today takes its menu live at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, soft launching what is expected to be the largest and most complete dining and lifestyle portal on the Internet.

Developed as a dual platform for consumers and restaurateurs, offers a search engine with an extensive database of restaurants nationwide, information on the latest dining trends, healthy eating tips, wine selections, gift certificates, food ordering and delivery and more. has established an agreement with operating companies of SYSCO Corporation (NYSE: SYY), the largest foodservice marketing and distribution organization in North America, to market its program. SYSCO’s operating companies’ extensive ‘sales force is involved in many local markets to help expand the site’s database listings into complete Internet strategies for each restaurateur. The complete package offers restaurateurs content-rich, interactive micro-sites for no more than $3 per day. The sites then will be linked within, providing national exposure to every restaurant in the network.

“Various SYSCO operating companies are helping us bring thousands of restaurants online, from family-friendly eateries to trendy hotspots, which positions us to dominate the online restaurant category,” said Scott Lutwak, chief operating officer of “We are the only site to offer restaurateurs in smaller markets unlimited customer reach and vast sales and marketing tools through a menu of easy-to-use, cutting-edge Internet services and devices.”

Hundreds of restaurants nationally are signing up for micro-sites each week, and expects more than 40,000 restaurants to have complete micro-sites within the year’, positioning to be the largest provider of customized Web sites in the industry.

“The micro-sites provide restaurants with essential tools to market within the Internet space,” CFO Steve Savad said. “Helping restaurants enter the ever-changing Internet economy, intends to continuously take advantage of technological advancements to keep each restaurant’s micro-site on the cutting edge.”

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“We are pleased by our customers’ initial response to the program, the goal of which is to increase consumer traffic counts at participating restaurants,” said Jack S. Carlson, vice president of marketing for SYSCO. “This program is just one element in our C.A.R.E.S.(TM) (Customers Are Really Everything to SYSCO) Program of value-added services.”

“In our early development stages we sought a marketing agreement with SYSCO operating companies to set us apart in the eyes of both consumers and restaurateurs,” Lutwak said. “Our agreement will work to heighten’s visibility and expand our base of restaurants.”

Helping Restaurants Market on the Web goes beyond simply offering its restaurant members a presence on the Web. It allows members to reach new and existing customers with functions such as the ability to update their sites any time and to keep patrons posted on new events and dining specials with a customized e-mail service.

“ is the perfect vehicle for reaching customers when it matters most,” Lutwak said. “It’s a great vehicle for moving fresh product on a slow day. For instance, if a restaurant receives a special deal on fresh fish mid-week, it can ensure sell-through by posting the special on its Web site or by e-mailing its database of patrons.”

The site’s packages for restaurateurs include:
— Interactive micro-site production including logos, restaurant
information, 360 degree photography, menus, maps, chef bios and more
— The ability to change site content any time to keep diners up to date
on special food items and events
— Posting of coupons and ordering of gift certificates
— E-mail capabilities to help individual restaurants market to preferred
— Unique Web addresses for individual restaurants
— Information about recipes, cookbooks, healthy eating, wine, cigars and
— Online reservation capabilities, coming soon.

Complete Consumer Dining Portal

“Where to eat tonight is a burning question each evening for millions of Americans and is the perfect solution,” Lutwak said. “In fact, our tag line is ‘where to eat.”‘ is a personal, online dining consultant for consumers, offering robust content and services to help select the restaurant that best suits a consumer’s appetite. Its comprehensive dining portal is amplified by beautiful photography and culinary images, which coax consumers through each area of the site. also features syndicated lifestyle editorial content and daily dining incentives, such as a frequent dining program.

The site, developed by iXL Enterprises (Nasdaq: IIXL), showcases the company’s top creative talent and unparalleled technological capabilities, through the site’s strong brand identity and user-centered technology. iXL grew the site from a simple search engine to a complete dining/lifestyle portal that offers consumers robust content, while providing advanced marketing tools to restaurateurs and a highly profitable business model for

“iXL combined cutting-edge technology and creativity to develop the site and help make a true category killer,” Lutwak said. “iXL was a seamless extension of from the beginning, and their commitment to us is evident in the end product — a beautiful, highly developed interface that elegantly hides a complex back end.”

About is positioned to be the largest and most comprehensive dining portal on the Web, serving as a consumer’s personal dining consultant. It boasts a search engine containing a database of 350,000 restaurants.’s wide range of functionality and strategic corporate alliances distinguish it from other restaurant Web sites. For more information, or to join its nationwide network of restaurants, call at 800-979-8985, e-mail or visit .

About SYSCO Corporation

SYSCO, based in Houston, is the largest food service marketing and distribution organization in North America. Generating projected sales in excess of $19.0 billion for fiscal 2000,the company provides food and related products and services through 105 warehouse distribution locations to approximately 325,000 to 350,000 customers, including restaurants, healthcare and educational institutions, lodging facilities and other food service operations. SYSCO’s distribution network extends throughout the entire contiguous United States, Alaska and parts of Canada, and supplies products such as fresh and frozen meats, seafood, poultry, fruits and vegetables, plus bakery products, canned and dry foods, paper and disposables, sanitation items, diary foods, beverages, kitchen and tabletop equipment and more.

Certain statements made herein are forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They include statements regarding SYSCO’s fiscal 2000 sales projections, statements regarding the impact of the SYSCO operating companies’ marketing agreement on’s ability to heighten its visibility and expand its base of customers. These statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations and estimates; actual results may differ materially. Those risks and uncertainties that could impact these statements include the risk that a sufficient number of restaurants and/or consumers will not perceive the services offered by as beneficial or that competitors could offer superior competing services and other risk factors detailed in SYSCO’s Form S-3 (File No. 333-34036) filed with the securities and Exchange Commission on April 5, 2000.