STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Trying to get a prime-time reservation at a popular restaurant can sometimes be impossible, but would you pay extra for a table?
“Nobody wants to go early or too late,” Mel Graham of Studio City says.READ MORE: Kelly Price, Well-Known Gospel And R&B Singer, Registered As Missing Person
OpenTable, the online dining reservation app, is testing a premium service in New York.
The service utilizes surge pricing like Uber, which goes up based on demand.
Users in N.Y., where it’s being tested, should expect to pay $25 per person to get the most sought-after spots.
At N.Y.’s high-end Mexican spot Cosme, the first test site, weekends are booked through mid-October.
Graham says she’d welcome the service expanding to Los Angeles.
“I would so do it! I would do it and I know everybody else would do it that I know,” she said.
But, while Agavni Tulekyan of Burbank used OpenTable for her reservation at a new hotspot Maradentro Tuesday night, she likes it because it’s quick and free.READ MORE: Costco And Other Big Box Retailers Limiting Number Of Some Items Customers Can Purchase
“I would not pay extra $50 just to get a reservation. I’d look somewhere else,” she said.
“It’s kinda like greasing the guy at the door,” said Jesse Gomez, who owns six L.A. restaurants including three locations of Mercado and Maradentro in Studio City.
He uses OpenTable and while OpenTable says all fees go directly to restaurants, Gomez isn’t sold.
“I don’t think I’m comfortable doing it. I think people already are paying premium,” he said.
San Francisco-based OpenTable says it’s all about given customers what they want at a benefit to restaurants. The company provided CBS Los Angeles with a statement that said in part:
“… our diner demand and data is unmatched, so we believe we can capture more value for prime-time tables … ”
After the test, OpenTable plans to analyze the results and see what price point works.MORE NEWS: Friday Last Day For LAUSD Employees To Get First COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Before Oct. 15 Deadline
If diner and restaurant interest is high enough, the company says it’ll expand the premium service soon.