Over Half Of UK Consumers Are In Favour Of Paying A Deposit When Booking Pubs And Restaurants

New research from Zonal and CGA reveals that 51% of UK pub and restaurant goers are happy to pay a deposit to book a table, and even more (55%) are in favour of paying no-show fees if they don’t turn up.

The findings, from leading hospitality tech firm Zonal, forms part of its industry-wide campaign #ShowUpForHospitality, aiming to highlight the damaging impact of customer no-shows, which collectively cost the sector £17.6bn a year. Visit the campaign page to learn more, join the conversation and help spread the message far and wide and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.

Consumers are more likely to be in favour of their use in for special occasions and on significant days such as Valentine’s Day or a Bank Holiday, with 65% happy to pay a deposit for a such events.

Guests inclination to pay deposits is less (41%) for casual occasions such as after work drinks but remains at strong levels for larger bookings of six people of more (59%) and is still over half (53%) for smaller groups.

However, younger consumers are more reluctant than the national average to pay to secure a booking. Only 28% of 18-24-year olds say they would put down a deposit and just 24% said they would be happy to pay a no-show fee.

Commenting on the findings, Olivia FitzGerald, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Zonal said: “There’s traditionally been a scepticism and nervousness around the use of deposits and no-show fees in hospitality, with many believing that it would prove to be a big turn off for their customers and hit trade.

“These latest insights show that, while a blanket approach may not be the optimum way forward for operators, consumers are far more inclined to accept them than we previously thought – and for a wider range of occasions. Deposits and no-show fees shouldn’t just be reserved for high-end restaurants or Valentine’s Day and Christmas either and are a legitimate tool for reducing no shows during busy trading periods.

“As part of our #ShowUpForHospitality campaign we want to spotlight this issue, change consumer behaviours as well as start an industry discussion as to how best to combat this long-standing problem. We’ve seen phenomenal support across the sector from CGA, UKHospitality, Bums on Seats, Think Hospitality plus many more. It’s been fantastic to see once again hospitality come together for the benefit of the entire industry.”