No-shows are a thorn in the side for every restaurateur and the latest research from OpenTable has identified the worst offenders.
With more than a third (33.7%) of UK diners have admitted failing to turn up for a restaurant booking, 16 to 24-year-olds the worst culprits, says the research.
OpenTable found only 4.4% of online bookings through its restaurant booking platform in the UK resulted in a no-show, compared with 4.6% of phone reservations.
Young adults admitted to being most likely not to turn up, with one-quarter (25%) of 16 to 24-year-olds admitting to regularly failing to show up for their reservation.
The good news is that no Scottish city figures in the top 3 cities with the largest number of diners that have held up their hands to this. The city with the largest number of diners who admitted at least one no-show was London (40%), followed by Manchester (39%) and Leeds (38.7%).
Almost two-fifths (38%) of UK no-shows claimed their change of mind was “too last minute” for them to cancel their booking. Regarding reasons for no-shows, 40% of women said they simply forgot to cancel, although three-quarters (71%) of all respondents felt guilty for letting the restaurant down.
OpenTable has launched a light-hearted campaign in response to the research with the aim to educate diners on the impact not cancelling a reservation can have on restaurants and highlighting how it might feel if the roles were reversed.
EMEA (openTable’s parent group) vice-president Adrian Valeriano said, “By turning the tables on no-shows in our new campaign we want to educate diners about the impact of their booking behaviour.”
For those who no-show for a reservation four times within 12 months, OpenTable bans them from making reservations on its app and website.