As customers are becoming more and more tech savvy it is time that restaurants become more modern and join this surge forward or get left behind.
What could you do to help reduce the likelihood of a no show?
Customers have come to rely on easy cancellation, reminders and psychological nudges to help them remember bookings. This can be seen as a good thing, as it can make them feel more responsible for cancelling online or even amending their reservation.
Should you have a no show policy, what does the law say?
The law says you cannot have a no-show or late-cancellation policy that imposes unfair financial penalties on your clients. Your establishment cannot claim back more than the expected loss of revenue.
Some countries are taking this idea even further. Attempting to stop no shows, the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) is proposing to take a non-refundable deposit of around €20 (£17.60) when taking a booking. Its members are being advised to take card details for tables of four or more and if not enough notice – 24 to 48 hours – is given or the party does not turn up, they’ll be charged. RAI chief executive Adrian Cummins likens it to booking tickets to the cinema or visiting a hotel¹.
So, yes, you should have a no show policy. A clear policy will ensure your customers know exactly what to expect if they don’t turn up or miss their reservation window. Whether or not you have chosen to charge a no-show fee, a customer in the know is more likely to behave and either show up as expected or call ahead to cancel.
Your customers now know about your no show policy (it is on your website and by the door to the restaurant) but how can you ensure they keep their reservation?
Get a No Show Management System
Many restaurants are choosing to introduce No Show management systems. This style of system, in the form of an app, contacts customers to remind them of their bookings and reservations.
One such system is Showly, the new No Show Management app. Showly is not just a standard management system and works with any existing booking system, whether it’s a reservation book or an online booking system like Order Wizard. Between when the reservation is made and when the customer is due to arrive, Showly will decide how best to contact the customer in order to reduce the chance of a no show. Showly will use its artificial intelligence to decide how big a cost to you a no show will be and how likely they are not to arrive.
How does Showly reduce No Shows?
Showly analyses every booking individually using adaptive artificial intelligence and chooses what actions to perform dynamically as the reservation date approaches. Showly will then contact the customer in an appropriate way. This could be an allergy request, an sms confirmation, an email reminder or simply no contact at all. Everything Showly does will increase the chance that the customer will attend their reservation.
To learn more about Showly visit https://www.showlyai.com/