Online booking service OpenTable has launched a campaign to tackle no-shows in restaurants, after it found that a third of UK diners have failed to turn up to their table booking without informing the restaurant at some point in their lives.
Research commissioned by OpenTable found that 4.4% of online bookings through OpenTable in the UK resulted in a no-show, compared to 4.6% of phone reservations.
Young adults admitted to being the worst offenders with a quarter (25%) of 16 – 24 year olds admitting to regularly failing to show up for their restaurant reservation. Meanwhile, the city with the largest number of diners who admit to having no-showed for a reservation at least once in their lives is London (40%), followed by Manchester (39%) then Leeds (38.7%).
Most UK no-shows (38%) claimed it was too last minute for them to cancel their booking but OpenTable emphasised that any notice given to the restaurant is better than none.
It has launched a light-hearted campaign in response to the problem, encouraging diners to ‘book responsibly’.
Designed to educate diners about the impact that not cancelling a reservation can have on businesses, it asks them to imagine what would happen if they turned up to a restaurant to discover that the staff hadn’t showed up.
It includes a YouTube video showing real-life diners turning up to a restaurant to find that there was no-one front of house to welcome them or take their orders.
The booking service, which sends reminder notifications to diners, has also promised to ban anyone who fails to show up to a booking four times within 12 months without cancelling.
Adrian Valeriano, VP EMEA, OpenTable, said: “We can all be more aware of the impact that no-shows and late cancellations can have on a restaurant. We have launched this campaign to help build awareness among diners of the issue and showcase how we continue to leverage our technology and diner network in ways that only OpenTable can to help reduce no-show rates and mitigate the impact of late cancellations.”