Concert Tickets, Sneakers, and Restaurant Reservations…
Seemingly one of these things is not like the others, but restaurant reservations have been one of the worst-kept secrets of the botting world. The constant demand for tables at the best restaurants makes it a prime opportunity for botters.
Ever wonder why on Resy or Opentable, when the tables at your favorite restaurants get booked immediately, even though you are frantically clicking refresh on the page? Botters are the ones beating you! These botters grab all the available reservations by using multiple profiles to make many reservations simultaneously, leaving us foodies disappointed.
Botting for restaurants is easier than sneakers or concert tickets because there is less security stopping them, less competition from other botters, and less risk with no charges for booking a reservation. Botters use the APIs to book up the open availabilities instantly. For example, once the reservations become available, customers need to go to the website (frontend) to book the reservations. However, before being visible on the website, the reservations are enabled in the backend of Resy and Opentable. Botters book the reservations before available on the website. This is a common approach for most bots, as sneaker and ticket bots use APIs to be alerted of new releases and price discrepancies. There are many free tools that can be used to help you create your reservation bot, like this open-source repository.
Botting restaurants has become profitable for individuals, as there is a significant resell market for reservations. Several groups allow individuals to trade and sell reservations, which has become free money for botters because it is nearly impossible to get tables at certain restaurants.
It has become so difficult for people to go to their favorite restaurants that companies like Front of House have created a service for people to pay $1,000 annually to eat at their favorite restaurants once a week. Many other reservation assistance services have begun to sprout as the situation has become so dire that people are forced to look for alternatives.
It has become the norm for reservations to get booked instantly and discourage individuals from even trying to book on Resy and Opentable. It does not matter the number of reminders, alerts, and the times you refresh the page; you cannot beat a bot — they are too fast.
This creates a lose-lose situation because restaurants cannot attract new customers due to the barriers to getting a reservation, and people do not have an opportunity to experience your restaurant. It creates a toxic hype that alienates most people wanting to celebrate special occasions, foodies, and only benefits a very small number of individuals.
Unfortunately, this is our new, hopefully temporary reality that the best restaurants are even more exclusive. Yofi is working to help combat this by helping restaurants prioritize genuine customers and creating meaningful experiences for them!