DURHAM — There is nothing more frustrating than being hungry on a Friday night, arriving at your favorite restaurant only to wait an hour for a table. Soon, you will be able to bypass the crowd by going online first.
HoldATable.comis a new online restaurant reservation Web site based right in the Triangle.
The service not only allows you to check the availability of a table, you can also order your meal before you arrive or ask the chef to hold the onions on your favorite dish.
"To have an ability to predict what the guest wants and be able to do it and they leave wow!"
Giorgios Bakatsias, the owner of PariZade, was the first to sign up.
"Technology is not my strength, but I knew that by marrying the art and science is the wave of the future -- to be able to get intimate and personal with your customer by having certain knowledge," says Bakatsias.
That knowledge includes knowing who the regular customers are, what they like to eat and where they like to sit -- and whether or not they can sell you on the wine.
Customer Steve Macko says he would love the personalized service and the ease of booking a reservation online.
"When we have vendors in or we're planning interviews or something like that, it's convenient to just set up lunch online rather than have to call," he says.
Others say they prefer to make the dining experience more annonymous and do things the old fashion way.
"Because it would take a little coordination to figure out if this is where we would want to go. It seems a little bit easier to just pick up the phone," says customer Alisa Radziewicz.
Right now PariZade and George's Garage in Durham are the only restaurants in the Triangle signed up on the holdatable Web site.
The site is hoping to add more restaurants as soon as people get more familiar with online reservations.
Similar Web sites are already being used in larger cities including New York, Los Angeles and Miami.