Say no to no-shows

Guests not showing up to their booking is becoming a more common occurrence...

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May 2021

Welcome back, hospitality

Monday 17th May was a very big day for pubs and restaurants in England as indoor service resumed. Guests in Wales and Scotland (subject to tier) are also enjoying indoor service again.

While a minority of venues had been able to offer outdoor service since April, many had not, and the unseasonably poor weather had further dampened any sense of 'business as usual'. So, this was the big one.

The news from the sector two weeks in is cautiously positive; most pubs and restaurants are busy – both bookings and spend-per-head are up. The larger city centres remain quiet (most offices are yet to reopen, so footfall is down) and some businesses are experiencing supply and staffing issues. And of course, the ongoing need for social distancing, the absence of bar service and other constraints affect businesses in different ways – nowhere is operating completely normally yet.


No-shows hurt

There is, however, just one problem that appears to be hurting pretty much every hospitality business and it is one they are understandably reluctant to talk too much about, as no business likes to criticise its customers.

The issue is no-shows. People who book but don’t turn-up. Anecdotally, it seems some customers are booking multiple venues for their night out so they can decide last-minute where to go. Either they don’t realise or don’t care about the impact this can have, causing the venue to lose sales and staff to miss out on tips. This behaviour was never OK, but for businesses and their employees who have had such a tough 15 months, it’s a real kick in the teeth.

No doubt some of the people causing this problem will change their behaviour when the impact is explained – they just haven’t thought through how it hurts businesses and people. But it seems likely that the sector will need a stronger deterrent to eradicate this issue.


Secure bookings with a deposit or pre-authorisation

Pre-payment, a deposit or pre-authorisation of a payment card are compulsory in many other situations where capacity is limited, and a no-show would hurt. You don’t get to secure your holiday or trip to a gig or the theatre without an up-front commitment.

Some operators are understandably concerned that changing the ‘contract’ with guests is risky. Our view is that many things have changed over the last year: habits have been broken and guests will understand the need to secure their booking with pre-payment, a deposit, or a card-swipe. A genuine reason to cancel can be handled sensitively without a cost to the guest, but those who no-show without a good reason should cover some of the losses incurred. Of course, the real value of this is not the money recovered, but the deterrent effect.


Adactus offers secured booking

As we emerge from lockdown there are many reasons why hospitality businesses and their guests want the convenience and certainty of a booking, but to avoid the damage no-shows can cause, bookings must be secured.

Adactus can help hospitality businesses with the right secured booking service for your guests – whether that is full or partial payment up front (deposit), or a card swipe to authorise a charge in the event of a no-show – there is a solution that will work best for your operation. And, unlike other providers, we don’t charge a per-transaction fee: your costs are the same every month.

Talk to us to see how we can help.

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