Valentine's No-Shows Highlight Industry-Wide Epidemic

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Valentine's Day may be a celebration of romance, but not every diner treated restaurants with love and affection this year. As is sadly all too common on special occasions, no-shows were a big problem.

Restaurants and pubs across the country expressed dismay at their Valentine's turnout, with one Cardiff establishment reporting 16 tables lost to no-shows. A #StopNoShows hashtag has been introduced to raise awareness of the problem, but in truth it's a little overdue.

No-shows are not a new concern - in 1997 Marco Pierre White began asking diners of 6 or more to accept a £15 charge should they not turn up to their booking. Some restaurants are taking to social media to "name and shame" no-show parties online, proving the issue still remains decades later.

Why Is It Such a Problem?

Likely because people book tables at multiple venues beforehand to give them extra options on the day, depending on how the party is feeling. British culture is notoriously polite, but we're also quite keen on avoiding confrontation.

It's much easier to not turn up than to call and let you down!

However, it's also highly likely the general public is not aware what a damaging effect no-shows are having. Hopefully the #StopNoShows movement can gain traction.

So What Can You Do?

You may consider following Pierre White's lead and introduce a booking fee or deposit, as taking card details for a booking adds extra incentive for diners to turn up.

Perhaps you can offer 5% off the bill for those who book - which both encourages bookings as well as actually turning up!

Making clear that you only hold tables for a certain period of time means you might also be able to seat any walk-ins should a party not arrive.

Read our extensive guide on How To Avoid No-Shows for more advice on ensuring your floor space is busy and profits are healthy!


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