By Katherine Nichols
Continued from Part II.
A previous handwritten system made it difficult to track details for customers. But more information -- especially about prized regular customers -- allows management to "judge where you would want to place them, and which servers they've been happy with." Those sorts of nuances, she said, are usually "lost in communication."
Spillner noted only one drawback. This occurs when a concierge makes a reservation for hotel guests. Because the reservation comes up in the concierge's name, confusion results when guests arrive and the reservation can't be located because the guests don't remember the concierge's name.
Why isn't the reservation made in the guests' names? This would be the case in a phone reservation, but on OpenTable.com, making a reservation requires an account that includes personal information, which the concierge can't set up for the hotel guest.
"So far, that part hasn't been very efficient," noted Spillner. "It can be confusing for the restaurant and the guests."
Ann Shepherd, senior director of consumer marketing for OpenTable.com, noted that the company is still a work in progress on some levels. "Our service continues to evolve based on the valuable feedback from restaurants."
Yet Spillner gave the company high marks for technical support after the system was installed at Town. "It's been really good; they're able to walk you through any questions you have."
Mavrothalassitis can barely recall the old system, when he and his staff had to peruse hundreds of pages to recall when a guest had last visited and what he or she preferred. Now, that data is at his fingertips. "We know everything about your life!" he chuckled. And what about pen, paper and bulky reservation books? "We couldn't go back to that!"