How to deal with restaurant no-shows

Maja Jankowska's photo

Maja Jankowska


If you work in a restaurant or own one – you know the struggle of restaurant no-shows. The definition of a no-show is a guest who has made a booking and does not cancel it and doesn’t show up. This causes a lot of problems. The restaurant will lose revenue, and the great food prepared for the guests will have to be thrown away. Ending no-shows completely is an impossible mission, but reducing them is definitely possible. We at resOS do not like no-shows, so here are some ways to potentially reduce the number of no-shows.

restaurant no-shows
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Communicate with your guests

Letting your customers know in a friendly way that no-shows can be quite annoying, could be a way to fix it. You can use your social media profile such as Facebook, to let them know no-shows affect your business in a negative way. This has to be done with some creative methods because no-shows don’t affect the customers themself. An example could be to write how it affects food waste, which no one wants to support.

Keep track of no-shows

Most no-shows come from those making reservations by phone. Integrating a booking system could help reduce no-shows, as they have functioned within the system that can help. Booking systems such as resOS have a function where you can flag a guest as a no-show. This guest will then be registered in the system as a no-show, and you will get a notification if that person makes another booking. You can then decide to keep a close eye on that person or decline their booking request based on their background as a no-show guest.

restaurant no-shows
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Charge a deposit

The easy way to avoid no-shows would be to charge a deposit. By doing so, the customer would have to cancel a certain time before the booking takes place. This is however a risk to take, as some guests will book at another restaurant that doesn’t charge a deposit. Guests are also more likely to pay a deposit if it’s to a high-end restaurant compared to a cheap one.

Read more here about charging deposits via resOS.

Keep in touch with your guests

Most of the no-shows happen because people forget their reservations. A good tip would be to notify your guest when the booking reservation is just around the corner. A lot of the booking systems send confirmations by SMS to their guests. You can then send a new SMS once close to the reservation time. It is just important to write in a nice manner, so the guest won’t see it as spam.

Read also our article about how you can optimize your table planner to increase revenue.

Do you want to reduce no-shows in your restaurant? Then try resOS!

We understand that you don’t want no-shows in your restaurant. resOS booking system for restaurants can help you with that. We got a deposit feature, SMS notifications, and an option to mark earlier guests who didn’t show up to their reservations as “no-shows” in the system. An effective and userfriendly restaurant booking system can really be valuable to a restaurant and its daily operations. Check out this article with 7 reasons why to invest in restaurant management software.

Are you interested in trying out resOS? Get started here. Do not hesitate with contacting us on [email protected], if you have any questions.