No-shows costing hospitality sector

The SW&A team were saddened to read a recent report about people who do not turn up to reservations made at restaurants and pubs. So, no-shows costing hospitality sector – exactly how much? Presently, it’s around £17.6 billion a year!

Data Zonal said that since April this year one in seven customers have not turned up for a reservation. Moreover, they did not have the courtesy to tell the venue. This is a shocking statistic when you consider that we are more connected than ever before.

The survey of more than 5,000 people nationwide said that 18 to 34-year-olds were the worst offenders. Including more than a quarter not honouring bookings.

Photo by Jonathan Borba

Top 10 reasons for no-shows were:

  • I had a change of plans (19%)
  • Someone else in the group cancelled (19%)
  • Someone fell ill with Covid-related symptoms (18%)
  • The venue was unable to reassure me (17%)
  • I forgot about my booking (16%)
  • I decided it was too expensive (15%)
  • The weather put me off (14%)
  • The venue didn’t contact me to remind me (13%)
  • I booked a few venues for the same time (13%)
  • I arrived at the venue and didn’t feel comfortable (12%)

UK Hospitality said the £17.6 billion loss from no-shows equated to 13.3% of the sector’s £132 billion in pre-pandemic revenue.

In response to the survey findings, the industry group has teamed up with Zonal to launch a campaign. It’s called ‘Show Up For Hospitality’, which is aimed at encouraging people to honour the bookings they make. Likewise, if people must cancel, the decent thing to do is to let venues know as far in advance as possible.

UK Hospitality’s chief executive Kate Nicholls said no-shows had been a problem for the industry for “many, many years”. Noteably, adding to the difficulties businesses were experiencing due to Covid, they were “currently deeply damaging.”

“Pubs, bars and restaurants deserve our support and it’s encouraging that this research shows there is a growing realisation among customers of the need to honour their booking or let the venue know they can’t make it,” she said.

“But it also highlights the fact that no shows still happen far too often, with younger customers particularly responsible, and that really can’t go on.”

SW&A wish the campaign well. Equally, hoping that it encourages more people to consider the impact of their thoughtlessness on this beleaguered sector.

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