Press Release: “Restaurant.com Now Open for Restaurant Reservations, Connects Diners to Thousands of Eateries Nationwide” (Jul.2006)

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excerpt:
“Time-strapped diners craving their next meal can now visit Restaurant.com to arrange, confirm or reschedule reservations within seconds at nearly 6,000 independent restaurants across the country.

The no-cost, concierge service positions Restaurant.com as a leading online dining reservations source, and signals the company’s arrival as a total online dining solutions provider, already offering expense-saving dining certificates.

…Diners make reservations requests by visiting Restaurant.com to find a restaurant and to indicate a preferred dining date and time. Visitors choose a restaurant from the listings and click on the reservations icon next to the entry. Diners enter their name, phone number and email address, as well as reservation date, time and party size.”

source: “Restaurant.com Now Open for Restaurant Reservations, Connects Diners to Thousands of Eateries Nationwide” (Restaurant.com, Jul.19,2006)

link: Restaurant.com

Blog: “Inside the House: Do You OpenTable?” (Jun.2006)

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excerpt:
"So, it's no surprise that when it comes to making reservations, you double-click instead of dial. OpenTable, anyone?

The subscription-based OpenTable online system connects diners to restaurants that opt to become available for online bookings…

OpenTable works best if your reservation is a routine booking. But for anything remotely special, complicated or in need of human intelligence or special accommodation, your best bet is still to call and talk to an actual, live, breathing person. And as a hostess, I'll tell you why…"

source: "Inside the House: Do You OpenTable?" by Nadya S. Nikiforova (DCist, Jun.7,2006)

Inside the House is a DCist feature offering an insider's view of fine dining issues by the hostess at a D.C. restaurant.

Article: “Inside the House: Giving Good Phone” [Reservations] (May 2006)

excerpt:
"As you probably know by now, a positive dining experience is a two-way street between the diner and the establishment. And the first step toward that is a phone call you make when asking for a reservation. Sounds simple, right? It is. But anyone who has ever fronted the phones at a restaurant can tell you that some callers are better than others. Here are some tips to make you one of the better ones:

Avoid calling for reservations during lunch and dinner rushes (between 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., respectively).

Remember the scene at the last busy restaurant you visited? All these people milling about near the host stand, waiting at the bar, walking to their tables, checking and retrieving their coats?"

source: "Inside the House: Giving Good Phone" by Nadya S. Nikiforova (DCist, May 10,2006)

Happy Eating.

Article: “Table for 12? Plan ahead for those special occasions” (May 2006)

excerpt:
"It could be Graduation Day or a Big Birthday. Maybe it's a gathering of your book club, softball team or gourmet group. Perhaps you're planning a farewell lunch for an office mate or a night on the town for relatives from out-of-town. Your mission: to score a restaurant reservation for a large party. That way, you won't show up at 7 p.m. begging, "Uh, table for 12?"

In the best of all worlds, there will be a warm welcome and a comfortable table waiting for you, whether you've planned that meal out two months ahead — or two days ago. But don't count on it.

Instead, count on these tips from area restaurant pros to help you get that table, make the most of your visit and leave saying, "Hey! That was fun!"

source: "Table for 12? Plan ahead for those special occasions" by Nancy Leson (The Seattle Times, May 3,2006)

Article: “Before you go: Tips for prom dinner”

Here are some tips for being an empowered diner for your prom dinner:

excerpt:
"- Make your reservation as far in advance as possible. May and June are popular months, not only for prom groups, but also for high school and college graduations. Popular time slots — 7 to 8 p.m. — go fast. Call early and if you have your heart set on a specific place, be prepared to take an early dinner reservation time.

– Show up on time — or even slightly early — and that means the entire group. Guests who straggle in 20 to 30 minutes late ruin the pace of the dinner for their companions and delay the next group's reservation.
 
– Reconfirm your reservation with the…
"

click for more: "Before you go: Tips for prom dinner" by Candy Sagon (Washington Post, Apr.26,2006)

Resource: Advice on getting good restaurant service

In addition to having a mutual respect, empowered diners are informed on how to help the waitstaff make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Below are some related articles:

How to Get the Best Food and Service in Your Favorite Restaurant

Restaurant etiquette and manners: waiters and getting a great table

Restaurant Etiquette: Getting Our Manners Back in Shape

words of the wise for restaurant go-ers…Tip accordingly

Surviving Restaurants

Dude, You Ordered a Burger

How to Make Service More Efficient

Art of Sucking Down

for the more adventurous reading:
How to score with a waitress (via Restaurant Girl Speaks blog)
How to order wine without looking like an a**hole (via Waiterrant.net)

Happy Eating.