We understand: when a guest doesn’t show up for their reservation or cancels at the last minute, restaurants lose out — on money, labor, and the opportunity to serve other guests. Today, we’re asking diners to respect their reservations and #BookResponsibly.
OpenTable partnered with Chef Michael Voltaggio of Los Angeles’ ink. to create a PSA sharing the real story of Bob and Mimi, the couple who never showed. The takeaway? If you make a reservation and your plans change, do the right thing: tell the restaurant as soon as possible.
“It might seem harmless to bail on a reservation but if you can’t make it, letting us know ahead of time makes a world of difference,” said Michael Voltaggio. “If we’re constantly working to address no-shows on a daily basis, our business suffers. That’s why we are asking diners to book responsibly.”
Ultimately, our goal is to help raise awareness about the impact that no-shows and late cancellations have on their favorite restaurants. That’s why we reached out to some of our top restaurant partners to tell us in their words why it matters.
Says Kim Alter from San Francisco-based Nightbird, “I wish diners knew how hard it is to run a restaurant, and that canceling at the last minute or no-showing makes it even harder. If we didn’t have our cancellation policy, we would probably not make it.”
“Don’t be afraid to cancel your reservation – we appreciate a cancellation more than a no-show because it builds a relationship between the guest and the restaurant,” adds Michael Davis from Sprout LA. “In a restaurant where reservations account for more than 90 percent of your business, a no-show or late cancellation can leave your space with empty tables,” says Kimberly Galban of Chicago’s One Off Hospitality Group. “Canceling is a courtesy to the restaurant – plus, you get off the ‘naughty no-show list.'”
Finally, Frasca Food & Wine‘s Bobby Stuckey notes that “guests want great product, and great product is fragile – whether that’s fresh fish flown in or delicate artisanal greens. It’s overwhelming to think about how much waste can be generated on a Friday night if 15% of our guests are no-shows.”
Ready to help us spread the word and encourage diners to #BookResponsibly? Watch and share the video here!