FreeRezy has secured NYC’s hottest reservations for an elite group online – Robb Report

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Securing that table for the pasta tasting menu in Rezdora or the whole rabbit in Dhamaka is no small feat. For some of New York’s hottest restaurants, you have to be ready to jump on a reservation as soon as it goes live or hope to pull the lucky straw and someone cancels the day you want to go. At the start of Momofuku Ko, Anthony Bourdain wrote that it even took David Chang’s parents more than a month to get a reservation.

Well, there was a group of New Yorkers who recently found their way around this. A new report from New York Eater details how a trio of former investment bankers managed to cheat the system to collect bookings and then distribute them to relatives via an encrypted messaging platform.

The guys who only wanted to be identified by Eater by their first names — Cole, Steve and Sal — started the #FreeRezy group last fall on Telegram to help their friends get into top restaurants on short notice. “We want to take the hassle out of planning months in advance and the uncertainty of getting high quality reservations,” Sal wrote in the #FreeRezy FAQ. “We all have busy schedules, but we should always be able to enjoy the best restaurants in New York.”

You have to put in the work to have the opportunity to eat Rezdora’s Uovo Raviolo.

Jeremy Repanich

They would set alarms on their phones and when reservations dropped, they would reserve multiple tables at once with the various Resy accounts they had set up, picking up reservations like a ticket reseller buying inventory. Except they didn’t sell their loot. They would post available reservations on Telegram and group members could message them with the first person to respond by getting the coveted table. The person got the reservation for free, but would be charged $15 if they wanted one of the guys to adjust the reservation for them. The plan, the guys admit, was to eventually charge people who wanted to crack reservations first.

In the months that #FreeRezy was active, the guys say they booked over 1,000 reservations for people in the group online which grew to 700 people by word of mouth, mostly finance guys in their 20s.

The shenanigans caused confusion in some restaurants as people showed up to make reservations, but with names that did not match their vaccination cards. And finally, Resy got the hang of it and closed all of his accounts at the end of January. #FreeRezy was dead.

While #FreeRezy group members have mourned the loss of their little escape, it is arguably better that they are no longer allowed to squat already scarce bookings for the benefit of their friends and the detriment of people trying in vain to book for themselves. Besides, all those 20-something finance bros should ignore such schemes and instead focus on learning the subtle art of sneakily slipping the master of a bent Benjamin.

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