Unless you're Anthony Bourdain, grabbing a table at the trendiest restaurant in your neighborhood requires more than showing up. Everyone wants to be treated like a VIP, but not everyone has hustled hard enough (or successfully enough) to guarantee that kind of result. That's why serial entrepreneur Joshua Stern created IKnowtheChef, a service that allows members to - how to put this delicately - jump the line. Sign up, fill in your details, and you'll suddenly be able to snatch a last-minute resy at high-ends spots in New York City, Chicago, and Miami, where Stern's ground game is strong.
“We ultimately want to be the go-to source of insider access at top restaurants worldwide,” says Stern, who is 27 years old and uninterested in breaking bread with the status quo. He intends to accomplish his goal by modernizing the Diner's Club card, using an app to reward restaurant regulars and help businesses provide them more individualized service. Prefer the seat near the window? Request it. Any food allergies? Mark them down. Everyone’s got preferences, and you can make yours clear before cracking the cocktail menu. It's ideal for anyone who cares deeply about dinner and even better for anyone who cares deeply about dates.
“Getting a Saturday night reservation at Toro or Tao impresses the ladies," says Stern. "I’ve had guys email me and tell me they’ve brought their dates home because of the reservation. True story.”
So there's that. [$70 Quarterly/$250 Annual/$500 Elite Annual; iknowthechef.com]