Online restaurant reservations skyrocket 200% since reopening, says TheFork

Online restaurant reservation platform TheFork has revealed that reservations in Portugal have increased 200% during the first week that restaurants were allowed to reopen.

The encouraging data has been compiled as part of a study carried out by TheFork based on feedback from its users.

Said the platform, restaurant bookings increased to almost the same level as pre-Covid times during the first week that they reopened, a sign that “people are eager to enjoy gastronomy and social life once again”.

In fact, 84% of respondents said that they already had or were planning to visit one of their favourite restaurants before the end of May.

Consumer habits are also changing, says TheFork, as more clients are taking restaurant safety measures into account (53%) while 47% are choosing to reserve their tables online more often.

Meanwhile, 71% of respondents said that it is “essential that restaurants follow Covid-19 rules” or they will “refuse to visit otherwise”, while 38% said they prefer to enjoy their meals on outdoor terraces.

Further data shows that just under one third of respondents (31%) are now more careful about their budget for eating out due to the strong impact of the pandemic on their finances.

“It is unquestionable that this interest in returning to restaurants is encouraging for the sector and allows us to feel more positive,” said Sérgio Sequeira, CEO of TheFork in Iberia and Latin America.

He also stressed that “a whole industry cannot be relaunched in just five days” and that it needs to be reorganised as restaurant owners and suppliers were not ready for the early reopening.

“In many countries, we have seen several restaurants closing and reopening, such as in Portugal, where restaurants had to close for a second time in January. The reopenings show the resilience of the sector and the willingness of people to resume social life,” the CEO added.

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