The stakes are high! Top restaurants now charge customers more to sit at their best tables: Chicago steakhouse offers booth where Frank Sinatra sat for an extra $25
- Customers pay the premium for the best tables and dining experience
- Some pay up to $25 for a seat, sometimes with celebrity status
- Tablz allows diners to take a 3D tour of the venue before stepping in
Customers pay the premium to secure a seat at celebrity-status restaurant tables, with some paying up to $25 before even getting the bill.
Booking platform Tablz, a Toronto-based startup, has given diners the choice to reserve the best seats in the house using a 3D touring application that gives customers an immersive experience of the venue before they even step foot outside .
One such restaurant, Gene & Georgetti, has found a way to capitalize on their star-studded guest list by charging extra to sit at crooner Frank Sinatra’s favorite booth, depending on what time you hope to get into the restaurant.
Managing partner Michelle Durpetti, whose family has operated the restaurant since 1941, said that while there is nothing commemorating Sinatra on the stand, demand for the table is high.
Customers pay the premium to get a seat at celebrity status restaurant tables, with some paying up to $25 before even getting the bill
“We’ve had a great response,” Durpetti said The Chicago Tribune. “It books several times a day, at least several days a week.”
Gene & Georgetti said the booth is very popular in addition to Sinatra’s and has hosted many celebrity dinner parties including Sting, Nat King Cole and members of Fleetwood Mac.
While consumers are used to shelling out extra money for airplane seats with more legroom or concert tickets closer to the stage, restaurants have generally not asked diners to do the same.
When a restaurant joins Tablz, it gets a 3D scan so guests can search for a table to book as if they were walking through the restaurant.
Restaurateurs work with the app to decide how much to charge for each booking, prices often vary depending on the day of the week and time of reservation.
At Gene & Georgetti, Sinatra’s booth is free to reserve on Friday late afternoon, but after 8 p.m. it costs $25.
Meanwhile, other restaurants in the area, such as Roka Akor in River North, charge $15 and Old Town Pour House charges customers $200 per table to watch March Madness games from the bar’s communal table area, each of which seats eight to ten persons.
Just over a third of bookings on Tablz are free, Gabriella Lenzi-Littleton, who leads Chicago-based partnerships at Tablz and is a cousin of Durpetti, told the outlet. While the average price for a paid booking is about $27.
Restaurants don’t pay a fee to be on the platform, but Tablz takes 30 percent of each booking fee.
At Gene & Georgetti, Sinatra’s booth is free to reserve on Friday late afternoon, but after 8 p.m. it costs $25
Managing partner Michelle Durpetti, whose family has operated the restaurant since 1941, said while there is nothing commemorating Sinatra on the stand, demand for the table is high
Top-earning restaurants can earn between $65,000 and $90,000 and average $21,000 per year, according to the application website.
Exclusivity and access have always appealed to customers, with some restaurants only letting customers in on a need-to-know basis.
With only four booths and six tables, Rao’s is the hardest table in New York to get, and that’s because there are no reservations.
Instead, restaurant regulars have table assignments of their own with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Hillary Clinton, and Jay-Z.