Restaurant chains saw a 25% week-on-week spike in online reservations as a result of Wednesday's strike action, restaurant booking website Bookatable has revealed.
The site said that mobile bookings also increased 23% as parents searched for last-minute offers on their phones in a bid to keep their children entertained.
Wednesday's strike action from the public service sector saw almost three-quarters of the schools in the UK affected.
Some operators, such as Las Iguanas, made the most of the situation, setting up a "Kids Eat Free" offer to help parents with a cost-effective way of entertaining the kids.
Lucy Harwood, marketing and brand manager of Las Iguanas, said: "It is hard for any parent to take time off work during this busy festive period to stay at home and entertain the kids. That's why we brought back the Kids Eat Free offer on Wednesday to help families affected by the strike action. We were happy to see a great response to the offer as families flocked to our restaurants around the UK."
Robert Swerling of Bookatable added: "We were impressed by the restaurant chains' quick reaction to the opportunity that the national day of striking created. The steep rise in booking levels at chain restaurants reflects the need for cash-strapped families to find cheaper alternatives to entertain the kids. Bookatable continues to respond to a rising consumer demand for discount dining in the UK and displays numerous offers, ranging from casual-dining chains through to fine-dining establishments."
By Neil Gerrard
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