In the modern world where technology is readily available, booking a reservation and doing a no-show is easier than ever. These are my top tips for reducing customer no-shows.
Requiring a deposit
Indeed one of the ways to encourage honouring one's reservation at a restaurant is to require a credit card deposit. Diners tend to be more likely to show if they are already invested financially. If there is a no-show even with that, it is the owner or manager's decision how they would like to follow up. There could be a valid reason- sickness, emergency, etc. In that case, the restaurateur may decide to credit that deposit towards a future meal. If not, the deposit can be held.
Another possibility is someone from the restaurant calling to confirm reservations. A personalised message left if no one is there can also reduce the percentage of no-shows. In our electronic world of communication, hearing someone's actual voice and using the guests' name, can be perceived as a genuine sense of hospitality.
Creating a mutual respect with clientele
The ability to gracefully create boundaries with one's clientele when there is a lack of mutual respect is a skill that separates the amateurs from the pros. Whether it be a no-show, the use of foul language in the dining room or recovering any situation that impinges on the greater good of other guests, these are situations that must be dealt with immediately, diplomatically and firmly.