The days of calling most restaurants to make a reservation are over. In this day, more than 80% of Americans have at least one PC in their home and over 40% carry a smartphone. Make your reservations on line using OpenTable.com, a free restaurant reservation service. If you don’t, you are leaving money on the table. It’s free to create an account and points accumulate that you can redeem for cash! In Phoenix, nearly 300 restaurants are available to reserve and most of the popular, trendy and resort restaurants subscribe to the service.
Cash rebates are offered in $20, $50 and $100 for 2000, 5000 and 1000 points, respectively. Most honored reservations earn you 100 points. OpenTable has made their system so easy to use that some people may not register and make reservations under a registered account. The guest feature allows you to visit the site and make a reservation but the key to leveraging this service is to create a free account and ensure your reservations are made via the account. This may include breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are more benefits than just cash back for doing nothing but log into their system to make your reservation. However, a check in the mail to use a convenient service with no obligation is a pretty nice perk!
Here are some additional benefits and tips about OpenTable.com and how get the most out of using the system:
Get the low down- The comments and reviews posted on OpenTable are from actual diners and not sponsored by the restaurants. Avid OpenTable users will rate the restaurants in various categories such as noise level, bar scene, suitable for children. Often, diners will include comments about the food and their experience. You can be assured the comments and reviews are real and this helps to weed out restaurants that aren’t going to meet your expectations. It also keeps the restaurants on their toes as they don’t want negative reviews out there, especially from frequent VIP diners!
Create a dining profile – A profile allows you to enter information about you and your guests that is passed along to the restaurant with your electronic reservation. If you always prefer a booth, a table near live music or have food allergies, this information can be delivered to the restaurant ahead of time. When you make a reservation, if you have something specific for that particular evening you can add additional special requests for that reservation only.
Become a VIP diner – There are no additional cash rewards for becoming a VIP OpenTable diner but your VIP status is passed along in your reservations. What’s the benefit of that? Restaurants know you dine out frequently. That means, you may get the most experienced server, a special treat from the chef, the best seating available or other special perks from the restaurant to lure you to dine regularly with them. To obtain VIP status, you must honor 12 reservations in a 12 month period using OpenTable.
Reserve anytime from anywhere- Reservations can be using your PC or mobile app for many restaurants in most major cities. The mobile app is very convenient for those times where you don’t need a reservation but decide to stop in a restaurant for lunch that subscribes to the service. Make that reservation 15 minutes in advance, after you park your car, and you will still redeem dining points. You may be pleasantly surprised to find the restaurant you are about to walk into is awarding 1000 points for a lunch reservation. Two of those and you just earned a $20 rebate.
Watch for bonus those points- Everyday there are a few restaurants and time slots that will earn you 1000 points for honoring a reservation. If you are an early bird, and typically dine before 6:15 PM, you will find quite a few selections that will earn bonus points. Each time you accumulate 2000 points, you can redeem the points for $20. So, if you know you are going to a business lunch or you simply decided to stop in last minute, make that reservation before you walk in the door, and get your points. You will be surprised at how quickly the points add up.