You've been dying to try the newest restaurant in your neighborhood, but after a solid two weeks of attempting to make a reservation for your piddly party of two, you're convinced you'll never be able to get in. So you do what any sane person would do: you call the next best hot spot, only to find out that the only way to dine there is to walk-in—and the line is always hours long.
You can't win: you either can't make a reservation, or you can't make a reservation.
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"Some new restaurant operators think that by not allowing reservations, it creates a bit of 'buzz' and exclusivity, which in truth is not normally the case—as our current dining population wants ease more than exclusivity," explains Michael Kaplan, area director of operations for The Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills. Plus, "the world of OpenTable and Yelp Seat Me have taken the dining scene by storm." Any yet, those services cost big bucks for smaller establishments, Kaplan points out. "As we evolve as an industry—and as our costs are increasing day by day—restaurants are looking for ways to save on their average spend," he says. "Those reservation systems are wonderful marketing tools, but also add up from a cost perspective—so you may see smaller, independent businesses not want to splurge on those reservation systems."