Not surprisingly, getting a reservation at the hottest Manhattan restaurants is easier if you're rich, famous, an influencer, a media bigshot, or all of those things. But even within the realm of restaurant reservation phone lines, there is a hierarchy of velvet ropes. According to former reservationist Foster Kamer, at his job the people calling were placed into one of the following four groups. There is also the PAB (Punk-ass bitch) group that included individuals known in the restaurant scene to be rude, bad tippers, or always late for their reservation. From Gossamer:
PROFILE: Plebes. Normies. In binary, zeroes. The largest of the four groups. On average, well over half the calls. Almost never got what they wanted. Almost always pissed.
PX (or: Person Extraordinaire)
PROFILE: Magazine editors and food writers, gallerinas, flacks, fashion girls, low-D-to-mid-C-list celebrities. Sometimes got what they wanted. Often felt they deserved better. Often annoyed.
PROFILE: A rare, exotic bird. Important. Memorable. At least one person in the restaurant knows who they are on sight, sound, or name. An A-to-high-B list actor, editor in chief or of note, a Times writer or Page Six gossip, a novelist, artist, or top-tier chef. Tina Brown, Graydon Carter, a Gosling, a Hemsworth, a Bushnell, a Rushdie, or (groan) a McInerney. Maybe a regular or neighbor. But mostly, bona fide celebrities. Maybe 10 percent of the calls. Usually got whatever they wanted.
PROFILE: The 99th percentile. Royalty. No, really: actual, literal royalty. Wills and Harry. People who only need first names: Anna, Bono, Hillary, et al. Also, the owner, the owner’s family, investors, the chefs, and anybody who’d racked up visits in the triple digits. This list was so small, you were able to memorize it, and probably should. Always got whatever they wanted.
"Making Reservations: Life behind the lines of one of New York’s most iconic restaurants." (Gossamer)
image: "Tom's Restaurant in Manhattan, New York, United States, which was made internationally famous by Seinfeld" by Rdikeman (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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