French Laundry reservation tips/tricks?

This is one of those “asking for a friend“ threads, except I am ACTUALLY asking for a friend! Haven’t eaten there in a few years, and a colleague was asking for tips on getting a reservation, which he has so far been unable to do. Any advice appreciated.

Hopefully you’ll get some insider info on this here. When we went, several years ago, I used re-dial on two phones simultaneously starting at their posted start time and day for when I wanted to go. It took three days and maybe 4 hours total to get our res.

You might direct your friend here though: https://www.chowhound.com/post/reservations-french-laundry-1049485

It’s a foodie board with a dedicated page for trading in FL reservations.

FL - reservations are advance purchase tickets through Tock now.

https://www.exploretock.com/tfl/

George

Don’t know if this still applies, but several years ago, I was able to call up a day beforehand to see if anyone had cancelled. Was able to secure a table.

There is a waiting list via the tock website.

George

They changed their process last year. When I went a couple of years ago - I called directly and I asked to be put on the waiting list in case anyone cancels (this was 2 weeks out). We ended up getting reservations during the week. The trick is you MUST answer your phone when they call you, otherwise they go on to the next person. I actually missed the first call and then got put on the list again. The second time around I literally guarded my phone and had someone ready to answer even if I was in the shower.

I know their process changed, but if there is any portion of the process where they need to call you back be prepared. I don’t know if they still do a waiting list in case someone cancels? But if they do that is a good idea if you couldn’t get reservations through the other methods.

Used top be able to have the concierge book it if staying at Meadowood or Auberge du Soleil

Or the St regis San Francisco. They sorted it for us. But that was 2007!

This isn’t particularly helpful advice, but the more I eat out at best-of-best places the less tolerance I have for impossible reservations; for example I worked really hard unsuccessfully to get to n/naka last time I was out in LA and now have just about zero interest in eating there now, regardless of how good it is.

I think with party of 6+ you may be able to book through private dining instead of general reservations. As I remember this is more expensive option but gives much greater control on reservations and menu size. I did this many many years ago and was able to book 6 months out instead of 2 and also get a 17+ course menu instead of normal 12 or so…