Before smartphones, prime seats at the finest restaurants in town often went to celebrities and luminaries, or anyone with deep pockets willing to grease the palm of the maître d' to skip the line. Now there's an app for that, too.
Reservations at some of the hottest eateries around have become a salable commodity. An increasing number of eateries are choosing to profit, simply by holding tables for anyone willing to shell out some extra cash. Resy is profiting from that wave.
Leventhal and Gary Vaynerchuk launched Resy in June 2014. The booking service app is now in 80 participating restaurants in New York and Los Angeles. For serious foodies, Resy could be described as a godsend.
Linked to a credit card, it doesn't cost anything to sign up for a Resy account and download the app. Although some reservations may not cost a penny, peak reservations are based on demand pricing. That can range anywhere from $2 per seat up to $50, and users can book tables as close to an hour before seating time for brunch and dinner.
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"Prices vary day-to-day the same way a restaurant might price a chicken dinner," said Leventhal. "As a business, restaurants now have the option to use inventory scarcity to their advantage. Resy helps restaurants understand yield management."
Vaynerchuk added: "Chefs are now celebrities and restaurants are destinations. Dining is more social," and Resy is leveraging that to its advantage. Vaynerchuk is also a co-founder and the CEO of VaynerMedia, a social media brand consulting agency and grew his family's wine store sales to $45 million within a few years by launching WineLibrary.com, one of America's first wine websites.
Leventhal is the co-founder of Eater, the national food blog network now owned by Vox Media.