Filed under: Dining
Trying to get a table at a hot restaurant is often an exercise in frustration. But what if, instead of making the calls yourself, or paying a concierge to try and get you in, you could log on to a website and buy the reservation. That's the basic idea behind TableXchange. The service offers reservation for a fee in New York City, San Francisco and the Hamptons and already has around 1,000 members. For example, for $25 you can get a table for two at Jean Georges this Friday. The idea is already causing controversy. Some in the New York hospitality industry find it manipulative and distasteful. Many people find it similar to the process of ticket scalping in which tickets to hot events often sell for far above their face value. The main difference, of course, is that restaurants reservations don't usually come with a price tag, although certainly money has been used to obtain reservations and/or hot tables for years, just through more oblique methods. TableXhange makes its money by taking a commission from each sale as well as through advertising revenue.