Toronto’s preeminent restaurant guide, Dine.TO, reports that restaurant reservations are increasing in this city, encouraging news for an industry that might well have expected different results in the current economic climate. According to its reservation and call-tracking system, which compiles data from 500 member restaurants, reservations made by phone and online increased by seven per cent this year over last.
Specifically, the Dine.TO website oversaw 140,973 reservations last year and 150,393 in the same period a year later.
What’s more, a large number of these inquiries were made with fine restaurants, where dishes sell, on average, for between $20 and $30. This suggests an upward-arching dining trend, with the population of consumers who choose fine restaurants over casual opportunities on the climb.
More than that, Dine.TO’s research reveals that dining as an overall experience is changing. Restaurant goers are no longer playing it safe and sticking to their favourite haunts, but are exploring the tastes of the world in their own backyard. The top five most popular restaurant types on Dine.TO are: Italian, Seafood, Canadian, Mediterranean and Steakhouses. It’s also worth noting that Canadian food has increased in popularity, suggesting a movement toward local food.
“The business as a whole has been steadily increasing over the last five months, and it’s relative to the city we live in. Just look around at all the cranes in the skyline – Toronto is booming,” says Table 17 owner, Erik Joyal. “We’re noticing a higher frequency in customers, and with the economy in good shape, people are no longer in fear of spending.”
“At the end of the day people want to eat and be entertained; this will never change,” says Mistura general manager, Julian Gova. “People will always return to a restaurant with a great product and service, but now they’re more financially conscious. Rather than a $150 bottle of wine, they’ll order a $75 bottle.”
“We’ve been open for over 30 years and our reservation numbers are on the climb and we see this number continuing to rise this year,” says Steve Mastoras, owner of Whistler’s Grille & The McNeil Room.
Dine.TO is the city’s premier hospitality guide. With an extensive database of more than 10,000 restaurants, hotels, lounges, banquet halls, bars, clubs and all-things-gastronomic, Dine.TO provides a quick and elegant online experience for all who wish to enjoy the culinary and cultural diversity that makes Toronto great.
With a basic listing on the website free to businesses, Dine.TO can help restaurants reach a hungry audience. And visitors appreciate the integrated listings featuring photo galleries, virtual tours, full menus, up-to-date reviews and chef profiles in their pursuit of the perfect restaurant or venue for their occasion. Dine.TO is the only site offering such complete listings. It receives more than 500,000 visitors a month.
Dine.TO was established in 2002 by Stratos Papachristopoulos and Pantelly Damoulianos. Originally looking to open a restaurant, the long-time friends and business partners opted, instead, for the exciting world of e-business.
Employing partnerships and custom-tailored marketing methods, the pair applied their passion for the hospitality industry and their knowledge of emerging technological trends to the launch of their first web venture together. With years of experience and expertise in the hospitality field, Dine.TO continues to put consumers’ interests first.
Appearing on Profit Magazine’s Hot 50 list of Canada’s hottest start-ups in 2009, Dine.TO currently ranks as #58 on the 2011 Profit 200 list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies.
In addition to partnering with companies like the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), American Express and 411.ca, Dine.TO has been the exclusive online sponsor of Chef’s Challenge for the past two years. Hosted by celebrity chefs (Gordon Ramsay in 2010 and Bobby Flay this year), the fundraising event has raised over $1.1 million for cancer research. Dine.TO also proudly gives back to the community by supporting charities such as Second Harvest, Fife House’s Taste for Life and Willow’s Eat to the Beat charity event for breast cancer.
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