Want to reduce no shows?
24 August

Reduce No Shows With Till Tech

It’s not a new issue, not just with restaurants, but with many booking led industries, no shows are a common theme and headache.

We don’t need to tell you the impact it has, you know first hand, but here are some stats. How do you compare?

  • Average no show rate currently estimated at 1 in 7
  • Based on just 2500 bookings per year (210 per month) with an average table value at £75 equates to a loss of £26,000 per year
  • Deposits and reminders can help to reduce no shows down to 1 in 60 (over 95%)
  • It is estimated the overall cost to the hospitality industry is £16 billion per year

What can you do to prevent no shows?

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1. Online Live Table Booking

Live table booking makes it easy for customers to fit their schedule around your availability and make an informed choice as to whether your availability fits into their plans. This also saves you and your staff considerable time and prevents booking errors.

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2. Automatic Confirmation of Bookings

Confirming with the customer once they have made their booking reinforces their plans. This is more likely to make the customer feel like they have now made a commitment and more likely to contact you should they need to amend or cancel their booking.

3. Automated Reminders

Set up reminders. This can be done via email, app notifications and text messages. Setup up multiple reminders, but just don’t go overboard. A reminder 48 hours prior and on the day should be sufficient.

4. Calendar Insertion

A widely underused feature, our devices are now more intelligent than ever. Emails and mobile apps can automatically insert events into users calendars. This allows the likes of Google, Siri and Alexa to remind customers of their booking and even tell them the best route and traffic.

5. Deposits

Deposits have been proven as the most effective way to reduce no shows. A small fee of just £5 will encourage only genuine bookings and if the customer cannot make it they are more likely to get in touch and let you know.

6. Make it easy to change appointments

Allow customers to edit and cancel bookings if necessary by their account on your website or app. By making it easy to edit or cancel customers are more likely to do so and give you enough time to fill the table again.

With live online bookings this will automatically be done for you, another huge benefit of online booking being linked to your table management.

7. Make your booking policy clear on your website and app

Add this in your FAQ, Terms and Conditions and on your website/app booking page. Set out expectations from the beginning, for example, let customers know how long in advance you need to be aware of cancellations.

8. Email Tracking

TillTech also enables you to see if/when a customer has opened the confirmation email. This is a great early warning sign indicating if a booking may or may not show. 70% of bookings who do not open the confirmation email are no shows, so this enables you to be proactive in maximizing covers.

What we recommend not to do!

It’s always important to remember that despite the impact on you and your business, life happens.

Customers can get held up, called to an emergency, be late at work and a million other reasons why they might not arrive, so it’s always important to remember that and try not to make customers feel guilty. You have to take it on the chin and be proactive with the steps above, to reduce the chances of this happening.

Call the customer and ask where they are

Very rarely will you get the response you are hoping for and can create a flashpoint that will not end up in a positive outcome for you. It’s best to focus forwards on what you can impact right here and now

Charge no show fee

It is difficult to enforce these fees and to get your no show fee if the customer refuses to pay, may require a trip to court, which will not guarantee you the outcome you desire and will leave a bitter taste with the customer all for a small fee.

The alternative is to take card details up front to charge the no show fee if the customer doesn’t arrive. The problem here is the booking process becomes long and complicated and can cause numerous mistakes and other issues such as storing card details safely, potentially reducing your bookings of genuine customers with actual intent to visit.

Plus if the customer hasn’t read your policy and they get charged a no show fee, expect some angry calls and emails that could have been avoided, by simply taking a deposit instead. With deposits there are no surprises and expectations are laid clearly.

What happens when you use all or a combination of these?

Well, lets look at one of our clients who have been using the system for just over 3 years, www.akasaka.co.uk. 50,000 tables booked, 764 no show/no contact, around 1 in 60.

It’s also interesting to look at how other industries have benefited from such systems and processes.

We have a barbershop closing in on 80,000 appointment bookings with 897 no shows, which comes in at just under 1 in 90 and is also still improving month on month.

These are not some sort of rare examples, our global average is very relevant at 1 in 77, hence we used them as examples.

Seeing is believing so come and see!

Feel like you are doing the above and still struggling with no shows?

Our experienced team understand all businesses operate differently and will be happy to learn more about how you work and where you could be making things easier for you, your team and or your customers

Does Till Tech Do ALL of this?

Yes it does, not only all the above but so many other features and tools needed by restaurants and takeaways today. Our online booking system is directly linked to your table management and epos, so taking deposits at the point of booking has never been easier, no need to keep a separate tracker then manually deduct customers' bills.

Till Tech takes care of the entire process from booking to payment, reminding your customers and making it easy for them to manage their booking and online ordering with you.