First Queenstown then the world


A QUEENSTOWN-BASED online bookings business has global ambitions.

First Table is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Mat Weir. 

The new online business gives diners the chance to buy participating restaurants’ first table for $10, with a 50 per cent discount off their meal. 

The idea reflects a change in buying habits with more and more people signing up to deal websites for savings on a variety of services and goods. 

Ten Queenstown restaurants are already participating and there are more in the pipeline. 

Auckland has followed suit, signing up a further 10 restaurants. 

Already, 10,000 people have been through the site, more than 900 have signed up and there have been 200 bookings. 

Weir’s aim is to launch First Table across New Zealand, followed by Australia and then the rest of the world, running the whole operation from an office in Queenstown. 

The web developer and entrepreneur tells Mountain Scene he’s always on the lookout for business ideas and opportunities that scale well.   

“After speaking to a few restaurant owners about the idea I was confident that there was an opportunity to set up a restaurant marketing platform that would really appeal to diners.”
For $10, people get a 50 per cent discount on dinner for two to four people early in the evening.
No5 Church Lane has signed up. 

General manager James Cavanagh says: “It is getting people through the door early. 

“They know they will get the same excellent food and customer service while for us it ensures we are seating early diners and getting the ball rolling for our busy evening service.” 

Self-confessed foodie fan Steph Lacey says it makes eating out more affordable: “You don’t always have the extra money to go out for dinner and this gives you the chance to go to new restaurants.” 

Weir has already had success with technology businesses. 

He started building websites when he was 15 and was a co-owner of Xebidy Social Web Design in Queenstown.