Stop The JerkTech
"Go disr*pt yourself" is what I have to say to founders of startups like ReservationHop and Parking Monkey. They’re emblematic of a compassionless new wave..
Funny how the media are so quick to either embrace or hate on new, “disruptive” companies. Both of the abovementioned companies do arbitrage, which is something that in general isn’t very frowned upon. Still, I agree that Reservationhop’s practices are borderline:
So what do these tools do? ReservationHop places phony reservations at the hottest San Francisco restaurants, and then sells them for $5 or $10 apiece on its site. That makes it harder for the common man to get a reservation, since if they call the restaurant directly, they’ll find all the spots taken.
However, I do not think these guys will shut down their service as long as they’re making money. And even though nobody will admit to using such a service, I think there’s a huge opportunity, especially in SF with both its huge salaries and foodie-culture.
Unfortunate for the restaurants, but there are VERY simple solutions to this problem.
- The offline-solution: have those who show up for reservations show ID.
- The online-solution (and potential business opportunity): have people book with verified accounts (eg. Facebook). Yes, it’s possible to create fake accounts, but then use tools like Klout.
Quick fixes that shuts down a business that potentially hurts the entire restaurant industry. No need to make so much fuzz about it.
I find Parking Monkey to be more legit. Incentivize users to do good (inform about free parking), and take a percentage. As long as the prices are low enough to not have people exploit it, I think it’s fine.