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Small Business Driver: First Table

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The inspiration for First Table NZ was sparked when founder Mat Weir discovered a small French restaurant in Queenstown offering 50% off their first table of the night.

Curious to understand more, Mat asked the waiter how the restaurant benefited. It was simple – the ‘first table’ helped build an atmosphere from the start of service to attract more customers. It was a win-win for restaurants and diners alike.

Already a tech entrepreneur, Mat saw an opportunity to build an online marketplace to solve the problem of slow starts to evenings, where diners pay $10 to book the first table and receive 50% off the food bill. Fast forward seven years and First Table has over 1,400 restaurants onboard and nearly 550,000 diners in 50+ cities worldwide!

Despite having zero income during lockdown, the First Table team pulled together to invest in their business and support the hospitality industry. This involved launching takeaway directory @FirstEATS.nz, running a nationwide giveaway for a $26,000 business support package called Hospo Lifeline, and completing the development of their new First Table website to improve efficiencies.

The team’s admirable efforts in supporting other small businesses throughout the pandemic meant they were deserving of a spot in Toyota’s Small Business Driver initiative, earning them a 12-month lease of a Toyota Highlander and a Mediaworks advertising package. The First Table team have been loving their Highlander, primarily used by their territory managers when meeting with restaurateurs.

Operating in all major cities across the country, why not make your next dining experience more affordable, while benefiting the restaurant too? Just visit www.firsttable.co.nz to choose from a delicious range of eateries!