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One could always use a Captcha to stop bots if it became a problem.

But it's not a problem for the places taking the reservations. They're thrilled whenever they manage to book solid. It's only a problem for the non technically minded people looking for reservations.

Are all the bot reservations actually made with the intention of a human going to the restaurant? I wouldn't be surprised if some people used these bots just to prevent anyone else from making online reservations and screw with the restaurant/customers.

Based on the bot's code [1], it looks like all they ask for is a phone number and an email address. It might be a good idea to at least require a captcha, if not a credit card deposit of a few bucks.

[1] https://gist.github.com/diogomonica/6076911

A service that solves captcha for you can cost as low as $2/1000 captcha

Yes, but the services utilize human interaction to solve the captcha and that would almost certainly prevent all the openings from being taken in <1 minute.

Here's the thing though: you've got two people who are eagerly waiting for the purchase / booking of something to become available. One of them is going to do it all manually. The 2nd person has a bot to do all the form filling in leg work but will manually solve the captcha.

Who wins?

True, but there are multiple openings available. I guess they're probably already executing in parallel though. When I looked earlier the DBC average was 17 seconds... with browser form fillers you could beat that!

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