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Sector launches no-show campaign

Leading hospitality companies and leaders have joined forces to highlight the issue of no-shows. The new initiative is aimed at educating customers on the impact of not turning up for bookings, as well as to provide insight, tools and tips to operators to help mitigate the impact.

Zonal, CGA, UKHospitality, Bums On Seats and Wireless Social are just a few of the industry leaders supporting the campaign. If you’d like to join in and support the movement then you can sign up here:

Data from hospitality technology expert Zonal and industry insight firm CGA, reveals the damaging and costly impact caused by customers not turning up for their bookings. Since the sector reopened one in seven (14%) people have not turned up to their reservation, with one in eight (12%) people saying they are more likely to no-show than they were before the pandemic.

The report identifies a strong correlation between no-shows and age, with 18–34-year-olds the worst offenders when it comes to no-shows. Over a quarter (28%) of 18-34-year-olds have not honoured their bookings, compared to just 1% of those aged 55 or over. This is partly explained by the fact that younger adults are more frequent bookers in comparison to other age demographics, the statistics reveal. Nearly three quarters (73%) of 18- to 34-year-olds say they have made a reservation since April — well above the national average of 60% and older age groups like 65+ (52%).

There are ways operators can help mitigate no shows. According to the report, over half of consumers (55%) are willing to pay a no-show fee if they didn’t turn up whilst nearly as many (51%) would be happy to pay a deposit to secure a booking. Some 36% said they would be more likely to show up if the venue simply reminded them by phone, SMS, email or app.

“Pubs, bars and restaurants play a vital role in our communities and it’s important we continue to support them after this challenging time. While the pandemic has prompted a new-found appreciation and understanding of hospitality among many consumers, there is still more to be done in encouraging them to always honour their booking or tell the venue in advance.”

UKHospitality is one of the supporters of #ShowUpForHospitality. Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “No shows have been a blight on the industry for many, many years, but with tens of thousands of hospitality businesses in such a fragile state following prolonged periods of closure and heavily-restricted trading, they are currently deeply damaging to venues.

“Our pubs, bars and restaurants deserve our support and it’s encouraging that this research shows there is a growing realisation among customers of the need to honour their booking or let the venue know they can’t make it. But it also highlights the fact that no shows still happen far too often, with younger customers particularly responsible, and that really can’t go on. We need a revitalised relationship between venues and their customers – and for people to be supportive and respectful of these businesses as they rebuild from the pandemic.”

Karl Chessell, CGA business unit director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA, added: Consumers are embracing reservations like never before, because they want certainty about their eating and drinking out experiences—and bookings can be positive for operators too if they help them to plan better. But the flip side of no-shows has come into sharp focus since the pandemic: they’ve been a bugbear for years, and the sales and cost implications are especially painful now.

“It’s much easier to identify the problem than find solutions, but reducing no-shows will be a big priority in the months ahead, especially as Christmas nears. Deposits can help, but there’s clearly still a barrier to acceptance among consumers, and they don’t suit all businesses. As spontaneity returns to hospitality, striking the right balance between reservations and walk-ins is going to be crucial.”


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