The New York Restaurant Reservation Scrum

Restaurant-goers are spending thousands of dollars to snag reservations in New York on the secondary market.
May 7, 2024
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inside of Carbone, a fancy restaurant in New York

Scoring a table in New York can seem impossible. One person made $80,000 last year reselling restaurant reservations.

Restaurant-goers are breaking out the checkbook for a chance to dine at some of the most exclusive restaurants in the city, per The New Yorker:

However, even with the high demand for reservations, restaurants lose money when restaurant-goers don’t show up for their reservations.

As a result, some New York restaurants are switching back to the old-school reservation protocol of answering the phone and writing your name in a reservation book. No email, no OpenTable, no Yelp.

Some popular New York restaurants have stopped taking reservations altogether, sidestepping the reservation scrum. Ugly Baby, a popular Thai spot in Brooklyn, is the latest to no longer accept reservations. Instead, people form a line hours in advance to land a seat at the 5 p.m. opening.

May the reservation odds be ever in your favor.

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