Marco Ordoñez works at the James Hotel (55 E Ontario St, 312-337-1000), where he’s constantly hooking up hotel VIPs with last-minute tickets and theater reservations using these secret techniques.
“It’s all about knowing the right people,” Ordoñez says. “I have the connections because I go out there and introduce myself to doormen and managers. Become a regular somewhere, remember the bartender’s name, and you’ll start getting treated like a VIP.”
Ordoñez says even full restaurants have a few tables set aside for last-minute reservations. If you can convince restaurant managers you’re a very important diner, you could snag one of those tables. How do you hype yourself? Make the call pretending to be your own personal assistant. “Sometimes little white lies help,” he says.
“A cocky attitude will never get you anywhere,” Ordoñez says. “Just be nice and appreciative, and people will help you out.” He also adds that if you tell business owners you’ll be recommending the place to all your friends, they’ll probably remember you next time and might hook you up with a little VIP treatment.
Still not ready to finagle an upgrade on your own? Ordoñez says he assists everyone who walks through the hotel doors—even if they’re not hotel guests. “Of course, the guest gets the priority, though.”