What is it with fancy restaurants? You call them up, ask for a reservation and every time you get the same answer: “We have an opening at 5 p.m. or 11 p.m.”
So who’s eating at all those other times? How did they get their tables? What makes them so special?
For an answer, we went to the highest cuisine authority we could think of: a French dude.
Pascal Riffaud is the founder of PrimeTime Tables, an online dining club that offers same-day reservations at the hottest restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia. (We know. We wondered the same thing: Philadelphia?)
Anyway, Riffaud comes up with the haute stuff for his clients by relying on his extensive network of contacts in the restaurant industry, which he developed in his years working as a concierge at the Ritz in Paris and the St. Regis in New York.
“As a concierge I always received last-minute requests from clients.” he says. “But 10 years ago you could call any restaurant and ask to speak to the owner or the chef to get a table. Nowadays that’s impossible.”
For a membership of $500 a year, PrimeTime members can make online reservations for $45 per booking.
So now we know the secret to getting a good table: You’ve gotta have the dough. But what’s the secret of Riffaud’s success?
“There are no secrets to success,” he says. “You have to love what you do and work hard.”