Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How To Make Money Selling Restaurant Table Reservations.


New York restaurant booking service PrimeTime Tables - "specializing in impossible reservations" - has created a bit of a storm in the NYC/food blogging teacup. The service, touted as a very exclusive dining club, can procure members short-notice reservations at the hottest restaurants in New York, Miami, Colorado and The Hamptons, many of which are booked weeks in advance.

The company was founded by Pascal Riffaud, former concierge at hotels like the St. Regis in New York and the Ritz in Paris. Mr Riffaud also runs Personal Concierge International, a concierge service that can enhance its members' lives in many ways, including access to 'fully committed' restaurants.

Premium membership costs USD 450 per year, plus reservation fees (free for reservations acquired the same day before noon), while non-members pay between USD 35-45 per booking, depending on how far in advance they book (48 hours - same day). Considering economics is grounded in scarcity and top, prime-time tables in any metropolis are very scarce indeed, it's a business idea that could take flight in other cities, too. Whether or not you're morally outraged by tables being scalped ;-)