It’s Saturday night and you and your friends want to go to the hottest restaurant in the neighbourhood without booking. Here’s a little trick that might actually make that possible.
This tiny hack from Redditor u/ashen808 on r/LifeProTips is contingent on a few things: you have punctual friends and you’re going somewhere that isn’t flooded morning until night:
If you’re heading to a busy cafe or restaurant that doesn’t take bookings arrange [to] meet your friends at 10 minutes to the hour (9:50am or 6:50pm) instead of on the hour. You’ll beat out everyone who arranged to meet on the hour and get seated much sooner.
The truth of this was confirmed by u/5x6Tomatoes, who claims to be a restaurant owner themselves:
Can confirm. I own a very busy restaurant in Las Vegas. I encourage my VIP guests to dine 10 to 15 minutes before the hour or half hour. Not only do you get your food ticket into the kitchen before the rush, you get a better table.
The idea here isn't to be seated instantly - rather, it ensures you're near the head of the queue by arriving ten minutes before a flood of prospective diners.
The thread in response to this tip is mostly made up of people wondering how on earth you get everyone to arrive on time, plus complaints about the pathologically late. But for people who are good at showing up when they say they will, this is a great trick, and can be applied to any number of activities where people tend to focus on the exact stroke of the hour as a time reference. In fact, u/kgiann used it to get clean:
I applied this same logic to showering in college. My dorm had 5 showers shared by several dozen people. I would set my alarm for 5:50 a.m. instead of 6:00 a.m. and in 2 years, I never once had to wait in line for a shower. On weekdays, there was almost always a line as I finished my shower.
And u/sparkledoom used it for lunch:
Also, if you go grab lunch from work, leave your office at 11:50. Anywhere from 12pm-2pm places will be full/have lines. But those other people start leaving their offices at 12 on the dot, not before.
Staggering your plans around the most common time frame for those types of plans is great way to get around the rush.