ECONOMY & WORK
MONEY 101
NEWS
PERSONAL FINANCE
NET WORTH
About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Analyst. Market Analyst is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.
Market Analyst Logo
Market Analyst Logo
MARKETANALYST.US / ECONOMY & WORK

People are Making Millions by Booking Tables at NYC Restaurants to Flip Their Reservations Later

The black market is thriving with one table reservation Thursday night at the West Village’s bougie Italian spot Carbone was available for  $340, while the coveted Polo Bar cost nearly twice that at $650, all this without the check, of course.
PUBLISHED MAY 1, 2024
 A view of an American Express and Resy-sponsored outdoor dining area at Carbone | Getty Images |  Alexi Rosenfeld/
A view of an American Express and Resy-sponsored outdoor dining area at Carbone | Getty Images | Alexi Rosenfeld/

Dining out in New York isn't as simple as walking into a restaurant and finding a table, since spots at every popular place are booked well in advance. The demand for the tables continues to outweigh the supply, and an elite network is cashing in on this by securing reservations and then reselling their place. Some of these resellers are even earning millions doing this, as New York's dine-out scene is marked by exclusive eateries.

For instance, at Ralph Lauren, tables have been gulped up by an Ivy League, undergrad math wiz named Alex Eisler. The sophomore at Brown University is reportedly creating phony numbers and emails and getting reservations which they are selling for a profit.

"Sometimes they recognize my voice, so I have to do different accents,” Eisler, who said he made $70,000 on bookings last year, told The New Yorker. "I have to act like a girl sometimes. I’m, like, 'Hi, is it possible to book a reservation?' I have a few Resy accounts that have female names."

Le Chai Asian Flair Restaurant | Getty Images | Johnny Nunez
Le Chai Asian Flair Restaurant | Getty Images | Johnny Nunez

He added that he can also enjoy a hefty $850 tip just for booking a lunch at SoHo hotspot Maison Close. Appointment Trader which is one of the sites reselling the reservations, reportedly made a whopping $6 million on secondhand booking last year, more than double in 2022.

According to the publication, the black market is thriving with one table reservation Thursday night at the West Village’s bougie Italian spot Carbone was available for $340, while the coveted Polo Bar cost nearly twice that at $650, all this without the check, of course.

As per the sources, even celebrities like Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber, who were rejected by Carbone over two years ago for showing up without a reservation, are reportedly using this backdoor route now.

As per reporters, last year Hailey paid between $500 to $1,000 to a man named Nicky DiMaggio, who is a waste management business owner but also flips table reservations on the side.



"My client list is, like, the N.B.A., Megan Fox," he told the New Yorker. The business is thriving with people willing to pay huge sums to be able to enjoy a meal at their favorite diner. Recently Matt Rubin, a 27-year-old, paid $250 on Appointment Trader to enter the pearly gates of the newly opened “It” restaurant Roscioli.

For some, this is serving as a lucrative side hustle with some saying that it feels like they are playing, "Candy Crush on their phone."

"I play ‘Dinner Reservations,’ ” a seller who raked in $8,000 online last year told the New Yorker. “If you have scalpers out there that are snagging up reservations, [that] makes it more difficult for the everyday person to get [in],” Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance told The Post.



Some are also using AI to check new slots opening up as many as 100 times per minute, while some have hired a team to keep up with the sea of incoming reservations.

POPULAR ON MARKET REALIST
MORE ON MARKET REALIST