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Reservation Startups Will Snag You a Table...for a Price

Darren Wolfberg, a stock trader in New York, needed an impressive restaurant for a client dinner. To snag a table at Miss Lily’s, a hip Jamaican eatery in the Village, he paid a fee to have someone else get one for him.

Wolfberg, who forked over $20 to a reservation site called Zurvu, didn’t relish the idea of paying for something that’s typically free. But in the tight market for the hottest places in town, the 38-year-old said the extra cost is no big deal.