Data Shows Canadians’ Appetite For Dining Out Signals New Chapter For Restaurants

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Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

Canadians are eagerly returning to their favourite restaurants. According to OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Bookings Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), over 75% of their restaurants have reopened in Canada, and seated diners at those restaurants in August are just 3% below 2019 levels according to OpenTable’s State of the Industry Dashboard. A new survey from OpenTable reveals that 27% of Canadians intend on eating out more frequently than before the pandemic and to –  support local restaurants (56%), enjoy a change of scenery (55%) and take a break from cooking at home (40%). Now with COVID restrictions lifting, 46% of Canadians are excited to have the option to dine at a restaurant.

As Canadians are keen to dine out, restaurants are getting back to business after experiencing some of the toughest restrictions and are relying on every reservation more than ever. However, almost one in ten7 Canadians say they haven’t shown up for a reservation in the past year. What many don’t realize is that cancelling is better than simply not showing up. It’s possible for restaurants to lose their entire profit margin for that shift if a table of six doesn’t show up for a reservation.

“When a diner doesn’t fulfill a reservation, it significantly impacts the restaurant’s revenue,” said Matt Davis, Country Director, OpenTable Canada. “At OpenTable, we have a responsibility to help build awareness of this issue and leverage our technology in every way possible to reduce no-show rates.”

To support restaurants through this period of recovery, OpenTable has launched ‘Show-Up for Restaurants’ to spotlight the impact of no-shows and to encourage diners to modify or cancel their reservation when plans change. OpenTable has added new tools and features to help restaurants prevent no-shows.

  • A New Way to Tag Diners: This new tool allows restaurants to label a diner as a potential no-show based on previous reservation activity. The tool allows restaurateurs to tag the diner with a new label, so they can be proactive about confirming attendance with the diner as their reservation approaches.
  • “Four Strikes and You’re Out”: OpenTable’s policy suspends diners who don’t show up for a reservation four times per calendar year. This policy is in addition to a number of features that OpenTable offers to mitigate no-shows, such as email and SMS reminders, prepaid experiences, availability alerts, customizable cancellation policies, credit-card required reservations holds and more.
  • Communicate Directly with Restaurants In-App: OpenTable’s new Direct Messaging feature allows diners to communicate with restaurants before and after making a reservation, without ever having to make a phone call. Direct messaging empowers restaurants to serve up better hospitality by reducing cancellations and no-shows and building stronger connections that keep guests coming back.

As lockdown restrictions continue to lift, proof of vaccination is becoming a new safety standard that people will need to navigate. To simplify that process, OpenTable now allows restaurants to display COVID-19 vaccine requirements to diners. OpenTable is also launching a new tool that tags a diner as “Verified for Entry” once they’ve met entry requirements, such as proof of vaccination.

For more information and to learn more about these features and the “Show Up for Restaurants” campaign, visit the OpenTable blog here.

SOURCE OpenTable, Inc.

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