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How can the hospitality sector battle “no shows” in 2023?

There’s no doubt that post covid, the hospitality industry as a whole is trying its hardest to get back to pre-pandemic levels. One thing that doesn’t help this situation is people who book in advance and don’t show up to their reservation. Read time: 3 minutes.

It not only puts more pressure on the business to replace the booking, but it’s generally just a bit of a kick in the teeth for a business in an already struggling sector. It takes less than a minute to cancel a reservation and will save the business from suffering the financial consequences, so how can we tackle this and decrease the amount of no shows per month? Or, NSPM, for short.

While missing a booking can sometimes be a genuine mistake, some people will simply not care enough to cancel their booking, even when they know they aren’t going to make it in advance. Following research from TheFork, almost 19% of Brits have admitted to not cancelling their reservation, even when they know they won’t make it. Shameful!

As we all know, the cost of living crisis is hitting everyone hard in the UK. More and more businesses are struggling or downright closing their doors for good, it can’t continue! Here at Daniel James Interiors, we care about the industry and have spent time compiling ways to tackle this issue and decrease the number of no shows per month.

  1. Reservation reminder system

One of the most common ways businesses can decrease their amount of no show reservations is through an automatic reservation reminder system. Upon booking the reservation, the customer is asked to provide a valid phone number or email address. This allows you to send through a reminder about their booking at a time your business chooses, it could be 3 hours before, 6 hours before or 24 hours before. This way the customer is more likely to acknowledge their reservation and attend.

You could also add a hassle free way to cancel the booking by simply adding a “Reply ‘CANCEL’ to cancel your reservation for 4 people at 18:30pm”. You never know, the reason some people may avoid cancelling a reservation is simply because they feel too awkward to make the phone call, at least if they cancel via SMS, you have enough time as a business to replace the slot – and they haven’t had to make an unwanted phone call! After all, nobody likes delivering bad news, no matter how small it may be.

‘Here at Daniel James Interiors, we care about the industry and have spent time compiling ways to tackle this issue and decrease the number of no shows per month’.

  1. Credit card charges

This is one of the most common methods for tackling those pesky no-shows. If you require a credit card to book the reservation and incur a fee for not showing up for your booking, customers are far less likely to cancel. In the event that they do not show up, your business can be covered, and the usual hit of making £0 is avoided. Albeit the charge will not be huge, it is still proven to be far more effective than any other tactic to avoid cancellations or no shows.

  1. Requiring a prepaid deposit

Another effective tactic to limit your amount of no-shows per month is by requesting a prepaid deposit to be paid upon booking the reservation. This can range from anywhere between £5 to £20 per head and can be set at the businesses discretion. This deposit can then be refunded or taken off the final bill, or even returned as a gift card for future use. This guarantees the customer will always be spending that money with your business. Using a system like this will decrease the chance of no-shows or cancellations as the customer has spent their own money and locked in their booking, therefore making them more likely to turn up.

We hope these methods will help you decrease your NSPM, as we understand just how hard it can be for businesses struggling in 2023. Daniel James Interiors are here to support the industry in any way possible and we hope you found some value. Best of luck!

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