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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Startup Sells Hot Restaurant Reservations for $20-$25 a Pop

Posted By on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:15 PM

click to enlarge A new way to skip the line at popular restaurants, if you've got the dough. - FLICKR/CITYFOODSTERS

Restaurant reservations have never been exactly democratic -- claiming a coveted timeslot at a popular restaurant usually requires knowing someone or lurking on the reservation website like you're ordering front-row tickets to a Beyonce concert. Now there's a new startup purporting to take the legwork out and make it easy for you to get a great table on a Friday or Saturday night, provided you have some extra cash.

Table8 is a new website/app that works directly with restaurants to secure tables for parties of 2 and 4 in the best timeslots, then puts them up for sale to the public for $20-$25 (for a two-top and four-top, respectively). This seems like a worrisome precedent to set -- as EaterSF pointed out when they broke the news, it could mean that the best reservations at hot restaurants will eventually all be pay-to-play. On the other hand, $25 for four translates to roughly $6 per person, and judging by the restaurant caliber on the initial list, that $6 will be a drop in the bucket for what you're spending on dinner.

Here's the current list of participating restaurants:




Central Kitchen


Fleur De Lys

La Folie

Roka Akor

Slanted Door



You'll notice that most of S.F.'s hardest-to-get reservations aren't on the list, places like State Bird Provisions, Rich Table, Flour + Water, Bar Tartine, Frances, Delfina, Nopa, Cotogna, and Ichi Sushi, suggesting that this service isn't so much for diehard foodies as it is for wealthy people who want a nice dinner without planning it months in advance.

To secure one of those rare tables, you may have to resort on an app like RezHound that pings OpenTable constantly to find new slots (OpenTable has debuted its own alert service in other cities) ... and if nothing else there's always S.F.'s favorite pastime, waiting in line.

[via Eater SF]

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About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Anna Roth is SF Weekly's Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.


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