Pirate FM News 3 minute read

Advice to restaurants in Cornwall amid spike in 'no shows'

Advice to restaurants in Cornwall amid spike in 'no shows'

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:42am 21st July 2020. (Updated at 11:15am 21st July 2020)

Advice is going out to restaurants after a spate of 'no shows' across Cornwall.

Pirate FM told you how celebrity chef Paul Ainsworth reported that 27 customers who had booked a table at his pub in Rock, The Mariner's, failed to show up on just one day alone.

A scheme called the 'North Cornwall No Show' group has also been launched to help raise awareness and try and crack down on the issue.

Now Alliance Online, a specialist in catering and kitchen equipment, has put together advice for businesses on how they can tackle the problem.

Restaurant owners are being urged to take deposits, send reminder messages and to offer easier cancellations to customers.

Bosses have this advice:

"As social distancing is already reducing capacity and profits, no-shows are causing further damage to an industry that is already under strain. However, there are some ways you can try to combat no-shows at your restaurant. 

"The most obvious deterrent is to take deposits or even the whole cost upfront. This means you are compensated should the worst happen and as the industry adapts to a new normal, measures like this may help eateries survive so customers should understand. 

"Sending reminders is another way to reduce your no-shows. A simple text, email reminder or call is an effective way to prompt customers to honour their reservation. A simple message with the time, number of customers and some contact details should be enough. If you invest in a system that can do this automatically, it will ease the workload for your staff. 

"Although this may sound like the last thing any owner wants to encourage, offering easier cancellations can help to reduce the problem. While you do not want to encourage people to cancel their table, letting them know it is easy to do so means more people will take the time to notify you. It may not be the preferred outcome, but at least you can offer the table to walk-ins or across your social channels. 

"One method which may help alter behaviour is to educate customers. Use your social media channels, reminder notifications and other communication channels to tell diners why no-shows are a problem and to explain the damage these can do to a business. Many people simply do not show or cancel reservations out of apathy or naivety. Educating them on the issue could help them to think twice in the future.”

Mike Hardman, Alliance Online

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