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Reservations App BeeLine Joins the Fray, With Frances and Rich Table in Tow

Score a prime table for just $5.

2014 is unquestionably the year of the restaurant reservations app: so far, the SF market has seen Table8, Tock, and Reserve all slide into view, and now, newbie BeeLine can be added to the list. Of the three services, BeeLine operates the most like Reserve, operating as a "concierge" that can get its members access to better restaurants around town, even at the last minute. To aid in its arms race, it's signed on two particularly notable partners: the ever-hot Rich Table, and Melissa Perello's bitsy, tough-to-score Frances, which has stayed out of the technological fray until now.

Here's how BeeLine works: members join the service (for free), then pay a charge of $5 per table to secure a reservation at the restaurants in the app's lineup. If all the tables at a restaurant are already booked, the company will work with the restaurant in question to set something up for the desired time. Unlike Reserve, however, there's no element of bidding up prices in order to score a tough-to-get table. "A reservation simply should not go to the highest bidder or richest person, which inevitably turns off patrons," says a rep. All the restaurants are offered a la carte, but diners can opt to choose prix-fixe packages for an extra charge, with bonuses like meeting the chef or touring the kitchen.

BeeLine keeps a list of all the diner's preferences, from favorite drinks to food allergies, that's shared with the restaurant and even has a GPS link that suggests car services, notes traffic, and updates the restaurant on timing in the event of a late arrival. The benefits to the restaurant: the service doesn't require any tables to be held, and hefty cancellation fees, topping out at $25/person, cut down on costly no-shows (BeeLine claims a 99% arrival rate).

So who's on the list? Beside the aforementioned duo, there are some Reserve double-dippers (like Bar Agricole and Trou Normand) and a bunch of high-end places, like South Bay Michelin-star holders Plumed Horse and Chez TJ. Here's the full list of restaurants across the Bay Area that are currently signed up for BeeLine:

- Alexander's Steakhouse Cupertino
- Alexander's Steakhouse SoMa
- Bacco
- Bar Agricole
- Chez TJ
- Chiaroscuro
- Dio Deka
- Frances
- La Fondue
- Otoro Sushi
- Panta Rei
- Plin
- Plumed Horse
- Rich Table
- Thai House 530
- The Table
- The Lexington House
- Trou Normand
- Village Bistro
- Zola

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