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Table snagging service — Update

Food & Drink

Back in January, we featured PrimeTimeTable, a new New York restaurant booking service that specializes in procuring “impossible reservations” for its members. PrimeTimeTable was recently joined by a competitor, TableXchange. The newcomer operates in New York City and the Hamptons, and deals in restaurant reservations for Friday and Saturday evenings. What makes it different from PrimeTimeTable? As the name says, it’s an exchange. While PrimeTimeTable offers tables for sale to members, TableXchange also lets users sell reservations they’ve made. Posting a reservation is free for registered users, and TableXchange charges sellers a 12% commission over sold reservations. Pricing is set by sellers, and currently ranges from USD 15 for a table for two at The Modern, to USD 35 for a table at Lupa. Buyers—who don’t pay TableXchange a fee for the service—can search by restaurant, date and time, and are given the reservation’s full details once payment has been made. TableXchange confirms a seller’s identity by authorizing their PayPal account and credit card information, and will terminate the account of any seller posting false reservations. The company also recommends that buyers call the restaurant after buying a reservation, to make sure it’s legit. We doubt restaurateurs will be overjoyed to see people make reservations only to sell them on to others for a profit. Which is one of the reasons TableXchange suggests that users don’t mention the service to restaurants. However, brokering between tight supply and strong demand is definitely entrepreneurial, and the service accommodates both consumers with a last-minute need for a good table, and those who can’t make their reservation. Still haven’t seen this one pop up in other markets, even though it’s fairly easy to set up. Who’ll give it a try in London or Shanghai? Spotted by: Jonathan Teller



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