Web bookings double, mobile trebles
4 July, 2012
Web and mobile bookings at restaurants continue to soar, according to the latest figures from reservations service Livebookings.
The latest edition of its European Dining Index report said online restaurant bookings in the UK had more than doubled in the first quarter of the year compared to 2011, while bookings made via mobile phones had trebled. It estimated the annual value of online reservations in the UK at around £126m.
Livebookings also pointed out that nearly a third of UK restaurants did not have a website, and estimated that they were missing out on around £31,000 of revenue a year.
Livebookings CEO Colin Tenwick said: “Restaurants not making use of online, mobile and social bookings is almost tantamount to adopting a no children policy; they shut themselves off to roughly the same amount of potential business. A significant proportion of customers looking for a restaurant start their search online or on mobile. Almost all other consumer-facing sectors, including retail and travel, have radically changed their marketing strategies to respond to that, and now it’s time for all UK restaurants to do the same.”
Livebookings’ research also found that 92% of restaurant operators consider technology to be important or essential to achieving their business goals—but take-up remains low, with only 7% using email marketing. To highlight the value of this form of marketing, it looked at a recent campaign by Jamie’s Italian via its Bookatable service that delivered an estimated 800% return on investment and £9,000 in revenue.
The index revealed that staff costs, rent and rates and food costs remained the three biggest sources of expenditure for operators. Food, drink and energy costs were the three lines of spending to have increased the most over the last six months, while discounts, recessionary pressures and VAT were named as the biggest causes of menu price rises.