When startups start to mess with your dinner reservations, things either accelerate to awesome or spiral downwards into so, so wrong. ReservationHop, a new startup in San Francisco, is unfortunately the latter. Not because of their tech working or their product, but because they’re business model is based on one, teeny, tiny, sketchy principle: scalping.
ReservationHop is a service that “[makes] reservations at the hottest restaurants in advance so you don't have to.” They snag reservations from the hottest restaurants in San Francisco, then sell them back to you for a small fee. Like we said, scalping.
As Valleywag points out, the app functions in such an "unofficial gray area" that ReservationHop even tells patrons "After payment, we'll give you the name to use when you arrive at the restaurant." What's worse is that the scalping site could leave establishments with empty tables due to unsold reservations, a scary thing for restaurants already struggling to break even.
Unsurprisingly, both restaurant owners and patrons are pissed:
ReservationHop is seriously the douchebaggiest thing I’ve heard of in a while. — Peter Cohen (@flargh) July 3, 2014