For the past five years, First Table has been bringing people together over delicious food and broadening our dining experiences with exciting opportunities.
The global business first launched in Queenstown on 22 September 2014, before moving to Christchurch where, for some time, it was their fastest growing market.
That title now goes to Auckland (considered the biggest market internationally), with First Table offered at more than 1200 restaurants in 50 different cities around the world.
The website-based service provides diners with a 50 percent discount off restaurant meals at specific times, chosen by the establishment. Diners pay a $10 booking fee to secure the discount and are treated to half-price meals for two, three or four people when booking the restaurant’s first table of the evening, lunch or breakfast time.
It’s a win-win situation where foodies get to explore their expansive restaurant horizons, and owners can fill a usually-empty seat with guests who share their positive experience with friends and family.
Offering people from all walks of life the opportunity to try something new, it’s a concept that New Zealanders have embraced, and proof that the First Table model is indeed a modern dining success story.
From its humble beginnings in Queenstown, the company has just been named Rising Star (winners) in the 2019 Deloitte Fast 50 Regional Awards (Dunedin and Lower South Island) and is looking forward to November’s national competition held in Auckland.
For more information, or to sign up, visit www.firsttable.co.nz.
Eating out is a luxury, so discovering new dining experiences with limited ‘fun-funds’ can often feel risky for restaurant-goers. First Table reduces the financial risk of trying somewhere new by offering an incentive to dine early, creating a win-win experience for foodies and restaurants alike.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, First Table is an online restaurant booking platform. The concept was inspired by a Queenstown-based restaurant which offered a 50 percent deal on the first table of the night as a local’s secret. Crowds attracted crowds and the rest is history.
Food lovers booking on First Table get half price at affiliated restaurants. You pay a $10 booking fee to reserve a table for two to four people and receive 50 percent off the food bill. The catch? There really isn’t much of one, just that the available reservation times are restricted to the ‘first table’ of breakfast, lunch or dinner, while drinks are full price. It’s a must for those devoted to sampling the best of their city’s cuisine!
Rooted in New Zealand, it’s exciting to see First Table expand to other parts of the world including Australia, the UK, Ireland, and Indonesia. Check out which Christchurch-based restaurants are available for booking at www.firsttable.co.nz/christchurch. Leave a review of your experience and you’ll have the chance to win Review of the Week and $50 First Table credit.
Pictured is Welles Street, one of Christchurch’s many superb food places that operates through First Table.
The media is not always kind to millennials in this country, but the vision and expertise of Mat Weir of First Table will see them eating their words, as well as some very delicious dinners around the world.
This innovative and actually useful (because let’s face it, not all of them are) Kiwi start-up is now in three countries and both hemispheres, while working hard on opening in its fourth country this year.
The term win-win is overused, but the First Table concept is genuinely that. It’s like an awesome game of ping pong – the benefits just keep bouncing back between restaurant and diner.
It works like this: participating restaurants release bookable dates on the First Table website. Nabbing the actual first table in the restaurant for that date online enables diners in a party of two to four to eat for half price. The restaurant gets diners into the restaurant early; this encourages other diners into the restaurant.
First Table diners usually get the window seats; the restaurant gets the visual advertising. First Table diners get unhurried service and the food as it should be; the restaurant receives a very positive review. The diner gets to try somewhere new in a cost-effective way; the restaurant is likely to get happy repeat customers paying full price at peak times.
Obtaining a login from the website in New Zealand means you can book First Tables throughout New Zealand, in Australia, London, Bristol and Bath and London in the UK, and Singapore restaurants are soon to be added. There is no membership fee, just an upfront $10 (in New Zealand) when you put your stamp on that First Table online. Mat has aimed for few restrictions, the main one being you can’t book the First Table in the same restaurant twice in row, to spread the opportunities a little wider.
A Queenstown local, Mat started with Queenstown restaurants, followed quickly by Christchurch, where there has been very enthusiastic sign-on both by restaurants and diners. A software developer by trade, he put the concept online himself, as well as doing the sales.
There are now customer and restaurant support and business development managers in New Zealand and Australia and a creative writer in Wellington, plus Mat passed his software development duties onto a new team member. The company employs ten people in Australasia and a mix of locals and Kiwis in the UK.
The First Table philosophy is to be lean and smart: you’ll be smart to join in and lean over your First Table.