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- In a Twitter thread Thursday, Tock founder and Chief Technology Officer Brian Fitzpatrick shared one of his top pieces of advice for booking a table at a busy restaurant: make a reservation for four instead of two.
- Tock is an online reservation management platform that also offers guests and table management systems for restaurants.
- Fitzpatrick also suggests diners look for reservations at 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. to increase the odds of landing a table at popular restaurants.
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When a new restaurant opens with major fanfare, reservations become a hot commodity. Restaurateur Nick Kokonas knows this first hand — he opened Alinea, one of the world’s top restaurants that receives multiple Michelin stars each year, in 2005.
But when he realized they were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on reservation management and losing even more in no-shows, he cobbled together a rough system to track and manage diners more efficiently. Kokonas joined forces with Brian Fitzpatrick, founder of Google’s engineering office in Chicago, to turn the homemade system into a viable business for restaurants to track and manage guest reservations, called Tock.
According to Crunchbase, Tock has raised $17.5 million since Kokonas and Fitzpatrick founded the company in 2014, and most recently closed $9.5 million Series B funding round in December 2018.
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In a Twitter thread Thursday, Fitzpatrick, now the company’s Chief Technology Officer, shared one of his top pieces of advice for booking a table at a busy restaurant: make a reservation for four instead of two.
Business Insider caught up with Fitzpatrick to hear what other words of wisdom he had for getting a coveted table at the hottest restaurants.
Bring your friends
Make a reservation for a table of four instead of two. According to Fitzpatrick, the demand is much higher for tables for two because couples often go out to dinner just the two of them more often than with another couple or friends.
“Even restaurants that are ‘completely sold out’ usually have inventory, you’re just looking for the sold out stuff,” Fitzpatrick tweeted.
Shake up dinner time
Fitzpatrick said the one thing most people get wrong when making reservations is choosing a popular time like 7 p.m.
“Shoot for 6 or 8 and you’re going to have much better luck getting a seat,” Fitzpatrick said via email.
Know when to book
Many restaurants release reservations at a consistent schedule, according to Fitzpatrick. Diners who check in consistently are more likely to get a reservation for their preferred time and table size.
Fitzpatrick told Business Insider that Tock created a cheat sheet that tracks upcoming reservation releases so diners are able to plan ahead.
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