Serial reservation scalper targets NYC’s best restaurants

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Taylor Swift seats aren’t the only tickets sold at a premium by less-than-shameless hustlers.

Reservation in Yoshino, a 10-seat Michelin starred The sushi bar on the Bowery is scaling up for about $700 each, according to a representative for the restaurant.

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To enjoy sushi master Tadashi Yoshida’s famous omakase, diners must book on the talk platform and pay a $500 deposit per person.

The actual meal, including tax and service, but not drinks, cost $646 per person.


The restaurant was tipped off by a regular customer, according to correspondence seen by The Post between Yoshino’s general manager Mayumi Kobayashi and Talk’s representatives.

Reservations at Yoshino require a $500 deposit.
Helen Seidman for the NYPost

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Reportedly, the reservations – which are currently booked up for a month – were being sold in a closed group called Little Red Book on the Chinese version of Twitter, using the name Winters Wang with no other names.

“That’s working out another $180 per seat,” Kobayashi wrote to Talk, alerting the company to the issue. “It looks like he’s making quite a fatal Hawking reservation.”

With the help of a whistleblower, Kobayashi was able to obtain screenshots from the closed group, which revealed Wang’s methods—not to mention the fact that he was scamming seats at other top NYC restaurants like Le Bernardin, Nakaji, and Cappo Sono. doing.

The scalper appears to use a string of names, log-ins and email addresses – but in enough cases, the same exact credit card, which made the anti-regulation act easy to spot.

The depth of the problem became apparent last month, when Kobayashi sent Wang an email letting him know it was against restaurant policy to transfer reservations after it was discovered another party was dining in his name.

Yoshino, a high-end sushi bar has fallen victim to a reservation scalper, the general manager alleges.
evan sung

A lengthy email from Wang, written in broken English, spoke of the confusion, which “happened between me and my friend in person,” but then went on to chastise the restaurant for “a small advice” to allow diners to make reservations for others.

(Wang did not respond to The Post for comment.)

Because Kobayashi was able to gain access to the private group where the reselling was taking place, she was able to go to Tock with the evidence she needed to obtain the bookings canceled by Wang. Resale of reservations is a violation of the Site’s Terms of Service.

Yoshino is concerned that other high-end restaurants are being scaled down as well.
Yoshino is concerned that other high-end restaurants are being scaled down as well.
Helen Seidman for the NYPost

In response to the frustrating scenario, Talk director of marketing Marissa Muhl told the Post, “Although not specifically related to Yoshino, we know it happens and highly discourage it.”

“Reservation hinders resale [a restaurant’s] The ability to leverage guest preferences that are central to the experiences they are offering,” she said.

In addition, it also results in extreme dissatisfaction for customers, according to Andrew Rigi, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

“If you have scalpers who are blocking reservations, [that] makes it more difficult for the average person to obtain [in]”Rigi told The Post. “It makes restaurants, especially hot restaurants, even less accessible.”

Kobayashi and the Yoshino team, who declined to comment for this article, are considering legal action.

Serial reservation scalper targets NYC’s best restaurants

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