Are you familiar with First Table?
Maybe you’ve seen an ad about it or heard a friend talking about it? Or perhaps you’ve already jumped in and joined up?
Well, if First Table is new to you, or you simply want to know more about it, let us give you a brief rundown on what it is. And along the way we’ll explain why it might be just what you need for an impromptu date night or drinks with friends.
Basically, First Table is a platform that gives diners access to cheap meals at a huge range of restaurants, cafes and bars.
It was begun by a tech smart Kiwi named Mat Weir. He developed the app to remedy the problem of empty chairs at the start of the evening in the Queenstown dining scene. If you didn’t know, so-called ‘pensioner-hour’ at the very opening of dinner service is notoriously had to fill for those in the hospitality industry.
First Table provides a solution by offering 50% off food if you book those first tables of the night.
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How Does It Work?
All you have to do is to download the First Table App, or sign up for their emails.
Once you have joined, you’ll receive notifications from venues that are partnered with the platform. These notifications let you know about the availability of their first tables (and in some cases, last tables). This might be for breakfast, lunch or dinner services.
If a restaurant and the advertised time slot appeal to you, you select that eatery and the relevant date and time on the app. At this point, you are charged a $10 booking fee for the reservation. However, this gives you 50% off of the food portion of the bill for 2-4 people. Note: Drinks are not included in the discount.
To narrow down your choices and ensure that the booking notifications are relevant to you, you filter the appropriate region/city when you register on the app or website.
Handily, the restaurants who partner with the platform commit to posting open dining spots for 7 days in advance. This gives you the option to both grab a last minute reservation for that evening, if it works for you, or make slightly less-rushed plans and book for later in the week.
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Where Can I Use First Table?
Eatability is currently based in Melbourne and so this is city we are using as our example.
At present, First Table is fairly new in Melbourne and so the range of dining choices still quite small.
However, Eatability signed up as soon as the platform launched and already is noticing a growth in the selection of restaurants available. This week alone there were places open for Thai, Modern Australian, Fusion and Japanese cuisine in locations as diverse as the CBD, Prahran, Doncaster and Ripponlea.
For example, just this week (mid-Oct) the Farro Pizzeria chain has come onboard with bookings.
First Table Is Available Across Australia. And Internationally
Importantly, if you like to travel, you’re not just limited to eating in your home town.
In fact, First Table picks up those hard to fill opening covers in a surprising number of places. Locations currently include Sydney, Byron Bay, Cairns, Canberra, Adelaide, Darwin, The Gold Coast, Ballarat, Hobart, Perth and more.
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That’s not all. As Eatability writes, the app also has restaurants on board in New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Ireland and Indonesia. And with a model that has obvious benefits for both diners and the hospitality industry, we’re sure there will be more.
At a time when ‘middle man’ apps are two a penny, First Table is bringing filling a clear whole in the dining market.
The app is easy to use and the website clean and simple to navigate.
And honestly, who doesn’t love 50% off of their food bill?