New bill passed in state removes restaurant reservations from resale market

The New York State Legislature has passed a new bill that will require third-party reservation services to get permission from restaurants to make reservations on their behalf.

The law project, dubbed the Anti-Restaurant Reservations Piracy Lawstates that third-party reservation services such as Resy and OpenTable cannot “advertise, promote or sell reservations” on their platforms for a “dining establishment” without a written agreement with the establishments.

The legislation makes New York the “first state in the nation to pass legislation aimed at combating the trend of predatory software flooding the online restaurant reservations market,” according to A press release published by the New York State Restaurant Association on June 6.

The bill was introduced in May by Sen. Nathalia Fernandez, passed by the state Assembly on June 3, and passed by the state Senate three days later. It now awaits Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature to become law.

Fernandez said in the press release that the bill would curb “the widespread exploitation of online restaurant reservations.”

“From charging exorbitant rates for a reservation, to double reservations, to phantom reservations leaving diners with fewer options and restaurants with empty tables, it is up to the Legislature to act” , she continued.

Making reservations on the black market in New York has become a sideline, with practitioners scooping up blocks of meal times at the hottest restaurants with the intention of reselling them to people who want to dine there. NBC News reported. A Brown University student made $100,000 in 19 months selling reservations, according to NBC News.

Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, called the bill a “major victory” in the press release.

“Our members work hard every day to create a desirable dining experience,” she said. “Now, when customers have the opportunity to dine out, they will no longer have to compete with predatory bots capturing reservations and reselling them at exorbitant prices. »

OpenTable and Resy CEOs Debby Soo and Pablo Rivero, respectively, also applauded the legislation in the release.

“Passing this bill is important for restaurants and will help protect their bottom lines by reducing ‘no-shows’ caused by fraudulent reservations,” Soo said. “We are pleased to see New York taking a strong stance to support its restaurants. »

“Resy joins many of its New York restaurant partners in applauding the New York State Legislature for passing the Anti-Piracy Restaurant Reservations Act,” Rivero said. “This important legislation is a significant step forward in protecting restaurants and diners from reservation fraud. »

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