The introduction of London’s Night Tube service is thought to have led to a 21% increase in late night restaurant bookings.
That’s according to online booking platform Bookatable, which saw the jump in bookings for tables at 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights in August, as compared to August 2015.
Bookings between 9pm and 11.59pm have increased by 15%, and overall Bookatable has seen a 13% uplift in restaurant bookings on these days.
The Night Tube was introduced on 19 August and operates through the night on the Victoria line and parts of the Central line every Friday and Saturday, with the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines following in the autumn.
The service was initially planned to launch last September, but a dispute with the rail unions delayed the project. Figures by London First showed that the Night Tube could boost London’s economy by £77m per year.
London hospitality recruitment company the Change Group conducted a survey which found 87% of hospitality business owners felt the Night Tube would have a positive impact on their staff.
Hospitality staff themselves also believed it will have a positive impact on their working lives. 52% claimed to use night buses to return home after a late shift, but 66% would prefer to take the Night Tube over any other form of transport to save time and money.
Joe Steele, CEO of Bookatable, said: “It’s encouraging to see a significant increase in the number of bookings that London restaurants are taking at 10pm, and over Friday and Saturday nights between 9 and 11:59pm. Despite the delayed start, the Night Tube is proving to help bolster the economy, particularly the restaurant trade, by giving consumers more accessibility to explore the diverse restaurant scene London offers.
“An increase in bookings in August this year proves that there is an appetite for late night dining in the Capital, and we’re excited by the Mayor’s plans to run more underground tube lines through the night and give more restaurants the opportunity to cater to this growing demand.”