Eating OutHospitalityNewsRestaurants

Restaurants Continue to Lose Out due to Diner No-Shows

1 in 20 UK restaurant bookings between the start of the year and February 2023 have resulted in no-shows, according to a recent report from restaurant booking system ResDiary, and its diner-facing recommendation app, Dish Cult.

It follows a continuing trend of no-shows that have cost the average restaurant £1,325 between the start of the year and February 2023.

The ‘Beyond the Booking report’, detailing responses from a survey of over 200 restaurants and 820 UK consumers, found that while more than half of UK restaurants have some form of a deposit system in place, 38% still operate without one.

While more than half of UK restaurants have some form of a deposit system in place, 38% still operate without one.

Of those operating with a deposit system in place, almost half (48%) have a minimum booking size. This number can vary depending on the venue type or their market, but on average, the minimum number required before a deposit is taken on a booking is eight people.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Colin Winning, CEO at ResDiary, said:
“With almost half (49%) of diners booking dinner reservations a week or more in advance, managing bookings and commitments is vital in helping restaurants to operate efficiently, maximise revenue, and provide excellent service.

“While the trend of no-shows is a challenge for restaurants, implementing a deposit system can ensure customers are far more likely to arrive at their booking. The risk of losing a deposit in the current climate is enough to prevent a no-show and to enable restaurants to manage their bookings effectively.”

In terms of practical implementation to secure the booking, restaurants are advised to ensure they invest time in communicating with diners ahead of their booking, sending confirmations in advance and one day prior to the booking.

Laura Barnes, Senior Relationship Manager at ResDiary said:
“Make sure your confirmation and reminder emails have your no-show terms clearly outlined to ensure there are no disputes should cancellation fees need to be collected.

“It’s also important that you make your messaging as friendly and as approachable as possible, as this can help build brand loyalty and repeat visits from diners.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality which represents about 100,000 venues across the Country said: “We are seeing it across the UK and it’s more severe in tourist locations where you rely more on booked rather than walk-in trade.

“We are seeing a significant level of cancellations and it’s really difficult at the moment because of the cost-of-living crisis, “ and has urged customers to call if they want to cancel: “Just let people know if you can’t make it,” she added.