No shows are certainly not a new thing. For as long as restaurants have taken reservations, no shows have been causing them problems.
And it doesn’t take many to turn a profitable night into a disastrous, loss-making evening.
However, with the help of technology, it’s now easier than ever to fight back and reduce their occurrence significantly.
Four of the most effective ways to reduce no shows include…
- E-mail reminders
- Sms text reminders
- Taking of credit card details
- Taking deposits at the time of booking
Thankfully, our e-Res reservation system includes all of the above features.
Email confirmations are sent out to the customer for all online reservations, and can be sent at the time of booking for phone bookings if an email address is taken.
The email contains all of the details about their booking, it can include your booking policy, links to menus or anything else you wish to include.
It can also include a cancellation option for the customer allowing them to cancel their own booking without having to call the restaurant.
SMS text reminders
Automatic SMS reminders can be sent out 24 hours before the reservation reminding the customer of their booking details.
This either reminds the customer to honour their booking, or acts as a prompt to call and cancel if they can no longer make it.
The sender ID of the SMS message can also be set to your restaurant name.
Require credit cards to secure bookings
The requirement of Credit card details can be enabled for online (and over the phone) bookings.
The credit card details are verified and processed by Stripe.com. The customer can only complete the booking if a valid card has been provided.
The card can then be charged a no-show fee within e-Res if the customer doesn’t show up.
You can read more about our stripe integration in another of our blog posts here.
Finally, eRes has full support for requesting customer deposits at the time of booking.
The customer will not be able to complete the online booking process without paying the deposit.
Deposits can be configured for all bookings or only for bookings which match a set of rules. E.g. you could request deposits for specific days of the week, only for certain meals and only for groups over a certain size.
No shows are a real problem and they are not going away. If you are not using at least one of four above methods for mitigating no-shows then you are exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.
E-mail and SMS messages have always been a nice way to keep in touch with the customer and remind them of their booking.
Even with these two features enabled, no-shows can and do still occur. Because of this we recommend requiring credit cards, or deposits, or even a combination of the two – e.g. credit cards for mid-week and deposits for weekend bookings.
e-Res makes it really easy to set up and manage all of the above options allowing you to focus more of your time and effort on providing a great customer experience.
You can download a fully functional trial of eRes and try this out yourself at the following link – Download e-Res.