Poll: Would You Pay for Restaurant Reservations?

Table8 launches in Washington, offering hot seats for a price.

Would you pay for a table at the white-hot Fiola Mare? Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Would you pay money for an ordinarily free restaurant reservation? It’s a hot topic in the industry right now, thanks to the proliferation of third-party reservation systems like Resy and Shout that offer seats at popular restaurants for a fee.

Washington gets its first such service with the arrival of Table8, a San Francisco company that launched Monday with 17 local partners, including Fiola Mare, Zaytinya, Osteria Morini, and Del Campo (see the full list here). The app is free, as are reservations at participating restaurants if there’s plenty of space available, or if the diner is picking an off-peak time. Otherwise, the booking costs $25 for a two-person table or $45 for four, and the money is split by the restaurant and Table8. The number of spaces set aside for users varies, but most eateries only hold one or two tables, while others set aside up to five.

It’s worth noting that all the local participants offer free reservations otherwise. The service is geared toward last-minute diners looking for a hot seat. So what do you think—is a reservation worth the price?

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.