Yesterday we alerted you to Eater's coverage of the new reservations-scalping service PrimeTimeTables, which sells reservations to hard-to-get-into restaurants to their "select" group of members. Needless to say, the Eater boys have flooded the zone on this one, and their detective work has yielded bounteous fruit in the form of an interview with Karine Bakhoum, the wife of PTT owner Pascal Riffaud and a PR agency owner in her own right.
Eater asked: "To be direct, how is PTT not a reservation scalper?"
An excellent question, and one that Ms. Bakhoum goes to great lengths to avoid answering. Her non-denial denials after the jump. We, and Eater, will not let this restaurant world scandal die until we learn the Truth. And the Truth, friends, is not always what it appears.
KB: It's simply not. The business is not scalping tables. This is a service. In NY people outsource everything from walking their dogs to doing their laundry. Clients of PTT don't have the time or patience to call a month in advance for their reservations, nor do they want their personal assistants on the phone all day with restaurants. PrimeTimeTables charges their customers for the service of providing reservations. It is so hard to get a reservation in NY between 7 and 9 PM. Sure anyone can go to dinner on their own at 5 or 10, but who wants to?Aren't rich people the best?
The people who use the service are very busy and often don't know 30 days ahead of time where they'll be eating. These are executives at Sony, Citigroup, Bear Stearns, Deutsch Bank. Let's say Mr. Yamaguchi is in town for a $19 billion deal. He's not going to worry about where the deal-making meal is going to be.