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Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Property in Dinner Reservations?

Rez

A recent piece in the The New York Times asks some property-themed questions:

Who owns a restaurant reservation?

Is it the restaurant, having set aside a table as a courtesy for a particular guest? Is it the guest, who made the reservation and can use it — or not — at will? Or is it the entrepreneur who pays workers to frantically redial reservation lines at the moment when prime tables are made available, snagging them under false names and marking them up for sale?

This is the crux of the restaurant industry’s current debate over selling reservations for cash, a smoldering issue being reignited by mobile apps that do just that.

The paper also published a short roundtable on the issue.  Tyler Cowen defends the market:

When restaurants don’t charge for reservations, they tend to hold back tables for regular customers, celebrities, very attractive people and the politically and socially well connected. You might be dying to go to that restaurant for a special birthday or anniversary, but you’ll simply be unable to get in. Money is ultimately a more egalitarian force than privilege, as everyone’s greenbacks are worth the same.

When restaurants don’t charge for reservations, they tend to hold back tables for regular customers, celebrities, very attractive people and the politically and socially well connected. You might be dying to go to that restaurant for a special birthday or anniversary, but you’ll simply be unable to get in. Money is ultimately a more egalitarian force than privilege, as everyone’s greenbacks are worth the same. - See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/06/should-restaurant-reservations-be-for-sale.html#sthash.QVoZnexJ.dpuf
When restaurants don’t charge for reservations, they tend to hold back tables for regular customers, celebrities, very attractive people and the politically and socially well connected. You might be dying to go to that restaurant for a special birthday or anniversary, but you’ll simply be unable to get in. Money is ultimately a more egalitarian force than privilege, as everyone’s greenbacks are worth the same. - See more at: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/06/should-restaurant-reservations-be-for-sale.html#sthash.QVoZnexJ.dpuf

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