Dealing with No Shows. The Industry Fights Back
Customers are back in restaurants and life is getting back to normal and, it appears, some things haven’t changed. The issue of the no-show is still apparent and with fewer tables and social distancing is causing real problems.
Andy Witheridge, chef Patron of The Salty Monk in Devon, spoke for a lot of chefs and restaurateurs recently when he said that lockdown had given him an opportunity to reevaluate his life. One of his prime concerns since opening up again has been to look at the whole issue of no show and what to do about it.
“I’m charging a £10 non-refundable booking fee on all bookings,” he told us. “I’m doing this because I am sick of the no-shows. Also, I’m no longer frightened to kick out rude tables in the middle of their evening if they are rude to my staff. It’s a no-nonsense approach because a small amount of people are ruining it for everyone else. Someone has to make a stand.”
A recent survey by the team at Carbon Free Dining listed the following reasons given by customers for not cancelling a booking they had made:
- 45% don’t cancel because it’s not easy to find cancellation information.
- 27% don’t cancel because they can’t be bothered.
- 18% don’t cancel because the restaurant doesn’t send reminders and they forgot they had a booking.
- 9% don’t cancel because they book several restaurants and decide which they’ll attend nearer to the time.
Liverpool-based Foursquare Group have started their own campaign – #savemyseat – to help businesses cope with the issue by charging a deposit. According to Four Square the pre-covid figure for no shows was around 1 in every 5 bookings. The aim of the campaign is to help normalise this practice and make deposits a part of table booking.
Where do you stand? Let us know how you are copping with no-shows.