Automated bots are making it harder than ever get restaurant reservations

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In a new frontier of monetizing the mere opportunity to dine at a popular establishment, with such a method being further exploited through the use of unethical bot automation, the temptation to throw in the proverbial towel is strong; however, there is still some room for the human touch to pave the way to a fine dining experience. 

For one, many restaurants and reservation apps are putting safeguards in place such as reservation fees, and using confirmation texts or emails, to ensure the person making the reservation is an actual human and the same human who will actually show up to dine. According to OpenTable’s reservation policy, users risk full account suspension for multiple repeat no-shows. Additionally, some restaurants are opting to hold more spots open for in-person walk ups as well as partnering with reputable platforms in order to protect their business as that of their would-be diners. For example, through the members-only app Dorsia, users pay a fee to secure a reservation which then goes towards their restaurant bill when they show up to dine. 

As a diner, you have options to help snag that table you’ve been wanting as well. For one, some platforms allow users to set up notifications on reservation platforms to be instantly notified when a coveted spot opens. You could also try sliding into a restaurant’s DMs on Instagram to try and reach a booker that way, or going through your credit card company — just a few examples of the growing number of ways to fight an unfair system by playing alongside of and not directly into it.

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