Millennials are principally known for two things: one, whiz-bang computer skills, and two, frittering away money on needless indulgences (boomers may have the cold pleasure of a house, but eating avocado toast each and every morning is worth a thousand houses — though maybe that’s just what the suspiciously well-housed avocado cartel wants you to think…).
Applying some of that technical magic — normally wasted on helping mom and dad use the bunny filter on Instagram — to the task of securing a reservation at the ultra-luxe and impossible-to-get-a-table-at Danish restaurant Noma so that one can blow hundreds of dollars to sup on a meal of live ants, lesser mollusks, and assorted grasses and seeds, all harvested (found?) on the restaurant’s property, is thus probably the most Millennial thing one can do.
Reservations at Noma are handled through the online booking system Tock. Noma divides the year into three culinary seasons, and reservations for the whole season are released at once on a pre-announced day. The upshot is that unless you plan to make a reservation right when the season’s bookings open, you’ll likely end up on the waitlist. This is the very situation I found myself in.
Luckily, in my experience, there is movement on the waitlist, and it doesn’t seem to operate on a sequential basis — everyone on the waitlist for a given time is contacted at once, and the first person to reserve using Tock gets the spot. Unluckily for those of us living in North America, the email informing you of availability will usually come in the middle of the night. My solution? A phone call (how gauche!) to wake me up as soon as a spot becomes available.
Here’s how to do it: (Note that this guide assumes you use Gmail.)
1. Hop over to Tock and get on the waitlist for the times you’re interested in. The goal here should be to maximize your chance at getting a spot, so I would recommend signing up for as many times as you can.
2. Now you’re going to need both Zapier and Twilio accounts, if you don’t already have them. Both are free to use. Twilio will let us make phone calls, and Zapier is the glue-layer that will get the email from Tock and then use Twilio to call us.
3. Go into Zapier, and on the top-right click “Make a Zap!”. You’ll be presented with a list of triggers. Choose Email. You’ll now have to choose an address for your custom Zapier email. Make sure to note down whatever it is that you choose. Keep Zapier open in a tab, while we move to the next step.
4. Open the Gmail account that you’re using for Tock. Click on the Gear icon and open Settings, and then head to the Forwarding tab. Click “Add a forwarding address” and then enter in your Zapier email. Don’t worry, we won’t be forwarding all emails to Zapier. Gmail will now send a confirmation email to your Zapier email confirming that you own the account. Zapier will forward this email to whatever email you used to sign up for Zapier with. Open the email and click the confirmation link.
5. In the Gmail account you’re using for Tock, type [
from:email@example.com](<from:firstname.lastname@example.org>) subject:"New reservations" into the Gmail search bar. You shouldn’t get any results, unless you’ve already been offered a spot. Click the drop-down arrow on the right side of the search bar, and then click “Create filter”. You’ll be presented with a list of actions. Choose “Forward it to” and then select your Zapier email address and press the create button. Now Gmail will forward any emails from Tock informing you of new spots to your Zapier address.
6. Hop back to the tab with Zapier, and click “Add a step” on the left. In the search bar in the middle, type “Twilio” and click on the Twilio icon that appears. It should now give you the option to make a phone call. You’ll have to connect your Twilio account now. Zapier will tell you how to do this.
7. You’ll now have to input the options for the phone call. For the “From Number”, make sure to use the number assigned to you by Twilio. The “To Number” you use will also have to been set up in Twilio. Once you’ve put all the details in, you can use the Test button to make sure everything works.
8. Boom! You’re done. If you want to give it a test, try sending an email to your Zapier address. You should receive a phone call.
Bonus step: If you use iOS, you might want to set this up so that when you receive this phone call, your DND will be bypassed and the phone will always ring with a special ringtone of your choice. Create an entry in your contacts for your Twilio number. When you’re creating it, you’ll have the option to set a ringtone for the contact. Do that, and make sure to toggle “Emergency Bypass”. This means that whenever you receive a call from your Twilio number, it will always ring and bypass your DND.
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