These changes include the surge in January marketing activity, the luxury-dining sector’s use of social media and the rise of at-bar dining across the capital. The transcript includes conversation, opinion and key quotes from the event’s four panellists and notable industry guests.
table7’s Food For Thought - an intimate restaurant industry event - took place on 5th December 2011 and centred on new research findings from a UK-wide, table7-commissioned survey that studied insights into matters affecting the restaurant sector.
The first subject up for discussion looked at cuts in consumer spending. Based on the table7 survey, 28 per cent cited eating-at-restaurants as first-for-the-cull in times of financial crisis. As for the rest of 2012: there were hints that restaurants were needing to be ever-more creative with marketing and their offer in order to boost custom.
The conversation moved on to social media and marketing, perked by the table7 survey finding that ‘most people will try a new restaurant based on a personal or Facebook recommendation (55 per cent)’. The panel’s views were split on the use of social media for top restaurants and the difference of opinion was further amplified across the floor with advocates and critics of Twitter being involved in the discussion.
The event ensued with a look at trends, discussions on changes in menu-style and the noted increase in younger diners something attributed to the influence of celebrity culture. In addition, the group discussed the upturn in ‘bar dining’, a burgeoning preference noted by restaurateurs across the city. Again the panel were split – one panellist mentioned that they ‘wouldn’t be seen dead eating at a bar’!
The final discussion was the use of partner booking sites – such as table7 – to support quieter times in the restaurant trade. The importance of discretion – for which table7 is known – was a hot topic: Most were in agreement that this was key characteristic for any partner offering reductions on the bill; a concern being negative PR and people thinking “‘they’re having troubled times, they’re having to ‘Groupon’! What’s up? What’s happening to their bottom line?’ Then stories start and then you can’t stop that engine.”
It was also formulated that the quality of a partner site should be on-par with the quality of the establishment.www.table7.com