Global restaurant reservations spike by 18x in October 2022
TableCheck bookings in Japan are up by 4.2% due to the reopening of the borders; Hong Kong, the United States, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan rank at the top
The number of restaurant customers who booked using TableCheck in Japan increased by 4.2% (40 persons per store) after the country reopened its borders to international tourists last Oct 12. Although the uptick is minimal, the numbers are expected to rise as more travelers descend to Japan during the Autumn season and Winter holidays.
Restaurant reservations by foreigners surged after it was announced on September 22 that immigration restrictions will be eased along with the lifting of the cap on the number of visitors to Japan.
TableCheck Insight data show that Japanese customers dine in restaurants during the weekends, while foreign travelers visit on weekdays, indicating that most of these visitors enjoy eating out while they are doing their sightseeing activities.
In addition, while the number of TableCheck reservations made by international tourists (between September 22 to October 23) was 19,088, restaurant visits in the same period were still at 6,379, indicating that there are still many foreign visitors who are yet to visit and dine in these restaurants.
It is expected that the number of tourist visits to restaurants will further increase from next month onwards.
TableCheck global reservations increase
Meanwhile, the top five countries with the highest TableCheck restaurant bookings between September 22 and October 23 were Hong Kong, followed by the United States, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Hong Kong also reopened last September 26 marking the end of mandatory quarantine and testing, followed by Taiwan on October 13.
Of the top 10 countries in the TableCheck data reservation list, 60% were from Asia, and the only European country in the top 10 was the United Kingdom, which ranked 9th.
Looking at the reservation data from TableCheck Insight compiled from August 1st of this year, the number of reservations by foreigners, began to increase rapidly from September 22nd and has grown approximately 18 times since the peak on October 23rd.
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Japan’s restaurant industry bouncing back
Expectations are high that tourists will further boost the number of store visits in the future, but it must also be recognized that there is an aspect of high restaurant cancellation rates.
When coronavirus infection in Japan was mitigated and when there were no requests from the government to do voluntary self-restraint to stop the spread of the virus, the overall cancellation rate was generally around 10%, even during the height of the pandemic.
On the other hand, the cancellation rate by inbound travelers is pegged around 25-30%, which means 1 out of every 3 travelers tends to cancel their restaurant reservations.
As both tourists and Japanese customers are expected to go out and dine out more towards the end of the year during the Christmas and New Year holidays, restaurants must now look for effective measures and platforms to protect themselves from cancellations and no-shows.
"Thanks to the reopening of the borders in Japan and in other Asian countries, there has been an increase in restaurant bookings. Recovery of the restaurant industry is now on the horizon, and we at TableCheck are here to support it,” says Yu Taniguchi, CEO of TableCheck.
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