It should be easier than ever to book a reservation for date night thanks to websites like OpenTable and Urbanspoon. But in San Francisco, a number of food aficionados and coders have apparently used their technical skills to grab the best tables all for themselves. Diogo Mónica, who works as an engineer for Square, wrote a script that would email him the instant that a new reservation opened up on Urbanspoon for one of his favorite restaurants. The script ought to have given Mónica an edge on getting reservations, but it turned out that others were a bit greedier: Mónica eventually realized that the open tables were instantly filling up. It seemed that like-minded coders had written scripts that would book a reservation the instant it was made available.
In a statement issued to BuzzFeed, Urbanspoon refuted Mónica's claims, suggesting that it had tools capable of combating reservation fraud. Mónica's report is based solely off of data from a single restaurant, State Bird Provisions, which he says is almost impossible to get seated at because of its popularity. While it's unlikely that this is happening on a much broader scale, San Francisco's wealth of tech-savvy residents makes it one of the likelier places for such a scheme to go down.