By Travel + Leisure and Travel + Leisure Staff
October 20, 2014

It’s a common predicament: You arrive in a city and realize you don’t have a dinner reservation. Never fear, there are a couple ways to work the system in your favor. Here, some food for thought on what to do.

Tip 1: Call in the afternoon.
Around 3 p.m., restaurants start confirming that evening’s reservations and waiting list. Call in the afternoon, and you just might snag a newly canceled reservation.

Tip 2: Get the app.
With listings in 10 U.S. cities, the Groupon Reserve app lets you book tables (with discounts) wherever restaurants have unfilled spots. Download it before you leave on your next domestic trip.

Tip 3: Walk in.
Popular restaurants often save a handful of tables for drop-ins, so sometimes you should just stop by. Increase your chances of getting one by dressing the part. 

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