The Friday, Feb. 12th issue of The Daily Record featured Larry Fiorino’s “Tech Talk” column, taking a look at OpenTable.com. For those of you not in the know, OpenTable is a wonderful free online service where you can book reservations at restaurants, bistros, diners and eateries o’er the land.
I know this site has many features which Larry details in his article such as being “able to search by location, type of food, price, date, time and party size,” but what I like most about it is, it makes me look good in my girlfriend’s eyes.
You see, every man is a PR professional (or should be) when it comes to promoting himself to his number one target audience: his girlfriend, fiancé, wife, significant other, partner, all of the above.
Having once co-written (along with matchmaker and author, L. Joan Allen, M.A) the immensely popular and erudite dating column, SINGLE IN THE CITY, for the now defunct Baltimore Examiner, I know a thing or two about weathering relationships. One thing that definitely hits home for the ladies is, the man’s ability to MAKE PLANS.
Now despite all this ERA (and I don’t mean earned run average…though normally I would, shout out to all dem O’s in Florida right now warming up for another season!), men-and-women-are-the-same stuff that makes the rounds these days, the reality of it is, women like men who take charge and have a better answer to the eternal question, “What are we going to do this weekend?” than “I dunno,” or “What do you want to do?”
In my current relationship, the young lady definitely appreciates my ability to make plans…such as for Valentine’s Day. Since the Second Ice Age which recently struck Baltimore forced me to put my originally scheduled plans (a weekend at the Antrim Inn…a big winner with my significant other, btw) on hold, I had to quickly devise something fun and romantic to do.
And this brings us back to OpenTable. A quick scan on this easy to use website, and I came across Sullivan’s on Pratt Street. A 1940s style steakhouse with live jazz. Relatively new to Baltimore so it still has that nice new restaurant smell. I made reservations and, of course, took care of all the other details necessary for such an evening, i.e. flowers, jewelry, Godiva chocolates, Cialis (I kid, I’m a kidder, if I may quote Fernando). These I did on my own, but I do recall the ability via OpenTable to make special arrangements, even a limo.
And a good thing I used OpenTable as when we arrived at Sullivan’s, the massive turnout for Valentine’s and the mess caused by Mt. Everest-high mounds of snow had caused a huge backup—people were lined up outside like a crowd for a Madonna concert. We overheard that folks who were coming in at 6:15 as we did who lacked reservations might have to wait til 10 p.m. for a table! Naturally, my keen foresight in making reservations (thanks OpenTable!) made me look even more dreamy in the eyes of my girlfriend…if such a thing is even possible…
BTW, a PR nod to the folks at Sullivan’s who were great in getting us to our table quickly and even sending me a nice “thank you” card in the mail. It’s a smart move—people want to be appreciated and treated special; it’s the hallmark of good customer service, yet another major building block of good public relations.