It’s Friday evening, and you desperately want a table at Frances.Unless you’re a VIP who keeps the general manager on speed dial, you scour OpenTable where, if you’re lucky, you may find a seat at 5 or 10 p.m.—score one for little old ladies and European tourists. But here’s what you don’t know: The lack of seats doesn’t necessarily mean the house is packed. Turns out, some of the city’s hottest restaurants hide peak-hour tables from the only major reservations system online.
In an economy where IPOs have been deemed a thing of the past and restaurants are shuttering left and right, SF-based OpenTable defied it all today and very successfully went public to much hullabaloo. “Partying like it was 1999,” as Siliconvalley.com put it. “The region had gone a record 15 months without a venture-backed initial public offering on U.S. markets.” Shares started at $20 and ended at $31.89.