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Launches & Releases: Non-Scalper Service TableXchange Is Not a Scalper Service

Your attention please. Launching next week in the Bay Area is TableXchange and in the wake of the Tablepronto hoopla, they are being very, very adamant that they are not—repeat: not—just another reservation scalping service. Got it?

That said, TableXchange has been in New York since the summer, is still functioning and bills itself as an "online marketplace to buy and sell restaurant reservations." Given that they've had some time to work out the kinks in the Big Apple, we're wondering if they'll be including restaurants that you know, are actually difficult to get into (i.e., Chez Panisse instead of Medjool).

When addressing comparisons to Tablepronto, the founders have some choice words for the "shoddy version of TableXchange." Along with some entertaining resy-war mongering, here's the rationale for their service:

Our service aims to create a marketplace where users can buy and sell reservations to hot restaurants ... We launched here in New York in the early summer and have been perfecting our system over the past few months before we expanded nationally. In the mean time, Antoine [Powell of Tablepronto] completely hacked our site and started a shoddy version of TableXchange which seems to be routinely lampooned by you guys [Ed note: lampooned, discussed] – but that is neither here nor there.

We started TableXchange because we knew how hard it was to secure a last minute reservation. Many people have these reservations that they just don't use for any number of reasons (family issues, they make multiple reservations, change of plans, etc.). Why not allow someone else use what would otherwise go to waste? Since launching in New York, we have shown restaurants (and continue to do so) that our service can decrease their "no show" rate and increase their per seat revenues when people use TableXchange. It's pretty obvious, but people who are eager to buy a reservation a) always show up and b) tend to have readily available disposable income and thus higher dinner bills.

Better reasoning and business model aside, we're still a bit unclear on how the actual service differs from Tablepronto, but we suppose we'll reserve judgment until the site launches. Until then, there's a 7pm resy at One Market for $5.
· TableXchange [Official Site]
· TablePronto Responds to Negative Flack, Kind Of
· Restaurants, OpenTable Investigating TablePronto

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