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Analysis shows over half (56%) of UK diners prefer to book a reservation online through a restaurant’s website according to the Beyond the Booking restaurant industry report from ResDiary, which launched today.

Restaurants must increase their visibility and availability across all platforms with more than a quarter (28%) saying they prefer to use an online booking system or app. Just 13% of respondents said they still use the phone to call and reserve.

No-shows continue to cause problems for UK venues; 1 in every 20 confirmed bookings between the start of the year and February 2023 have resulted in diners not turning up for their reservation, costing restaurants an average of £1,325 during this period alone.

It's therefore unsurprising to see restaurants taking action in preventing no-shows. The majority (62%) of restaurants today utilise booking systems to implement deposit schemes, with the most popular option being to take card details when they book online, over the phone, or in person.

Breakfast also appears to be off the menu for many UK diners, as almost half (46%) are no longer dining out for breakfast. Despite the strong appetite for lunch and dinner, restaurants may need to make a decision about their breakfast offering or create a brunch-style menu that can be served all day.

The good news is that over half of diners (54%) said they’d decided to go to a restaurant they had already visited when last eating out, showing the importance of attracting and maintaining regular diners and building loyalty.

The report, which is based on responses from 208 UK hospitality venues and 827 UK consumers, also contains up-to-date stats to help restaurants benchmark themselves to the rest of the UK.

On the findings, ResDiary CEO, Colin Winning said, “Consumers appear to be reducing their budgets for dining out. This means restaurants will be more reliant on attracting more bookings to maintain and potentially build on existing revenue.

“Securing more bookings won’t be the only key to success in 2023, as keeping them will be just as important. The rise in restaurants requiring deposits is therefore unsurprising, with more than six in ten venues now working with a deposit system.”

(source: https://resdiary.com/)