10 Ideas to Reduce No-Shows

September 16, 2021
Mozrest - Booking ideas to reduce no shows in restaurants
Show Up For Hospitality - Logo

1 in 7 customers doesn’t turn up for their booking according to the latest GO Technology report from Zonal and CGA. From wasted preparation time to lost revenue, a no-show can throw off the flow of your business. 

While not every no-show can be eliminated, there are effective ways to reduce the number of no-shows and make it a thing of the past.

This is why Mozrest joins the #ShowUpForHospitality campaign and gives you 10 tips to deal with the growing no-show problem.

What studies tell us about No-Shows

No-Shows = important loss in revenue:

  • No-shows cost the industry on average £4.8m per day
  • No-shows cost the hospitality industry on average £17.6bn a year

Why do customers no-show?

  • 14% of bookers are no-show
  • 16% of customers no-show because they forget about their bookings
  • 19% of customers no-show because plans change

Using reminders is a great way to prevent no-shows:

  • 36% of customers are more likely to show if they are reminded
  • 38% of customers like to be reminded of their booking a few days in advance

Why should restaurants be bookable online?

  • 51% of customers are happy to pay a booking deposit, which is simpler and more securised online than over the phone
  • 55% of customers are willing to pay a ‘no-show fee’
  • 58% of customers prefer to cancel reservations digitally

Mozrest integrates all your online reservations to your Guest Management Software to help you manage your multiple reservation channels. Get in touch with us to request a free demo to see our service in action.

10 ideas to reduce no-shows for your business 

1. Make use of automated reminders

Using automatic reminders does two things. First, it shows your customers that you care about them enough to send them a reminder, building a closer relationship between them and yourself. 

Second, automatic reminders improve punctuality.

2. Send a text booking confirmation

When customers book by phone, do not hesitate to take their mobile number so you can send them a booking confirmation by text.

This simple step reduces the risk of errors and builds customer loyalty while cutting down on the risk of no-shows.

3. Follow a No-Show with a “sorry we missed you” message

Sometimes, we forget about our appointments. We don’t mean to show up. We simply forgot.

When this happens, send your customers a text alert saying “sorry we missed you” and offering to book again.

4. Ask for Reservations Deposits

Another solution to deal with no-shows is to ask for a reservation deposit from your customers when they make a booking.

Reservation deposits are a prepayment against the total bill, usually non-refundable that your customers will lose if they don’t honour their reservation.

Asking for a reservation deposit increases your chance to see them keeping their reservations on time.

5. Ask for Prepaid Reservations

Some restaurants ask for payment upfront for meals when customers book a table to tackle the problem of no-shows. Getting your customer to pay beforehand is a great way to ensure they will be there when it’s time for the appointment. 

This theatre-ticket approach is an excellent solution to deal with no-shows. It’s also helpful to provide them with some small reward for booking in advance. For example, you could give them a discount on their next visit.

6. Don’t wait to reschedule your no-shows

Rescheduling no-shows after they occur is not a technique to prevent them from happening in the first place. 

However, the fact that you made an effort to reach out in person to check on the customer shows care and concern and establishes a personal connection that will make them less likely to no-show next time. 

7. Use multiple reminder methods

Sometimes, an email reminder or a text message is insufficient to prevent your customers from becoming a no-show. 

Some restaurants like to call their customers to ensure their plans don’t change

It’s also an excellent way to check if they need anything particular (like a high chair, for example) or if they’re coming for a special occasion, and tell them that you are happy to welcome them soon. 

8. Give a warm welcome to your customers

Bad customer experiences often lead to no-shows when your guests book again (if they book again!).

To ensure your guests have the best customer experience possible, start by greeting them within 30 seconds of entering your restaurant, having their table ready and giving them a seat immediately.

9. Thank your customers who keep their bookings and arrive on time

You can reward your customers with a small discount on their bill or a personalised thank you message on your business card for customers who keep their bookings and arrive on time. 

Acknowledging customers for doing the right thing is guaranteed to keep them showing up for reservations and arriving on time. 

10. Make your customers feel recognised, even privileged

Using a tool like Mozrest will relieve your staff and let your team feel more comfortable greeting your customers by their names, knowing which channel they reserved and remembering their specific needs or requests. 

This will create a relationship of trust and confidence between your client and your staff within just a few seconds, building customer loyalty.

A loyal customer always shows up or, at least, never forgets to cancel their reservation if they can’t make it.

We hope these tips will help you cut down on the risk of no-shows. We’re also here to help you reduce the risk of reservation mistakes. So, get in touch with us to request a free demo to see Mozrest in action. We’ll be more than happy to guide you through and make your business a success. 

More about #ShowUpForHospitality 

Launched by Zonal, a company helping more than 16,000 hospitality and leisure businesses connect the customer journey, the #ShowUpForHospitality campaign aims to call for change in behaviour and a refreshed relationship between customers and hospitality venues. 

Mozrest is proud to join this campaign alongside a coalition of industry leaders and businesses to increase awareness of the impact of no-shows and encourage consumers to always #ShowUpForHospitality.

Eurydice Hallé
Eurydice is the Marketing Communications Manager at Mozrest. She develops the digital company’s branding and awareness and is passionate about helping restaurants increase reservations and deliver superior guest experience.