Today the New York Times drops a report on the upsurge in businesses like Zurvu, Shout, Killer Rezzy and the upcoming Resy, that want to sell sought-after restaurant reservations. For those that want a refresher, there's a video over on Eater National that covers the entire online reservation landscape. But here are some crucial facts about reservation apps from the article:
1) In the first quarter of 2014, OpenTable made $34 million, a 27 percent increase from last year.
2) At the same time, Food For All, a business which already attempted the pay to play model, charging $50 for tables, has folded.
3) Alessandro Borgognone, the owner of Sushi Nazakawa, thinks that "It's online bribery...There's no difference between buying that table and palming a hundred dollars to the maître d."
4) Killer Rezzy has offered to remove restaurants from the app upon request, probably as a response to irate restaurateurs who didn't know their reservations were being scalped.
5) The Priceline Group, which recently acquired OpenTable, the reigning champion of online reservations, plans to add OpenTable to its existing travel and hotel booking sites, where it will remain a free service.
6) Eater co-founder and Resy co-creator Ben Leventhal defends paying for reservations from the restaurant's point of view: "Restaurants want to attract good customers, and lots of them are people who don't want to sit on hold, or write an email or stand around outside a restaurant waiting to get in. They are used to getting what they want with two taps on their phone."
7) With Resy, which is in beta and goes all the way live on Monday, the price per reservation will be chosen by the restaurant, costing around 10 percent of the average check. The prices will vary based in time and day of the week and more desirable tables tables may come at a premium.
8) Around 10 to 20 percent of tables each night are no shows.
Video: Would You Pay For A Reservation at Your Favorite Restaurant?
· Getting a Good Table by Flicking an App, Not Greasing a Palm [NYT]
· All Coverage of Reservation Wars [~ENY~]