Who wants half-price dining at some of Manchester’s best restaurants?

Discover Manchester's dining revolution with First Table - where you can get 50% off at top restaurants like Kala, Firehouse, and Leno at Diecast
first table - kala bistro interior

Manchester’s food scene continues to boom with new restaurants popping up every day, leaving us with the constant dilemma of where to dine next and, more importantly, how to afford it all?

That’s where the First Table app comes in, offering users the chance to enjoy half-price dining during off-peak times. By filling up tables that would otherwise be left empty, restaurants can create a buzz during the early hours of service; a win-win for both restaurants and diners.

On the inspiration behind the platform, Mat Weir, CEO and founder, explains: “The idea came when my family and I discovered a small French restaurant back in New Zealand that was offering a 50% discount on their first table of the night. It seemed almost too good to be true. That’s when the waiter told us about the ‘first table’ concept and it clicked. It helped build an atmosphere from the start of service, which attracted more customers.” 

The restaurant discovery platform, set to launch on Monday, October 2, will offer substantial discounts to those who don’t mind an earlier meal. To access these discounts, all you need to do is sign up to the First Table website or their free app, where you can join the 900,000 members around the world already registered. This will grant you access to a selection of eligible restaurants across the city. 

While the platform is new to Manchester, it has been successfully operating in the UK since 2018, serving six cities, including London, Bristol, and Birmingham.

Which Manchester restaurants have signed up to First Table?

Manchester restaurants taking part include The Blues Kitchen, Masons, Leno Ex Machina at Diecast, Sangam, Fress, and Firehouse.

Gary Usher’s bistros Kala and Hispi are also on the platform.

Even more are expected to be announced, joining a roster of 300 dining establishments throughout the United Kingdom and a whopping 1,400 worldwide.

Kala Bistro will join the First Table app
Kala Bistro will join the First Table app

How does First Table work?

The First Table app and website list the early time slots for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at various restaurants, which are typically quieter and harder to fill. Users can then pay £6 to secure their “First Table” slots, granting them 50% off the total food bill.

Drinks are not part of the deal.

CEO, Mat Weir, expressed his enthusiasm about introducing First Table to Manchester: “We are genuinely excited about the Manchester launch.

“Our aspiration is to unite diners with the city’s diverse array of restaurants and encourage our foodies to try something new.

“As well as benefiting diners, our model supports Manchester’s restaurant industry. Our partner restaurants don’t have to pay to feature on our platform, giving them an opportunity to attract new clientele and use their first table as a promotional tool.”

Elliott Hannam, UK, and Ireland Territory Manager, continued: “Manchester’s hospitality scene is wonderfully vibrant, and we’re thrilled to bring our concept here. Our mission is to help create memorable dining experiences and promote exceptional local restaurants”. 

Exclusive Half-Price Discount at Kala Bistro

We tried the service out at one of the restaurants signed up, the award-winning Kala Bistro, located on King Street.

The Modern-European menu, which focuses on locally sourced ingredients and pairing wines, becomes even more enticing with the exclusive 50% discount.

We took our seats at 5pm, ready to tuck into a delightful three-course meal.

To start, we indulged in their chicken liver pâté with farmhouse chutney on wholegrain sourdough toast (£9), before enjoying their Confit duck leg, served with port-braised red cabbage, parsnip purée, Madeira, and prune sausage, complete with pickled walnut (£23.50).

We ended the meal with the Chocolate Oblivion – mint chocolate-chip ice cream, drizzled in a rich dark chocolate sauce, (£9.50).

Normally, this meal would tally up to £42, but with the First Table app, you can relish all of the above for just £21. 

Kala Bistro's Chocolate Oblivion
Kala Bistro’s Chocolate Oblivion

One standout item on Kala’s menu is their 19oz. 35-day-aged sirloin of beef. Designed for sharing, it comes with roast carrots, peppercorn sauce, truffle, and Parmesan chips. This impressive dish, priced at £73, can be enjoyed at a reduced cost of £36.50 during off-peak periods with the First Table discount.

So if there’s a restaurant you’ve been dying to try out or a cuisine you’re curious about, now could be the perfect time to get involved.

Sign up to First Table now for more information on the launch, new restaurants on the platform, and weekly availability.

The First Table app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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