltimore, MD: “The menu had all the Irish traditional foods plus something to satisfy the taste of everyone who might choose to dine at James Joyce. The entire staff was warm and friendly, and the atmosphere was ebullient. We dined here based on other Open Table reviews and it was a fantastic choice. We will definitely come here again when we are in the area.”

Katie Mullen’s Irish Restaurant, Denver, Colorado: “The best Irish restaurant in Denver. My wife and I both LOVE this place and try to make a point to come back as often as possible. The first time we went I made an online reservation and in the Special Request section, I asked them to leave a special love note from me to my wife and they did just that. Made my wife’s night!”

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Save on Taste of the Nation Tickets in DC, NY + SF and Help No Kid Hungry End Childhood Hunger

TOTNEvery year, in cities across the country, the nation’s top chefs, mixologists, brewers, winemakers, and more, come together at Taste of the Nation® the premier culinary benefits, events to stand with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger. Nearly half of all children in the U.S. will be on food stamps at the some point in their life. Each ticket purchased for these events supports Share Our Strength’s efforts to eliminate childhood hunger and supports local beneficiaries. We’re pleased to announce that OpenTable diners can enjoy exclusive discounts to upcoming events in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Taste of the Nation New York City will be held April 28, 2014. Featuring more than 75 of New York City’s most notable chefs and bartenders under one roof at 82 Mercer, supporters can savor dishes and drinks from the city’s top culinary talent. Use discount code OTNYC to save 20% on VIP + General Admission ticketsBuy now!

Taste of the Nation San Francisco will be held Monday, March 27, 2014. Join us at The Metreon to sample the Bay Area’s bites and drinks. Use discount code TOTNSF14OT to save 20% on VIP + General Admission tickets. Buy now!

Taste of the Nation Washington, D.C. will be held March 31, 2014. Held at the National Building Museum, Washington’s finest restaurants and chefs will gather at this momentous event to dazzle diners with a night of culinary excellence. Use discount code OTWDC to save 20% on VIP + General Admission tickets. Buy now!Continue Reading