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Press Release

Local restaurants joining online reservation trend - Part II

August 18, 2007
Continued from Part I

Café Nora’s Fisher-Everette said she knew the regulars but she got a bit of a surprise when it adopted the system a year ago. “We’ve had some who have come in more than 100 times already in that year,” she said. “It helps you know who your very good customers are.”

The tables are color-coded on the screen so managers see whether the waiter has served drinks and appetizers, meals, desserts or delivered the bill.

That means better staff management and more accurate wait times for walk-in eaters. “I can see how many people are seated and that there are 20 people waiting at the door,” Fisher-Everette said. “Then I make sure we’re getting those tables cleared.” Emily Herner, co-owner of Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano in Noblesville, signed up to save time fielding phoned-in reservations and because the listing on www.OpenTable.comwould put the restaurant’s name before out-of-towners.

And with the customers’ notes, Herner said she can relax about being back in the kitchen, knowing the hostess has all the client information she needs.

“It makes my job a lot easier,” she said.

OpenTable hopes to build a much larger client base here. So far, it’s mostly upscale restaurants that use it. Charges to the restaurant owners depend on the set-up but run about $200 a month, including a flat fee for the software and surcharges based on how many reservations are booked online.

“We still see a lot of room for growth in Indianapolis,” Johannesen said.

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