The health crisis caused by Covid-19 has changed the customer of the reservation app TheFork, as shown by the latest study by the multinational, which compares the profile of the diner before and after the pandemic, the main conclusion of which is adaptability to a new environment and its limits .
With the advent of the virus, customers of Spanish restaurants have gone through an accelerated digitization process that has resulted in restaurant reservations, with 23% more online reservations than in 2019. According to TheFork, even 40% of consumers say they book more online now than before the pandemic. Behavior that exploded this summer, with those reserves growing 55% year over year and 40% year over year.
This increase in activity was particularly noticeable on mobile devices as more than 90% of reservations were made on mobile devices, which also resulted in digital payments being quadrupled through TheFork PAY payments.
This development is related to the forecast as one of the main reasons for booking is to secure a table due to capacity constraints and restrictions. The advance notice has thus increased by 23%, an hour and a half earlier than in the previous phase.
Also affected is the number of guests per reservation, which was 2.81 people compared to 3.16 on average in 2019. This precaution will be maintained despite the relaxation of restrictions in the hospitality industry, with reservation groups of 6 or more guests accounting for 6%. of reservations compared to 10% before the pandemic.
Flexibility and terraces
The pandemic has also made Spanish guests more flexible, especially with regards to schedules, as they are now open earlier for dinner and the 8pm reservation window has been moved from 18% to 23% today. As for these new habits, we also see them gain weight during the week compared to the weekend; Saturday is still the most popular day, followed by Friday, although they lost points in favor of activity during the week, which increased from 35% to 40% today.
The new post-Covid-19 scenario has cemented the importance of the terraces despite the lifting of restrictions due to the pandemic. In the last few months, 53% of all reservations at TheFork were made in restaurants with a terrace, which remain the preferred choice after the summer and are the most desirable category of the year after “Japanese”. The premises with terrace available in the app have doubled across Spain since 2019 and are now 43% compared to 22% a year ago.
In terms of the type of restaurant, the favorites have remained with a strong predominance of Spanish and Japanese Mediterranean cuisine. Outside of this filter, the restaurants had higher conversions with updated Covid information, which coincides with the content review that TheFork enabled when the restaurants reopened in May 2020.
After all, the average ticket per diner has not changed and remains at 25 euros per person, a Covid consumer who is aware of his expenses and tends to save.