Yelp Reservations -- any good? [San Francisco]

I’m trying to make a reservation for Dragon Beaux for tonight, and the “Reservations” tab on the DB website took me to Yelp Reservations. I thought I had made a reservation for 8:00 (earliest available), and got an email confirmation from Yelp.

However, when I called the restaurant to try to get something earlier, the woman answering the phone said “we don’t confirm Yelp reservations.” She had me leave a request for a reservation and told me the manager would call me back.

Has anyone had any success or been burned by Yelp’s “seatme” reservation service? Open Table doesn’t take reservations for Dragon Beaux.

Don’t think you will have a problem. Enjoy the hotpot.

It’s always worked for me.

At Dragon Beaux, or elsewhere?

I got a 5:30 rezo over the phone…

Before Willie Ng opened Koi Palace, he had a restaurant in SF, Happy Valley. It had the best seafood hot pot I’ve ever had, here or in China. I hope some of his magic rubbed off on Dragon Beaux

Elsewhere, 5-10 times

I had coffee with the tech lead once. He’s not an idiot. They should be able to see your reservation on the app in the restaurant, but perhaps they didn’t want to look it up. If you get more info - why they couldn’t look up your reservation - let me know so I can forward the experience along.

I’ve used it a couple of times with no problems.

She didn’t say they couldn’t see the Yelp Seatme reservtions, just that they couldn’t confirm them. It might have something to do with the fact that the Yelp form doesn’t allow for distinction between hotpot service and regular dinner service. This is crucial for Dragon Beaux because the hotpot service is in a separate section with built-in burners. When you call in for a reservation, they ask for you to specify whether it’s for hot pot or regular dinner service.

I would agree that if the Yelp system won’t work for Dragon Beaux, the restaurant is amiss in linking to it from their own web site.

Be cautious of their cancellation policy:

Cancellation policy:
Please provide 24 hours notice if you need to cancel your reservation. If you are not able to supply 24 hours or you do not show up for your reservation, you may be subject to a cancellation fee of $5 per guest. Please call us if you need to cancel last minute! Thank you.

Yelp’s or DB’s? Neither one asked for a credit card, so…

That’s yelp’s statement for a different restaurant I booked tonight, but, yeah, I don’t have a card on record either so I don’t know how they’d enforce it

That is pretty odd. I just made a reservation the same way at the same restaurant today, a few hours before showing up. (I probably didn’t need to since it wasn’t super busy, but figured why not guarantee a table.)

The form specifically asks you to specify whether you want hot pot or regular dinner. There isn’t any built-in way to choose this, but you can go ahead and type in your preference in the “Reservation Comments” field, which is what I did since there wasn’t anywhere else on the form to do it. I assume the restaurant is at least able to read those comments even if the host/hostess choose not to.

My hunch is that the hostess misunderstood what you meant. When you asked if they could “confirm” the reservation, you meant that you wanted to know if they would definitely honor giving you a table when you showed up. But I think the hostess was using a different, more jargon-ish definition of “confirm”: something like “send you a message about your reservation that you use to complete the processing of the reservation, so the restaurant knows you’re coming.”

The reason I think this is that Yelp Reservations has a specific (and slightly odd) “confirmation” flow that requires additional action on the customer’s part after initiating the request for a reservation. It goes like this:

  1. You specify when you want to come to the restaurant, your contact info, and how large your party is, then click “Confirm reservation”. You get a confirmation email. However, this only sort of “confirms” your reservation because of what happens in the next step.
  2. Then, an hour before your actual reservation, Yelp Reservations sends you an SMS message asking you to reply with a message of your own to “Confirm” the reservation.
  3. Only then do you get a final SMS “confirming” your reservation. [Not totally clear to me what happens to your reservation if you fail to complete your part of Step 2.]

So my guess is that sometimes staff at restaurants that use Yelp Reservations use the word “confirm” to refer to Steps 2 and 3, which can only be done within the Yelp Reservations system by the customer. With Yelp Reservations, the customer confirms they are showing up, as opposed to the usual way we think of “confirm”, with the restaurant calling you to remind you that they are holding a table for you. When Dragon Beaux told you “we can’t confirm Yelp reservations,” they really meant “we can’t do manually what you are supposed to do via SMS,” not that all bookings they receive via Yelp mysteriously vanish into the ether.

I didn’t call to “confirm” a reservations. I called to see if we could get an earlier reservation than the one we had. The woman who answered the phone asked me how I had made the reservation, and I told her I had made it through Yelp. She then commented, “we can’t confirm Yelp reservations.”

Incidentally, I checked the wait list boxes for each quarter-hour between opening and 7::00 and never heard from Yelp on any of them, although it was no problem getting an earlier reservation over the phone.

Anyway, what’s the point of making a reservation if it cannot be confirmed until an hour before you want to eat?

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