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First Table set to revive restaurant commerce in NZ with platform launch

By Mitchell Hageman
Wed 18 May 2022

A new restaurant booking platform has launched in New Zealand, giving Kiwi diners the opportunity to save and book at a variety of restaurants around the country.

The ​​First Table dining app also looks to give a boost to our struggling hospitality and tourism industries, with a focus on promoting new and upcoming restaurants to the wider public.

Targeting keen foodies, the app will promote restaurant eCommerce by offering 50% off the food bill for those who book and dine early. This will be for two to four people at off-peak times and can be for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Users pay NZD$10 to secure their First Table reservation and then pay for their discounted meal at the restaurant after dining.

Currently, around 700 restaurants are on board with the platform in New Zealand and 1400 globally.

The app has been worked on by five developers, founder Mat Weir (a Kiwi based in Queenstown), and designers for the past year. He says the app had undergone significant development before being set live in New Zealand and started as a custom made booking system built from scratch. During the August 2021 COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, the business had the opportunity to focus resources solely on app development.

"When I launched First Table, the goal was always to develop the platform into an app alongside the website. The app is the easiest way to discover new restaurants near and far, making it quick and convenient to book your First Tables on the go. 

"Whether you're looking for casual dining with the kids, or the chance to try something new, it's now easier than ever."

The company says that it will now be easier and faster to know when new restaurants launch on the platform and also when there's last-minute availability, promotions, new menus and more.

Their website states that "our concept is a real win-win for diners and restaurants – we bring people together to enjoy new dining experiences and support restaurateurs by filling their off-peak tables."

Partner restaurants pay nothing to be on the platform. They use their first or last table as a promotional tool to reach new customers and to fill tables that would otherwise be empty.

7,000 people worldwide have already downloaded the app after it was made available during a soft launch in early April. It now operates in over 50 cities around the globe.

The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

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