Can I automatically send an email based on a Facebook page update?
October 20, 2013 1:04 PM   Subscribe

The restaurant Next in Chicago sells tickets rather than taking reservations. The tickets sell out months in advance, but the restaurant will occasionally have same-night cancellations. They post these on their Facebook page. If you're quick (and lucky!) you can score a table for that night. I'm neither quick nor lucky, but I have an important special occasion to celebrate. Is there anything like an IFTT recipe that will help me?

I'm imagining that when the restaurant's Facebook feed is updated (which is usually only to announce the availability of these tickets), an email would automatically come from me requesting the tickets.

Is this a thing?

This isn't to arrange any kind of monopoly on ticket resales, etc. The whole reason they use this system is to control the tickets themselves and prevent scalping.

Also once this idea occurred to me, it kinda became a curiosity in its own right...
posted by jefficator to Food & Drink (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Former Next season ticket holder & frequent diner here.

They put out the non-season tickets on sale in batches and only have sold them through November, so if your special occasion is in December, you may still have a chance at buying them from the restaurant.

However, the Bocuse D’or menu that's on right now has far fewer seats than normal given the length and complexity of the menu.

The restaurant will hold back same night tables nearly every night. They are not cancellations per se, but rather tickets that were never put on sale. They do this because they realize many people cannot plan meals weeks in advance. Or aren't at their computers every second of every day.

However, those same night tables aren't always for two, sometimes they are for four or six, so you'll need to account for that. The table for six is the Kitchen Table, and usually comes with a higher cost but also some freebies and extras. If you won the four or six top, would you be able to fill it with a few hours notice?

The same night Next tickets don't automatically go to the fastest responder -- it's actually a lottery.

You will also want to filter out the non "same night table" status updates, such as the "thank you for your interest" posts and other links they have (like the menu trailers).

An easier, lower tech way to keep on top of stuff is to sign up for Twitter, subscribe to @NextRestaurant and push updates as SMS, and send the email manually assuming that the time and party size fit what you want/need.
posted by kathryn at 1:45 PM on October 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: This may just be the most informative and helpful response I've ever read. Thank you.
posted by jefficator at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2013 [4 favorites]

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