Restaurants slammed in booking frenzy
Venues opening for 10 people have been inundated with bookings from customers desperate for a dining in experience, with some already booked weeks in advance.
Diners attempting to nab a booking at Coogee Wine Room have received a response informing them they have been so overwhelmed with bookings their systems crashed.
"Apologies for the delay in responding - we have been inundated with booking inquiries since Tuesday, so much so that the website crashed," the message read.
"But it is now up and running, so please go there to make a booking.
"We are heavily booked for the next few weeks given we can only seat 10 at a time, but there are a few openings here and there.
"We look forward to welcoming you back to CWR soon."
Rashays owner Rami Ykmour had a team of nine in a makeshift call centre who were taking three bookings every five minutes. This morning they had taken 600 bookings before midday.
"We had a midnight seating and a 1 o'clock seating - fully booked," he said.
"Today the phones have been going absolutely psycho.
"We've got a call centre in our head office, because you can't book online because of the 10 people so we have to book it manually, which is again an extra cost, but the phones are going off.
"It's exciting, it's very, very exciting."
Barangaroo's Italian inspired Bel & Brio is fully booked for more than a week, with director Mark Richardson saying he has been amazed by his customers.
"We are fully booked all weekend lunch and dinner and all the way through next week," he said.
"I've been amazed at the response - emails, calls and bookings.
"I was honestly not expecting it all, I'm humbled and amazed the loyal customer base we have."
Over two days, Potts Point institution Macleay Street Bistro has taken bookings until July 31.
"I had to decline over 100 bookings in the last two days for Friday and this weekend as we are already full," owner Phillip Fikkers said.
"We are very pleased with the response from our customers and have missed our loyal customers terribly.
"We thank the NSW government for allowing 10 people at a time, which will allow us to go from 80 per cent down on budget to about 60 per cent down on budget.
"This is better than no in-house dining."
Prince of York in the CBD received more than 100 calls for bookings this morning alone.
Originally published as Restaurants slammed in TGIF booking frenzy