#ShowUpForHospitality

Since “normal service” was resumed on 19 July 2021, no-shows have cost the UK hospitality industry:

£

The Ultimate Guide to Eliminating No-Shows

Recent research from Zonal and CGA found that no-shows are now costing the hospitality industry £17.6bn in lost revenue per year, causing untold damage to venues throughout the UK.

Extended periods of closure for Britain’s beloved local pubs, bars and restaurants resulted in a revitalised appreciation for all that we have to offer in hospitality, however despite this renewed enthusiasm the issue of no-shows continues to plague venues.

Educating the public is an ongoing task for those of us working in hospitality, however there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of unfulfilled bookings, and reduce the impact of those that do occur.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Eliminating No-shows to discover:

  • Key insights from our recent research into the scale and causes of no-shows
  • Steps you can take to eliminate no-shows in your venue, such as deposits and loyalty schemes
  • Advice on how to implement these solutions to combat the issue

Show Up For Hospitality Logo

Join the campaign to make no-shows a thing of the past

No-shows cost the hospitality industry an estimated £17.6 billion in lost sales every year. Join our group of passionate industry supporters to help spread the message far and wide and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.

Learn about the campaign

Download the full report

    #ShowUpForHospitality

    Since “normal service” was resumed on 19 July 2021, no-shows have cost the UK hospitality industry:

    £

    A nation divided? How no-shows vary across the UK

    Our #ShowUpForHospitality campaign is shining a light on an issue that has been a blight on the sector for far too long – our research reveals that customer no-shows collectively cost the hospitality sector a staggering £17.6bn per year. No matter where a venue is situated from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, they will have been impacted by no-shows.

    However, by digging deeper and breaking down the research by region, we can bring to light trends and attitudes driving this consumer behaviour and, importantly, insights which can help operators put a stop to no-shows.

    A nation divided?

    From your favourite pub food, to whether you prefer coffee or tea, there are many lines you can divide the UK down, but are no-shows one of them? Well, not quite. While there are certainly differences in consumer attitudes, it’s not so easy to split the UK down the middle when it comes to the prevalence and reasons for no-shows.

    What does stand out however, is that people living in London are by far the worst offenders’ with nearly a quarter of Londoners admitting to no-showing since the hospitality sector reopened in April 2021. Next in the ‘league of shame’ is the West Midlands (17%), followed by the East Midlands (16%) and the North West (15%).

    However, there’s no obvious North-South divide when it comes to consumer behaviour around no shows, neither is their obvious difference between guests in England compared to those in Wales and Scotland. Consumers in the South West and South East are just as likely to show up for a reservation as they are in Scotland and Wales.

    The No-Show league of shame

    • London (24% admit to being a no-show)
    • West Midlands (17%)
    • East Midlands (16%)
    • North West (15%)
    • North East (13%)
    • East of England (12%)
    • Yorkshire & Humber (12%)
    • Wales (11%)
    • South West (10%)
    • South East (10%)
    • Scotland (10%)

    Urban vs Rural

    Looking closer at the worst offenders, London, the West Midlands, the East Midlands and the North West – all these regions have significant urban populations. London is by far our biggest city and capital, the West Midlands comprises our second city Birmingham as well as Coventry, the East Midlands has Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and the North West with Liverpool and Manchester.

    So, it’s not a great leap to conclude that consumers in city or even town centres are more likely to no show and the data backs this up. Our research shows that 14% of consumers in city centres have no showed this year, rising to 18% for consumers in town centres. The comparison with consumers in rural or suburban areas is also stark – only 5% of pub and restaurant goers in rural areas have not shown up to a booking and not told the venue in advance. The figure is just 3% for consumers in suburban areas.

    There is an understandable logic to these differences as those in city and town centres have a faster-paced lifestyle, greater degree of choice and, perhaps, a more transactional relationship with pubs and restaurants. Customers are far less likely to not show up for a booking at their local village pub, than a booking at a mainstream city centre restaurant.

    There’s also likely an assumption that these centrally-located venues are far more likely to be able to fill empty tables with walk-ins. However, with significantly reduced footfall in these locations as a result of the pandemic and people increasingly staying local, that opportunity has been dramatically reduced. This means no-shows are having an even greater impact on operators who are desperately trying to rebuild after a devastating 18 months.

    Using tech to tackle no-shows

    Communicating with customers, reminding them of their booking and giving them the means to cancel if necessary are crucial tools for operators in tackling the problem. However, there are some interesting nuances when it comes to consumer attitudes to these approaches. Over half (58%) of consumers prefer to cancel digitally, either via a website (21%), text (19%), app (10%), email (7%) social media (1%). However we are seeing that the worst offending regions are also the most tech-savvy. Londoners are the most likely to prefer to cancel digitally (69%), again followed the West Midlands (60%). The correlation between these regions and consumers in city and town centres also continues. Some 68% of city centre and town centre consumers prefer to cancel digitally compared to 49% in rural and 53% in suburban areas.

    For businesses that operate venues in city or town centre locations, a frictionless and easy-to-use online booking system is crucial to reducing no-shows. However, no matter where a venue is located, providing customers with multiple options to amend or cancel their reservation whether that be via SMS, online or app, should be part of an operator’s toolkit.

    The #ShowUpForHospitality campaign aims to bring to attention the huge impact no shows and to try and change consumer behaviour, but also to understand what drives that behaviour. Pubs, bars and restaurants play a vital role in our communities and while the pandemic has prompted a new-found appreciation and understanding of hospitality among many consumers, there is still more to be done in encouraging them to always honour their booking or tell the venue in advance.

    We want to spread this message far and wide and keep the conversation going, so to get involved simply visit the campaign page to join the conversation and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality via LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

    Show Up For Hospitality Logo

    Join the campaign to make no-shows a thing of the past

    No-shows cost the hospitality industry an estimated £17.6 billion in lost sales every year. Join our group of passionate industry supporters to help spread the message far and wide and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.

    Learn about the campaign

    Get in touch

    Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

      Your Essential No-shows Checklist

      No-shows remain a thorn in the side of the hospitality industry across the UK, as results from our recent GO Technology research estimate the cost to be a staggering £17.6bn every year.

      Changing the behaviour of customers for the long term will take a huge collective effort from the industry, and as operators, there are many things that you can do in the interim to reduce the impact of no-shows on your venue.

      Our in-house team of bookings experts have put together a checklist of ideas on how you can eliminate no-shows in your hospitality business:

      • Create a robust booking policy cover all your terms and conditions surrounding cancellations and no-shows, and ensure it’s clearly communicated to your customers.
      • Reassure customers that your venue is safe to return to in all communications (booking confirmation, reminders, website), explaining clearly the steps you have taken to ensure their safety.
      • Send multiple reminders to customers about their booking – a week before, a few days and the day of their booking. Each message can contain different information and gives you an opportunity to build loyalty.
      • Consider all the channels of communication available to liaise with customers about their booking – email, SMS, WhatsApp, social media or phone call – to cover all demographics and the way they prefer to communicate.
      • Educate customers on the impact of no-shows – explain in customer friendly terms how it impacts the business.
      • Consider requesting deposits or a redeemable no-show fee. 55% consumers are now happy to pay a no-show fee and 51% are happy to pay a deposit to secure a booking.
      • Incentivise bookings and enforce no-show fees – special offers for bookings or discounts can be effective tools to ensure customers honour their bookings.
      • Give them the option to cancel in the way they prefer – provide ample opportunity to cancel, across multiple communication channels. Make it as easy as possible!
      • Incentivise customers to show up for bookings in your reminder communications – offering a voucher to try new menu items, or a free drink on arrival, will make customers less likely to no-show.

      By following these steps, you’ll be able to convert no-show-ers to always go-ers, meaning more revenue for your business and happier customers!

      For more information and tips on how to eliminate no-shows in your business, watch our Webinar: Tackling the impact of customer no-shows.

      Show Up For Hospitality Logo

      Join the campaign to make no-shows a thing of the past

      No-shows cost the hospitality industry an estimated £17.6 billion in lost sales every year. Join our group of passionate industry supporters to help spread the message far and wide and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.

      Learn about the campaign

      Get in touch

      Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

        #ShowUpForHospitality

        Since “normal service” was resumed on 19 July 2021, no-shows have cost the UK hospitality industry:

        £

        On-demand webinar:
        Tackling the impact of customer no-shows

        The latest GO Technology report from Zonal and CGA revealed that one in seven people admit to failing to honour their reservations since hospitality reopened in April. But what do we know about these no-shows, and what can you do about it?

        In this webinar industry experts from CGA, Bums on Seats and Zonal discuss the damaging impact customer no-shows have on operators and what you can do to tackle them.

        Key insights include:

        • Overview of the recent GO Technology consumer research
        • Analysis into the scale and causes of no-shows, as well as the worst offenders
        • Top tips on you can prevent them from happening

        Speakers:

        • Karl Chessell, Business Unit Director – Hospitality Operators and Food, EMEA, CGA
        • Amber Staynings, CEO, Bums on Seats
        • Henri Jooste, Strategic Product Manager, Zonal

        Show Up For Hospitality Logo

        Join the campaign to make no-shows a thing of the past

        No-shows cost the hospitality industry an estimated £17.6 billion in lost sales every year. Join our group of passionate industry supporters to help spread the message far and wide and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.

        Learn about the campaign

        Watch on-demand

          #ShowUpForHospitality

          Since “normal service” was resumed on 19 July 2021, no-shows have cost the UK hospitality industry:

          £

          The issue of no-shows and how to reduce them

          Guest blog by Amber Staynings, CEO & Founder, Bums on Seats

          Ah, the old ‘No-show’ debate. No-shows have been an ongoing problem in hospitality ever since I can remember. I’ve conducted audits upon audits for businesses in our sector and in most cases, they all have one thing in common: an incredibly high no-show rate, with few processes to minimise its’ impact.

          To put a more positive spin on it, minimising no-shows means more accurate financial forecasting and -more importantly- a far better guest experience which encourages loyalty and repeat business. But how can you reduce no-shows for your business?

          Implement a deposit system

          The first option for any operator is introducing deposits to secure bookings. I understand the apprehensions around introducing deposits – will it put customers off? Put it this way: do I really believe a customer will book elsewhere because we ask for a £5pp deposit to secure a booking when it’s redeemable? No, I don’t- not anymore. Customers want security when they book- by asking for a deposit you’re simply giving them the reassurance they want.

          If the whole sector agreed to tackle no-shows in the same way and implement a deposit system, then this issue would resolve itself to everyone’s satisfaction: customers would commit to one venue (rather than booking 2 or 3 places and only turning up to 1), no-shows would drop dramatically and those who don’t want to put down a deposit can become your more casual ‘walk-in’ diners.  The action of introducing deposits alone will go a long way to reassuring our staff, protect revenue, and give us the confidence to up-sell packages and experiences.

          Build a relationship with your customers

          Another contributing factor to no-shows is a lack of relationship between the business and the customer. Our sector prides itself on providing customers with truly wonderful memories and experiences with their friends and loved ones, but this doesn’t just start when the customers walk through the door – it’s the minute they first submit that online enquiry or pick up the phone to book.

          Securing sales and improving guest loyalty requires the quality of your relationship to be scrutinised and put centre stage. Treat your customers as you would your close friends: by doing this, you create that all-important emotional connection. Customers will cancel in advance if they can’t come because they’ll feel bad: you’re not a building with a kitchen to them anymore. You’re family.

          My job at Bums on Seats is increasingly to help established sales teams or individuals to acquire the skills to build and capitalise on these important relationships, without which hospitality cannot reduce no-shows substantially and go on to grow the bottom line through repeat business, new revenue streams, and ongoing customer loyalty. It is perfectly feasible with the right guidance, training and support to achieve a no-show rate of less than 10%, followed by accurate pre-bookings and more advance spending through up-selling packages and bolt-ons. This investment is needed – and justifiable – now more than ever.

          Prepare for busy periods

          As we’re about to enter our busiest period of the year, Christmas, now is the time to put these processes in place, effectively. Start by pulling together to invest in the right booking system for online payments, pre-orders and packages. Re-write your terms and conditions to reflect your own brand culture and language, and include a commitment to refund the deposit if a customer cancels within 24 hours of the event/table. Use SMS texts (where affordable) or personal calls which are proven to work by prompting customers and helping to avoid ‘no shows’, as well as building up a crucial relationship which encourages loyalty. By treating your customer as a friend and making it easier for them to cancel if they have to, you will have put your business back on the front foot and can look forward with increasing confidence.

          Amber Staynings

          By Amber Staynings

          CEO & Founder, Bums on Seats
          LinkedIn Icon

          With over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Amber formed Bums on Seats in January 2019 from a culmination of hard work, learning from others including many exceptional mentors, and self-belief. She takes every opportunity to progress and embrace ideas and is passionate about making a positive impact in the hospitality sector. She has also recently been nominated for the Best Business Woman Award 2020!

          About Bums on Seats

          Bums on Seats is a team of highly experienced sales and marketing experts passionate about identifying sales opportunities, driving organic growth, and increasing your customer loyalty for hospitality operators UK wide. They offer strategic sales audits, industry leading sales training, sales planning, consultancy, and white label sales teams to pubs, restaurants and bars.

          Show Up For Hospitality Logo

          Join the campaign to make no-shows a thing of the past

          No-shows cost the hospitality industry an estimated £17.6 billion in lost sales every year. Join our group of passionate industry supporters to help spread the message far and wide and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.

          Learn about the campaign

          Get in touch

          Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

            #ShowUpForHospitality

            Since “normal service” was resumed on 19 July 2021, no-shows have cost the UK hospitality industry:

            £

            Calculator: How much are your no-shows costing you?

            No-shows Blog Header

            The latest GO Technology report from Zonal and CGA reveals that no-shows are now costing the industry a staggering £17.6bn a year and rising, with an average 14% of people failing to turn up for a reservation without telling the venue.

            But do you know how much money no-shows are costing your business each month?

            We’ve created a handy No-shows Calculator to help you quickly determine the real cost to your business in an average month.

            Show Up For Hospitality Logo

            Join the campaign to make no-shows a thing of the past

            No-shows cost the hospitality industry an estimated £17.6 billion in lost sales every year. Join our group of passionate industry supporters to help spread the message far and wide and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.

            Learn about the campaign

            Get in touch

            Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

              #ShowUpForHospitality

              Since “normal service” was resumed on 19 July 2021, no-shows have cost the UK hospitality industry:

              £

              GO Technology Consumer Research: Scale and causes of no-shows after lockdown

              The latest GO Technology report from Zonal and CGA reveals that no-shows are now costing the industry a staggering £17.6bn a year and rising, exacerbating the devastating financial impact of the pandemic.

              Since hospitality venues reopened in April 2021, the report identifies 14% of consumers have failed to turn up for a reservation without telling the venue, with one in eight (12%) people saying they are more likely to no-show than they were before the pandemic.

              The research also highlights a strong correlation between no shows and age, with 18–34-year-olds being the worst offenders when it comes to no-shows. Over a quarter (28%) of 18-34-year-olds have not honoured their bookings, compared to just 1% of those aged 55 or over.

              Discover more about the true scale of the problem, why consumers aren’t fulfilling their bookings as well as their current views on deposits, reminders and cancellations.

              Download the full report using the form on the right to discover all the findings.

              Show Up For Hospitality Logo

              Join the campaign to make no-shows a thing of the past

              No-shows cost the hospitality industry an estimated £17.6 billion in lost sales every year. Join our group of passionate industry supporters to help spread the message far and wide and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.

              Learn about the campaign

              About the data

              This report is based on figures from Zonal and CGA’s GO Technology survey, a sample of 5,000 nationally representative British consumers. All figures are taken from the 2021 editions of the survey.

              Download the full report

                This

                Guide: Growing your hospitality business - how to get bigger and better

                Growth is a natural sign that a business is doing something right: it shows that there’s a demand for what you do, and that’s why your customers keep on coming back.

                However, growth needs to be approached with a degree of caution. There’s the danger that your business can grow too quickly, or even grow in the wrong ways.

                That’s why you need the right tools. That means leveraging the power of the data your business already generates, but which you might not currently be able to access. It means streamlining what you do, reducing complexity and operating costs, enabling your staff to deliver exceptional customer service.

                Download our Growing your hospitality business guide to find out more about:

                • The three steps to growth
                • How a regional restaurant group saved £20,000 in commission fees
                • Key questions to ask to discover if your reservations partner is helping or hindering your progress

                Download the full guide

                  This

                  Guide: Fulfilling your profitability potential

                  These are tough times for the hospitality sector. We all know the factors: rising costs resulting in narrowing margins, while increased customer expectations are demanding continuous change and improvements.

                  And we know that some businesses respond by trying to work harder instead of smarter, pushing already stressed staff to breaking point or beyond. That rarely ends well, and it rarely delivers customer delight. There’s a better way, and that’s to do what you already do – but better.

                  All you need to do is unlock the power of the data your business already generates. The results can be extraordinary. At liveRES we’ve spent many years helping hospitality businesses big and small enjoy greater revenue and increased profits. And a huge part of that success is made possible by using integrated technology to share critical data.

                  Download our Fulfilling your profitability potential guide to find out more about:

                  • How to boost you bottom line
                  • How to operate more efficiently and cultivate customer loyalty
                  • The essential questions you need to ask yourself about your EPoS integration and how you’re using the data your business produces

                  Download the full guide

                    On the floor or in the cloud? How hospitality businesses are transforming their IT infrastructure

                    In the pub and restaurant industry, trends don’t just affect what’s on your customers’ plates. They can affect every aspect of the business, often in very positive ways.

                    One of the most significant and important such trends is the move to cloud-based solutions, which are delivering measurable benefits to many restaurants.

                    From good to great

                    If your business is already superb at what it does, cloud technology can make a good thing even better. By moving some of your infrastructure to the cloud you can reduce hardware and software costs, cut maintenance and training costs and introduce the ability to scale your solution up or down according to demand.

                    Not only that, up-front costs are usually minimal, ongoing costs are predictable and the right solution enables you to take full advantage of available technologies.

                    Reasons to head for the cloud

                    For example, you might want to move at least some of your EPoS system to mobile devices such as tablets, or to integrate different data sources to provide detailed analysis of occupancy, yield, customer behaviour, inventory management and marketing effectiveness. Life in the cloud can also help you to make it easier for your employees to schedule shifts by checking rotas electronically.

                    Making the switch

                    For many restaurants, the first step is to migrate reservations and waiting lists to the cloud. Such a move can enable customers to check availability and book online or via their mobile, and it can be used to offer last-minute availability in the event of cancellations or unexpected lulls. It can also send automated reminders to help prevent the dreaded no-shows that blight many businesses’ balance sheets.

                    In many cases, the IT manager can then make a strong case for moving more operations online, especially when it comes to data integration. That can deliver incredibly detailed insights into occupancy and even individual customers’ behaviour, can identify more efficient use of resources and can even lead to more aggressive booking windows by identifying just how long a table of X people will be occupied.

                    Pause for thought

                    There are negatives too, of course. Some cloud-based systems are cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all operations. Many use their own branding rather than yours. Some contracts don’t fix costs in a way you’ll find acceptable, or charge a commission that can easily spiral out of control. And some vendors operate on a model where they own the data, so if you decide to cut loose and go elsewhere you can’t take your valuable data with you.

                    The biggest potential problem, though, is that your provider’s interests might not align with your own.

                    For example, if a platform is building its own brand in the consumer space, there’s a risk of your business becoming a cog in somebody else’s machine – something we’ve already seen in online retail and online ticketing, where the platform providers ended up dominating entire markets.

                    Making the switch

                    The right solution doesn’t do that. The right solution keeps you in control: control of your costs, control of your brand and, most importantly of all, control of your data.

                    Key points to remember:

                    • Cloud-based solutions require minimal disruption and little initial investment
                    • Make sure your provider’s interests are aligned with your own
                    • Ownership is crucial, especially of the data your business generates
                    • Data analysis can cut costs, improve efficiency and boost occupancy
                    • The right solution gives you control of your costs, your brand and your data

                    Find out more about Zonal’s range of cloud-based solutions including reservation systems, loyalty programmes and marketing campaign tools.

                    Get in touch

                    Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

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