Trying out a new restaurant isn’t always as easy as you’d expect. First, you need to find a restaurant you’re dying to try out. This can be challenging if you’re a picky eater, live a bit out of the way or are such a foodie that you’ve already been, well, everywhere. Next you need a free night and, presumably, a friend that also happens to be free. This is often tricky as we’re all busy and often have leftovers we feel obligated to eat. Finally, if everything falls into place, you need to make the booking.
When it comes time to book a new restaurant, how do you do it? Do you pick up the phone or book online?
According to research by Zonal and CGA, UK consumers prefer to book online. Out of 5,000 interviewees, 45% would rather book online, while only 20% enjoy picking up the phone. This is in sharp contrast to the findings from 2015, which stated that 58% preferred booking over the phone.
Not only do consumers like booking online, but they like booking via the restaurant’s own website as opposed to third-party sites. They also tend to book on mobile devices.
What does this mean from a restaurant PR perspective? Well, it shows the importance of having a mobile-friendly website with an easy-to-use booking system. Websites and apps like Open Tablewill are undeniably important, but don’t underestimate the power of your own online booking system. And while we’re on the topic, here’s a cheeky little piece of social media marketing advice: whenever it makes sense, link to your online booking page rather than your general site. This will make it easy for your social media followers to book a table.
How do you prefer to make your reservations? Are you a fan of the old-fashioned way, of booking through a restaurant’s own system or of securing a table through a third-party site? Let us know!