Forget the personal touch of phone calls for restaurant bookings: Kiwis are flocking to online restaurant bookings instead.
In December, Auckland restaurant Ostro – Josh Emett’s latest venture – booked 3400 diners via one online restaurant booking site.
And they’re not alone with many of New Zealand’s popular and celebrity chef restaurants turning to online ‘real time’ table booking services instead of the traditional phone call.
Eveve online restaurant reservations software says it was responsible for booking three-quarters of a million diners into restaurants around New Zealand in 2014.
Eveve co-founder and chef/restauranteur Mark Gregory, says the company expects up to 1.5 million diners to book via Eveve in 2015.
The service includes live table management, allowing restaurants to plan and organise bookings. Bookings can be make directly from Google Search, Facebook, Restaurant Hub, Yellow Pages, Finda, View and Menus.
Gregory says while some people will always prefer to ring for a reservation, many are opting for the convenience of online, which provides instant confirmations onscreen to mobile and tablets.
“Digital booking is available 24/7 and saves restaurants from answering the phones during busy, noisy service hours when staff are running around looking after their guests.”
The transition isn’t without challenges.
“Many restaurants are still only using their paper diaries,” says Eveve co-founder Richard Small. “But we are working hard to encourage the industry to change to simple digital diaries that make it easier for their customers to book and receive confirmation instantly.
“It can be a little scary, but once restaurants do make the change to digital, they never look back.”