OpenTable Now Lets Members Buy Their Way Into Hard-to-Book Restaurant Reservations

OpenTable is testing a Premium Access feature in Boston that allows frequent diners to score tough reservations more easily
Skip the six-month waiting period to score a seat at the chef’s table, for a price.


Skip the six-month waiting period to score a seat at the chef’s table, for a price. 

OpenTable is following in the footsteps of e-ticketing reservation systems like Noma with a VIP Premium Access feature that is being tested out  in Boston. The “pay-for-play” system lets you trade in your OpenTable points (received when checking into a restaurant) for access to popular tables at high-end restaurants that usually sell out in advance.

You can still exchange your points for gift cards like the old system, but this allows diners the option to use their “dining status” to get into Michelin-starred restaurants instead, without the frustration of a six-month waiting period or lottery system.[slideshow: 1633307]

“We always heard at cocktail parties: ‘Hey you work at Open Table, we’d love if you could get us in to this restaurant.’ Now there’s a way to do that,” Scott Jampol, senior vice president of marketing for OpenTable, told Eater. “The people who have access to premium reservations are those who dine out a lot. Restaurants love frequent diners because those people can become regulars.”

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Right now, 13 Boston restaurants are participating in the Premium Access test run, including Commonwealth, Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar, and Mare.