Well it was only a matter of time. Restaurant reservation scalping service TablePronto has debuted for Los Angeles and Las Vegas. There are only eight restaurants listed for the former and two for the latter as of this writing, and nothing more than $10 (so far). The gist is this: People sell a restaurant reservation that took them two seconds and no money to procure, to anyone willing to shell out hard earned cash for said res. According to TablePronto's website: "Sellers publish reservation pricing which is based on the market rates of reservations. Typically, pricing range from $10 - $40 with $20 being the average." The "market price" of reservations? Wouldn't that be, um, nothing? Although, $1 was a bargain for that opening night Osteria Mozza we found on Craigslist (the guy was offered $100). But we have questions.
Are restaurants really that difficult to get into in LA? Wouldn't the people willing to spend money on a last-minute reservation rather bribe the host/hostess? We can see this for Vegas, although even there it's not too hard to get a reservation at most spots, unless it's something like Tao (currently priced at $9 for a four top at 5:45pm tonight...in the restaurant, not the nightclub which is where everyone wants to go anyway.) When this type of 'service' hit NYC, though a different company, the mothership questioned who the heck was behind the operation, which is exaclty what we want to know: Who benefits from this? Does the seller get the money? Is it a percentage? Does the restaurant? And ultimately, we want to know who is really willing to shell out $20-$40 for a reservation. We have no press release, no statement, no backgrounder, just an FAQ. Inquiring minds want to know, and until we do, please feel free to discuss in the comments.
· Table Pronto Reservation Scalper [Gridskipper]
· PrimeTimeTables: 'We Are NOT Selling Tables at Restaurants' [Eater NY]