EatClub is helping Aussie restaurants keep their kitchen hot even as the country cools
- Written by Tess Sanders Lazarus
“As winter approaches, hospitality venues Australia-wide brace for a downturn in clientele. The cooler months have traditionally been quietest months for majority of restaurants, often seeing a dramatic reduction in revenue due triggered by a decline in tables being filled and half-empty restaurants,” EatClub, cofounder and CEO, Pan Koutlakis said.
“During the cold winter months, customers feel less compelled to travel through rain and freezing temperatures to even their favourite restaurants for a meal. However, on the back of COVID-19 with months on end of closures, restrictions and uncertainty, many Australian restaurants cannot afford a winter downturn this year.
“In late 2020 and early 2021, the local hospitality experienced a swell of support from their community as people ventured out of their homes after lockdown and reunited with their family and friends. In order to survive the rollercoaster of the last 15 months, restaurants need to use the momentum they gained after COVID-19 that saw Aussies rally around local venues and embrace time outside of their homes.”
EatClub is a world-first app that allows restaurants with empty tables to immediately upload last minute deals that customers can redeem. With reach across most of Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, and soon to be the Gold Coast, EatClub's mission is to see more people eating out more often. Panayioti Koutlakis cofounded EatClub in Australia alongside celebrity chef and television personality, Marco Pierre White, and Ben Tyler in 2017. The app, under the name of Crave, has even been rolled out in the US and is used in New York, and will be expanded to other cities.
“The winter months have historically negatively impacted on a restaurant's ability to thrive, in comparison to the summer months. The warmer weather drives an increase in tourism in many parts of the country as locals and visitors soak up the sunshine. Restaurants often hold events during this time as well, such as outdoor music and other fun entertainment, which is designed to draw in customers and increase sales, ” Koutlakis said.
“Ahead of winter, a number of restaurant owners anticipate a drop in tables being filled and exhaust their marketing efforts during the busier, warmer seasons to compensate. This tactic, however, can leave owners with limited funds or means to take steps to increase restaurant business and sales during the slow season. But this doesn’t have to be the way.
“At EatClub we empower restaurants to manage their demand and increase profitability by filling tables that would have otherwise sat empty in low demand periods. We have partnered with 1500 venues across Australia that push out granular, time limited deals to the 1.5 million potential customers with the EatClub App installed on their phone.”
According to Koutlakis, EatClub is currently the only platform at scale to give restaurants the power and control to post and manage granular deals in real time. EatClub allows its partners to harness the power of big data and machine learning to optimise their business and make data driven decisions on the deals they post resulting in the most customers at the lowest possible cost.
“Research has demonstrated that restaurants that offer special deals during their slower months are most likely to draw customers and limit their forecast seasonal declines. A restaurant that offers deals, such as receiving a percentage off the final bill, will experience a more constant flow of business. While the restaurant may lose money by discounting a meal, vouchers lure customers and ultimately help increase the business’ bottom line,” Koutlakis added.
“Over 100,000 people use EatClub every day to claim exclusive deals and discounts up to 50 percent off on amazing food, and there is no sign that these numbers will lessen as June and July roll in. We are excited to partner with more restaurants across the country to them help generate additional revenue and fill more seats over their conventionally slower months.
“Our app is available to download on the App Store and Google Play, and registering a restaurant on EatClub only takes five minutes. Since 2017, we have filled millions of tables for restaurants around the country.”
For customers, the App is easy to use and navigate with EatClub’s three-step ordering system:
- Discover. Find nearby restaurants with spare tables that have just uploaded last minute deals.
- Redeem. Find an incredible deal at a top restaurant, and redeem your voucher for dine-in or takeaway orders.
- Enjoy. Show your digital voucher when you arrive at the restaurant to receive your deal. Eat out more often.