Kiwis will be the first in the world to score early bird dining deals when First Table availability rolls over at 9pm tonight.
The booking platform allows users to book the first table of the night at local restaurants to receive 50% off their food bill for dining off-peak. Until today, First Table fans would stake out to midnight to book sell-out tables for the week ahead.
However, from tonight, those hoping to score a popular table at the likes of Waiheke’s Oyster Inn, Strawberry Fare in Christchurch and Hot Sauce in Wellington can enjoy doing so at a more reasonable hour.
Kiwi comedian and superfan Darren Hill said an alarm was his secret weapon to scoring the over 60 bookings he has made on the website.
“11:57pm was the optimum alarm time – leaving one minute to wake up, one minute to find the website and one minute to refresh the availability for the week ahead,” says Darren.
First Table founder, Mat Weir says there is currently an influx of bookings every night when the clock strikes 12, which was the catalyst to shift the rollover time to 9pm.
“We have four times as many people booking a table between midnight and 1am than any other time,” he says.
“Our customers are early bird diners that eat out around five or six in the evening, but yet they’re staying up until midnight to book a restaurant.
“Although there’s definitely an element of fun and excitement when they score a table, it’s not great for the customer experience if they miss out. We wanted to change that.
“At 9pm people are watching Netflix, reading or relaxing once the kids are down versus midnight when they’re most likely sleeping. The new time gives everyone an even playing field in the race to score a table, and it can easily be integrated into an evening routine.”
Mat continues by saying it’s important for all businesses to take a customer-centric approach.
“No matter what industry you’re in, addressing the needs and wants of your customers and really putting yourself in their shoes goes a long way,” he says.
“We want to make every experience memorable and seamless, from the moment someone makes a booking through to when they sit down and enjoy a new restaurant, which is why we’re so heavily invested in our customer experience.”
The change allows First Table to offer an exclusive to its homeland, New Zealand, where it was founded in 2014 before the new time rolls out globally.
For the full list of First Table restaurants across New Zealand go to www.firsttable.co.nz