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HELP...what's the new restaurant website?

NAtiveNewYorker Feb 23, 2007 03:18 PM

I read somewhere about a website that sells hard to get dinner reservations. It's run (if I remember correctly) by a concierge who has connections at restaurants (NYC? others?).

(It's not dinnerbroker.com, which has been around a while.)

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: NAtiveNewYorker Feb 23, 2007 04:02 PM

    primetimetables.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      NAtiveNewYorker RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 23, 2007 06:40 PM

      Bingo! Thanks.

    2. Carrie 218 RE: NAtiveNewYorker Feb 25, 2007 10:44 AM

      Pretty sad -- look at their site:

      PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP $450 (PER YEAR)
      Register Now?
      BASIC MEMBERSHIP FREE
      Due to the high volumn of request for basic membership at this present time, we can not accept basic members.
      We are very sorry for the invenience.
      We will advise as soon as basic membership become available.
      Thank you for your interest.

      Someone should tell them how to spell INCONVENIENCE.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Carrie 218
        Robert Lauriston RE: Carrie 218 Feb 25, 2007 02:58 PM

        By its nature a place that sells hard-to-get reservations can serve only a limited clientele.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Carrie 218 RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 26, 2007 05:32 AM

          I was commenting on their inability to do a basic spell check on their front page, not their exclusivity.

          There are many indications this is a skeletal organization of questionable repute:

          ~ The fact their their e-mails are GMail. Meaning they can't afford their own URL by not having e-mail addresses like "so-and-so@primetables.com"

          ~ They are using PayPal for payment. Meaning they can't afford a legitimate business account to accept credit cards.

          I have no idea who these people are but there are too many clues pointing to a tremendous lack of business savvy.

          1. re: Carrie 218
            Robert Lauriston RE: Carrie 218 Feb 26, 2007 08:19 AM

            Pascal Riffaud is savvy enough that he's got more business than he can handle:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/31/din...

      2. Carrie 218 RE: NAtiveNewYorker Feb 26, 2007 01:19 PM

        I maintain that while it was/is a guy with a good idea for a start-up, however it was not executed in an upstart, professional manner. That is not necessarily a bad thing except that if it expands more considerably, there will be the standard growing pains. If he goes from three cities to five to 50, suddenly they are going to need more than a simple PayPal account and more than a silly Gmail account. Those that started with him in the beginning might lose links or get frustrated with the changes due to growth. That is all. Simply insight from one who has established enough of these businesses to know; if you want to look and appear serious from the onset, don't use make-shift, stop-gap measures for communication and finance.

        You indicate that Riffaud has more business than he can handle. Obviously if he can't pay someone enough to spell check his site. It just appears amateurish to me.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Carrie 218
          Robert Lauriston RE: Carrie 218 Feb 26, 2007 01:24 PM

          The guy has connections only in New York. He's basically selling his connections and knowledge of the local scene.

          In any case, how many cities are there besides New York where people would be willing to pay $35 and up for last-minute reservations?

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Carrie 218 RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 26, 2007 02:52 PM

            St. Helena is the only other city I can think of -- and then, for only one restaurant! 8-)

            But that only adds to the amateurish presentation of his website to not indicate that it is NY-centric. It may seem obvious, but there ARE restaurants all over the globe that are difficult to get reservations for and his site alludes only to "an exclusive web-based service that provides restaurant reservations."

            Again, any positive impression this website is attempting to give is continuing to diminish in my eyes.

            1. re: Carrie 218
              Robert Lauriston RE: Carrie 218 Feb 26, 2007 03:10 PM

              The Web site doesn't need to make a good impression. There's more demand for his unique service than he can satisfy.

        2. Carrie 218 RE: NAtiveNewYorker Feb 26, 2007 05:07 PM

          I beg to differ. A website is a reflection of a business; any business. Every business.

          A bad or mediocre website indicates to me a badly-run business as it shows a lack of regard for the outward face being presented. This tells me that there are other aspects of said business which may be similarly overlooked.

          Maybe because this is the business that I am in that I am more sensitive to it, but there are restaurants I will visit because of an inviting and exciting website that is well designed and informative and restaurants I won't bother visiting if the website is poorly designed or lacking basic information. I would rather a restaurant not bother having a website at all if it can't be kept up to date. There is nothing worse than a restaurant which lists "seaonal menus" that are two or three seasons out of date. Why bother designing your site in such a way if there is no intention to keep it up to date?

          But I am getting off on a tangent about restaurant websites but my point remains the same; a website DOES need to make a good impression as it is often the first impression a person has of the company.

          One never gets a second change to make a good first impression.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Carrie 218
            Robert Lauriston RE: Carrie 218 Feb 28, 2007 11:37 AM

            Outside of Web design and programming businesses and Web-based retailers, I have never found any relationship between the quality of a business's Web site and the quality of its products or services.

            I've been to lots of great restaurants that have *horrible* Web sites.

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