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Press Release

A Better Welcome at Chic Eateries - via the Web

October 6, 1999
Getting into a good restaurant is an ego-crushing experience in cities with pretenses to fine cuisine. You have to be a supermodel or friend of the owner at some places on a Friday night. Assuming you can get through on the phone.

Now, a three-month-old Web service promises to even the playing field a little for ordinary mortals. OpenTable.com, which allows diners to look for open slots and reserve them via its Web site at some 50 restaurants in San Francisco, is expanding its service. It has added one listing in Seattle and two in Chicago.

For customers, the main advantage to OpenTable is that there's no getting stuck on hold or contending with an attitude-challenged
maitre d'. One thing it won't change, concedes Regan Daniels, the company's marketing communications manager, is the fact that some people magically get tables when none are theoretically available. Restaurants can list as many -- or as few -- slots as they want. But, she stresses, OpenTable.com's restaurants will serve customers better by tracking their preferences -- such as how often you come and what you order. Who knows? Maybe you can become one of those people who never needs a reservation.

October 6, 1999
©1999, by The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. All rights reserved.

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