IDT Sets Table For Restaurant Directory

IDT Corporation(Nasdaq: IDTC), a Hackensack, New Jersey-based telecommunications and Internet access provider, will join the crowded online food service fray with its new restaurant directory Web site.

The company announced today that it has launched Net2Dine, a repository of 112,000 restaurants across the United States. According to IDT, the directory is the largest on the Internet and is linked to a number of leading portals.

Net2Dine has inked contracts with America Online and other “leading Web portals and major search engines,” the company announced in a statement. The search engines will feature the site when the search words “restaurant” or “dining” are used.

“We are setting the paradigm for ownership of the Internet,” said IDT CEO Howard Jonas. “While everyone was rushing to secure domain names, we have locked several key consumer search words on the world’s largest search engines and expect to expand our directory offerings to other consumer products.”

Free To Restaurants

Net2Dine offers a free listing to restaurants. For a charge of $10 (US$) a month, restaurants can opt to be included on the site’s WebPage Plan, which gives every subscribing restaurant a mini Web page. The page features information about the restaurant, its credit card policy, reservation requirements and provides Click2Reserve online reservation capabilities.

In addition to its deals with the portals and search engines, Net2Dine has entered into a contract with PageTalk, Inc. to be the exclusive Internet dining guide on the voice message site. They have also inked a deal with Mapquest.com to provide mapping and direction services for all of its restaurants on its WebPage Plan.

Future plans include an online takeout and delivery feature called Click2Take, as well as discount offers and coupons.

Net2Dine is the latest in a series of IDT Internet ventures. The company is primarily known as the telecommunications provider who helped pioneer the callback service — allowing international callers to be routed through the U.S. and pay lower international rates.

IDT is also an ISP serving 80,000 customers in 44 states and 500 corporate clients. The company is also the majority shareholder of Net2Phone, an Internet telephony company which made news last May when it became the first Internet telephony company to file for an IPO.

Net2Phone is minority-owned by AOL and Softbank, a leading Japanese Internet investor.

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