Thursday, November 8, 2007

I've got reservations about reservations...

My wife’s birthday is coming up and I want to take her to someplace nice for dinner. She’s been really excited about trying Quince again. We went there once a couple years ago and had an incredible time. This is one of those restaurants that’s more of an experience than just a good meal. It’s usually a 2-4 hour event, the service is flawless and the food is ridiculously creative. There’s only about 4 or 5 of these types of restaurants in San Francisco; the elite restaurants. My mind was made up, my only remaining hurdle was making the reservation.

So I call Quince. It’s midday on a Tuesday and the phone is busy. I call a few more times, still busy. Finally, I get through to a reservationist. She informs me that they only accept reservations a month in advance so I should call back exactly one month before we want to come in. No problem I say. “Our phone lines open at 10am,” she says. “Call at 10am,” she repeats.

Ok, ok, the reservationist loves her job, I tell myself. She wants to ensure all reservations are filled at all times. I was wrong. I called this morning at 10am and spent 25 minutes battling the rest of the universe to break through. I felt like I was dialing ticketmaster for Hannah Montana tickets. I finally got through, made a similar joke about ticketmaster, and requested a Saturday evening in December.

“Let’s see, we have a 5, 5:30, 9:00 or 10:00 available,” she tells me. What the fuck? All of the normal dinner times booked up in 25 minutes? This is getting out of control. The demand for these sittings is astronomical. How much would somebody pay for a prime 7:30pm dinner reservation on a Friday or Saturday night at an elite restaurant? There’s a business idea here.

Let’s open up an underground black market for reservations. We’ll call the moment reservations open up at Gary Danko, Quince, Slanted Door, Michael Mina, and French Laundry. We’ll squat on all of the best times and then we’ll resell them. How many well off individuals would easily pay $50 or $100 for a prime reservation at a top spot? There are buyers out there. We just need to carve out our nitch as sellers. And why can’t we expand this to hair appointments or doctor appointments? Don’t you hate making an appt. 3 months in advance. Wouldn’t you pay a little more for a better date and better time? This is huge.

Who’s coming with me?


Anonymous said...

I bet people would also pay you to sit in the waiting room at the doctor's office for hours. Go for it, Magglio.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. This idea is awesome. Well said Magglio.