Cancel as a Weapon Against No Shows
A frequently heard noise in the hospitality industry is the problem of no-shows. Very annoying and with the current reservation obligation it happens too often. All restaurants have to deal with it. What can you do about this as a catering entrepreneur?
Guests reserve a table, receive confirmation and receive a reminder. But what about the cancellation policy? A commonly used tool against no-shows is the use of deposits. Guests pay an amount directly during the reservation via Ideal. Guestplan already introduced this tool in 2014. The disadvantage of paying a deposit is the enormous barrier during the reservation process, which makes it only interesting for restaurants where the demand is a multiple of the supply. It therefore mainly serves as a stick behind the door. For the mid-range, the deposit tool therefore does not outweigh the number of no-shows.
Another tool is working with credit card guarantees. You will not be charged if you show up for your reservation. In the event of a no-show, the card will be charged with the amount that represents the deposit. But this tool also creates a barrier for guests and is not experienced as hospitable. It even radiates distrust.
Rather a cancellation than a no-show
With the current range of reservation systems, there is an opportunity here. Due to the optimal use of a reservation system, there are a lot of possibilities!
Guests who want to cancel their reservation too often encounter a message that cancellation is no longer possible via the website and that they have to call. Research by Guestplan shows that the majority of no-shows stem from guests who can no longer cancel online. People no longer call to cancel a reservation. Online reservation also means online cancellation.
The canceled guest is not an enemy
Make canceling accessible by giving guests the option to cancel their reservation, which makes it easier for you as a restaurateur to respond to your table occupancy. Guests are perfectly willing to cancel their reservation if you give them ample opportunity.
For example, reservations for that evening can be canceled up to 1 minute before the reservation made (cancellation period). Make this clear and visible. Letting the guest cancel stands for hospitality. Did the guest cancel? Invite them to change the reservation. Even a voucher or some other kind of invite can turn a cancellation into a reservation.
The moment a guest cancels, the availability is immediately released via Guestplan and guests can place a reservation via Google, among others, and reserve the vacant table. Without you having to do anything for it. Fully automatic. After cancellation there is real-time availability.
This does not apply to restaurants that are full for the coming months. We advise these restaurants to work with a deposit.
100% hospitable, affordable and optimal ease of use. That is what Guestplan is all about. For over 15 years, Guestplan has provided a 360° restaurant reservation system with easy-to-use features that support online reservations, table management, floor plans, and more. Leading restaurants and chains worldwide work with Guestplan’s digital reservation system with which they visualize their reservations in our interactive and easy overviews.