With hundreds of reservations every day and only a portion that actually leads to a busy table, the no-show spares no establishment. This practice consists of making a reservation in a restaurant and not showing up for the reservation without having cancelled it. This creates a big loss for establishments that want to fight this phenomenon from now on. In addition to losing money, it is also the waste of food that is being pointed at. If you are in this case, there are several solutions available to you to limit the damage of the no-show without completely stopping offering reservations.
Some establishments choose to offer reservations only on certain days or at certain times, thus favouring customers without reservations. Others offer reservations only for a certain number of guests or for large tables. A reservation for a large group is often more reliable than others. To limit the no-show you can also accept reservations only for a part of your tables in order to limit the number of customers who might not come.
Many establishments now offer online reservations. This system does not allow to fight directly against the no-show but allows to avoid it as much as possible. To make a reservation via the internet, the customer must fill in a lot of information himself, which will enable the establishment to contact him if necessary. When a reservation is made by telephone, it is possible to make a mistake in the name or telephone number. On the internet it is also sometimes asked to give your bank details. The law allows restaurants to require a bank imprint and to charge a pre-determined amount if the customer does not show up for the reservation.
Thanks to online booking you can also remind the customer of the booking automatically. You can set up an automatic system sending an SMS a few hours before the reservation to remind the customer that he has reserved a table and that he can cancel it in case of unforeseen events. A large part of the causes of the no-show is forgetting to book or cancelling. It is advisable to insert a cancellation link in these sms or mails to facilitate the cancellation.
Many restaurateurs have decided to make customers aware of the consequences of the no-show for their establishment. These campaigns take different forms, raising awareness of the food waste that results from the no-show but also denouncing customers who have never bothered to cancel their reservation and still never came. Customers should also be reminded that this phenomenon has a significant cost to restaurants and can even lead to the closure of the restaurant if the losses are too great or to the cancellation of reservations.
When a customer makes a reservation you have the right to inform him/her that if he/she does not show up on time for the reservation, his/her table may be allocated to other customers. Some online booking platforms even make waiting lists for tables that would be cancelled at the last minute or allocated to other customers in case of delays. This is a fairly useful way to limit the food and financial losses of an establishment.
Our last piece of advice to avoid the scourge of no-show is to always ask the client for confirmation that he will come for his reservation. Asking the customer for confirmation again is all the more useful when it is a reservation for a large group and will save you from needlessly foreseeing extra quantities that are actually not necessary. It will also remind the customer that they have made a reservation.
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