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Opentable.com in Vancouver


nwyles
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I would love to have this system available - I find myself doing more and more online and resent having to go into a store - ie Staples when I can do the shopping whenever I want. (If only Cafe Artigiano had on-line coffee service I would never need to leave my office!) The ability to go online to book during DOV makes me positively giddy - imagine how many more dinners I could squeeze in. I usually run out of energy to coordinate the bookings before I fill up the nights available.

It certainly sounds like it would be worth it for the restaurant as well. I am reminded of the play at the Arts Club several years ago that was based on a reservationist for a high-end NYC resto (Daniel's perhaps?) It was hilarious - a one-man show in which he attempted to deal with the hoi-poloi as well as the rest-of-us and he played all the wackos inside and outside the restaurant. I think it was called Fully Committed.

Would the DOV website direct us to the OT booking - it seems that few of us in Vancouver know this is available?

I don't think so.

I understand the logistics could not be worked out in thime this year. Perhaps one of the lurkers from TVan could confirm this.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I've used the system twice...once it said the restaurant was fully booked but when I phoned the restaurant they had space available ( In Vancouver it seems pretty common for diners to reserve either on line or by phone and still be no shows). In other words if opentable says a restaurant is full; phone and ask a human...you maybe surprised.

Cheers,

Stephen

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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I understand the logistics could not be worked out in thime this year. Perhaps one of the lurkers from TVan could confirm this.

Out of curiosity, do you know of any TVan lurkers? I don't know of any (my wife being a TVaner) and am pressed to think who would be.

I ask this because it seems that it seems to be assumed around here that pretty much everyone (industry and not) are lurking, but I think it's important to keep in mind that the local industry does not revolve around eGullet. Whether they should be keeping tabs or not (in my mind, most should), it's extremely relevant to remember that not everyone is watching around here. It appears that the assumption is that if there are issues brought up in eG, if they're not responded to by those in question, that they don't care to respond to issues. The thing to keep in mind, IMO, is that if you want to deal with any issue- to talk to the people involved directly and not assume it's all about us.

k.

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[host]

I ask this because it seems that it seems to be assumed around here that pretty much everyone (industry and not) are lurking, but I think it's important to keep in mind that the local industry does not revolve around eGullet.

Thank you Kurtis ... I couldn't have said it better myself.

A.

[/host]

Even though I spend a lot of time on-line (doh!) I still prefer booking things like tables over the phone. Something about the personal touch and being able to "tweek" the time to suit specific needs.

However, I do use it when traveling out of town (Seattle, Portland, etc) to save LD charges. More money to spend on food ....

A.

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I understand the logistics could not be worked out in thime this year. Perhaps one of the lurkers from TVan could confirm this.

Out of curiosity, do you know of any TVan lurkers? I don't know of any (my wife being a TVaner) and am pressed to think who would be.

I ask this because it seems that it seems to be assumed around here that pretty much everyone (industry and not) are lurking, but I think it's important to keep in mind that the local industry does not revolve around eGullet. Whether they should be keeping tabs or not (in my mind, most should), it's extremely relevant to remember that not everyone is watching around here. It appears that the assumption is that if there are issues brought up in eG, if they're not responded to by those in question, that they don't care to respond to issues. The thing to keep in mind, IMO, is that if you want to deal with any issue- to talk to the people involved directly and not assume it's all about us.

k.

At any given time there are twice as many people on the board as registered users. The term we use for them is lurker. We could also use interested individual. They are a fact.

Kurt, as you know, I am fully aware that your wife works at Tvan.

What you might not know is that I have had several emails ( through conventional non egullet email systems and not the PM system ) over the last couple of years from different people at Tvan in regards to comments made on this board by me, or having a Dine Out Menu up too early, or a clarification on their stance on promoting other events like Taste of Yaletown.

They have a interest in their programs and are interested enough to see what is being said about it outside of their own "post Dine Out restaurant Survey".

I appluad that.

That being said, my comment was about the integration of Open Table and Dine Out in as much as credit card secured reservations could be made from the Tvan site. Rather than calling Tvan up and asking if this was true, I was willing to wait and have them respond. I was in no rush to chase this down as it was not going to happen this year anyways.

It was a little "tongue in cheek" , but I was curious to see how long it would take before someone responded. It is fair for me personally to assume that someone from Tvan will read this given the history. That is all. It is not a shot at them nor is it a statement as to the "importance" of egullet. This is an information exchange / electronic comment card, not the be all and end all.

Anyways, I have to get back to work now.

Cheers

Neil

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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At any given time there are twice as many people on the board as registered users. The term we use for them is lurker. We could also use interested individual. They are a fact.

Kurt, as you know, I am fully aware that your wife works at Tvan.

What you might not know is that I have had several emails ( through conventional non egullet email systems and not the PM system ) over the last couple of years from different people at Tvan in regards to comments made on this board by me, or having a Dine Out Menu up too early, or a clarification on their stance on promoting other events like Taste of Yaletown.

They have a interest in their programs and are interested enough to see what is being said about it outside of their own "post Dine Out restaurant Survey".

I appluad that.

That being said, my comment was about the integration of Open Table and Dine Out in as much as credit card secured reservations could be made from the Tvan site. Rather than calling Tvan up and asking if this was true, I was willing to wait and have them respond. I was in no rush to chase this down as it was not going to happen this year anyways.

It was a little "tongue in cheek" , but I was curious to see how long it would take before someone responded. It is fair for me personally to assume that someone from Tvan will read this given the history. That is all. It is not a shot at them nor is it a statement as to the "importance" of egullet. This is an information exchange / electronic comment card, not the be all and end all.

Anyways, I have to get back to work now.

Cheers

Neil

Yes to all of that, and yes I'm totally aware that they DO lurk here and there, however your post seemed (maybe just to me) to imply that they are constantly lurking and I thought it fair to caution against that assumption - as a lack of reponse from them (you were looking for a specific confirmation) might appear to be a purposeful non-response, when it's possible that it simply wasn't read. It was more of a general statement on my part, about 'calling people out' and their right to be an anonymous lurker or simply not come 'round here that much. It just happened to be about a business I'm fairly familiar with and, aware that they're not always lurking, thought I'd chime in. That's all, nothing more.

Anyways, I have to get back to internet porn now.

k.

:wink:

PS- Sorry, Big-A, I got us off-track in the first place, back to business y'all...

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Hey all,

Thought I'd let you know that we've been resisting OT's advances for quite some time now, mostly due to the forever and ever monthly charge. Ever thrifty.

We are rolling out Micros' version of reso book and db software which is designed to rival OT in every way except for the central online website. The best news for us is that there is no monthly charge for our system.

As we are their first install here in BC, we'll be guinea pigs for the rest of you, but feel free to check in from time to time and I'll boast/vent about the system to you.

I love the idea of a convenient, easy to handle reso system with the benefits of online reservations, but we still prefer the hands on approach.

It also helps that Michael (Mitton) is arguably one of the best maitre d's I've ever seen, and he refuses to to give in to a machine. . . :laugh:

To answer your question Neil, if micros didn't have this option available, we'd have gone with OT as well, and reluctantly paid the fee.

I do think our guests have been interested in online reso's, in fact, I still take so many online reso's directly from my email, so maybe it's just a matter of having that available.

Good Luck!

Owner

Winebar @ Fiction

Lucy Mae Brown

Century - modern latin -

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Hey all,

Thought I'd let you know that we've been resisting OT's advances for quite some time now, mostly due to the forever and ever monthly charge.  Ever thrifty. 

We are rolling out Micros' version of reso book and db software which is designed to rival OT in every way except for the central online website.  The best news for us is that there is no monthly charge for our system. 

As we are their first install here in BC, we'll be guinea pigs for the rest of you, but feel free to check in from time to time and I'll boast/vent about the system to you. 

I love the idea of a convenient, easy to handle reso system with the benefits of online reservations, but we still prefer the hands on approach. 

It also helps that Michael (Mitton) is arguably one of the best maitre d's I've ever seen, and he refuses to to give in to a machine. . .  :laugh:

To answer your question Neil, if micros didn't have this option available, we'd have gone with OT as well, and reluctantly paid the fee.

I do think our guests have been interested in online reso's, in fact, I still take so many online reso's directly from my email, so maybe it's just a matter of having that available. 

Good Luck!

Sean, what is the up front charge with Micros ? If I recall, nothing from them comes at a low price.

Open Table now integrates with micros, picking up creque tracking info as well flagging tables that are on dessert or have paid etc.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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We put in Open Table about six months ago.

All in all, a pretty great product. Easy to learn, fairly efficient.

Most of the pros/cons discussed above.

A couple of things, though.

The database tool is probably the most helpful. Having someone's name/number appear before they tell you expedites the reso interaction. I think some people are a little sketched by this, though. The flags are handy, but I find we're using them less and less. Great if you're changing hosts regularly, pretty useless if you have someone solid and long-term on the door.

Like many technological tools, there seems to be a slavish devotion to what the computer says. If the computer says we're full, then we're full, even if a quarter of the restaurant is unsat.

The 'status' button seems like too much information. Somewhere like Joe's or huge places I'm sure it's essential, but the hostesses can spend a lot of time running through the rainbow of dining phases which essentially mean nothing if the table lingers for 30 minutes over a port and the cheque.

There are some features that OT cannot do. We still use paper for making maps for the evening and determining availability. OT is great at generating numbers, but is pretty useless when it comes to finessing a busy night.

Don't expect a waterfall of web resos. I'd estimate less than 5% of our resos are web resos. We end up phoning them anyway, as there are things we usually need to tell them (i.e. theatre, traffic, tables, etc) that can't be conveyed in a one line email tagline. I'd expect that number to fall as more restaurants sign up and the 'unique' aspect of being on OT disappears.

Good tool for reducing paper, but I think expensively extraneous if you've got a solid door crew that work well with the staff.

see you at the lamplighter tonight.

Quentin Kayne

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  • 1 month later...

From the HSG DOV 06 thread:

They are very quick as they lurk in these threads, reading all about themselves.

Well that's interesting. So is this the only way to get in touch with them? Cause it says don't reply to the email address they send from, and I can't locate any other mention of how to contact them. My problem is, I was sent a confirmation for Feenie's DOV and at the bottom it said be sure to ask the maitre d' to confirm your points. And when I asked the host/ess (one of each), they had no Fing clue what I was talking about or even what OpenTable was.

So to the lurkers from OpenTable, please pm or email me.

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I just finished 'playing' with Opentable. We are live and online taking reservations for reservations starting opening day (March 1st, 2006)...

But more importantly, I was amazed by the quality of Vancouver restaurants using Opentable; it really is the whos who in BC.

As well, with Vancouverites being so tech savy I see why customers would prefer to book online, it allows them to peruse the menus, get details on the restaurant and find the availabilty fot the exact time they are looking to dine.

I am going to leave 100% of the reservation slots open until March 1st, then I will open the telephone lines and take conventional reservations.

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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I use it a lot when I travel, but am thrilled that it is now operational in Vancouver. When it came to DOV, if they weren't on OpenTable, I didn't bother trying to make a reservation. I"m trying to convert all of my friends to it. Beats the back and forth of phone reservations.

Cheers,

T

"Great women are like fine wine...they only get better with age."
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I just made my first reservation on Open Table and I don't think I'll ever use the phone for a reservation again, no chuckles from the host when you ask for a table on Saturday at 8:00pm on Friday, I should know better but on-line it's available or it isn't

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I just made my first reservation on Open Table and I don't think I'll ever use the phone for a reservation again, no chuckles from the host when you ask for a table on Saturday at 8:00pm on Friday, I should know better but on-line it's available or it isn't

LOL! you are one of my partners and best friends ~ you can mention the restaurant you reserved at....

Anyways, Rare one just found out the limitations of Opentable.com...our internet went down for two days because of a cabling problem ~ good news is we are back online and taking reservations at Opentable.com

Great service ~ and our problems with connectivity just proves the effeciency of the system...all reservations are really real time!!!

Brian

Chef/Owner/Teacher

Website: Chef Fowke dot com

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  • 1 month later...

Almost 2 months in with Open Table and I can't imagine not having it at Rare. It is more than a reservation system. The data base management on it is the real value that I see in it. It allows us to track concierge bookings, our regular's likes and dislikes, most recent visits, and so much more. I am now exploring the marketing opportunities that OT offers. I find that there is good value for it. It allows customers to book anytime and get an immediate confirmation saving me the $$$ on having someone at the restaurant in the morning to answer phones, well I actually have Quang pretty much trained up on that role. That is another point, from a user standpoint it is very very easy to master. The staff all know how to take a reservation with the system.

I think that EAT Magazine is running an article on OpenTable in their next (May) issue.

Tim Keller

Rare Restaurant

tim@rarevancouver.com

Metro Restaurant

timkeller@metrodining.ca

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