Thanks to online reservations, it’s never been easier to book a table. Then why is cancelling one still impossible for most diners?
In Norway, top-tiered restaurants are using Superb’s Guest Experience Management platform to implement no-show fees as a way to protect their business. And the results speak for themselves.
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At Restaurant Rest in Oslo, Norway, guests face a fee of 1,950 NOK (€196) per person for a missed reservation.
According to Head Chef, Jimmy Øien, Rest didn’t have a cancellation fee when they first started but introduced it as a way to not lose money and help limit food waste.
Chef Øien says, “You can compare it to inviting friends to a dinner party at your home. You plan, shop and look forward to the guests coming. On the day, you try to call your friends, but they don’t answer the phone. What are you supposed to do with the food that isn’t eaten?”
Rest uses Superb’s GXM platform to help run and market their restaurant online. To prevent no-shows, guests must accept the cancellation terms by email and pay a fee if the booking isn’t cancelled 48 hours before the reservation. They’ve taken protection even further by adding SMS and email reminders and confirmations.
Rest isn’t alone. Three-starred Michelin restaurant, Maaemo, has a no-show fee of 3,500 NOK (€353) per person for any reservation not cancelled 72 hours before the reservation.
Oslo’s Restaurant Stallen charges a no-show fee of 1,000 NOK (€100) and requires guests to cancel no later than 5 pm the day before the reservation.
In Bergen, Michelin-starred Bare Restaurant has used no-protection for over a year and considers it a total transformation. By charging a 1,650 NOK (€166) fee with a 24-hour cancellation notice, they’ve found that guests now inform them of changes in advance. “All no-shows have ceased. Only two guests have been charged in the past year.”
While most guests are understanding, Chef Øien admits that a few customers have been upset by the process. “It is one of the reasons why we have our own booking system that takes care of this now.”
At Kvitnes Gård, taking a fee for no-shows has been standard practice since the beginning. Chef and General Manager, Halvar Ellingsen, adds, “We haven’t received any reactions to this. Even though it may be new in our industry, it’s a common practice almost everywhere else. If you don’t show up for a hairdresser, doctor or dentist appointment, you still have to pay for it.”
Finding ways to eliminate no-shows and reduce cancellations can be one of the biggest headaches that the restaurant industry experiences. But there's a solution to this problem – activating Superb’s no-show protection.
With prepaid tickets, deposits, prepayments and credit card confirmation, book a free demo and see how Superb’s GXM platform can help protect your restaurant.