4 ways to avoid expensive no-shows | Formitable
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Thought For Food ← Back
3 minute read
25 May, 2021

4 ways to avoid expensive no-shows


Did you know 20% of restaurant reservations aren't fulfilled each year?

Foursquare states this costs the hospitality industry around 16 billion dollars each year. As you know, this is an extreme loss for restaurants. We are aiming to help fight this matter. We lined up 4 simple tools you can implement to avoid this problem. 

1. Prepayments

Prepayments are the most effective way to avoid no-shows. We interviewed restaurant Auberge Jean & Marie about how their no-show rate went from 12% to 0,1%, just by implementing prepayments. You can customize your refund period so you can still give your guests some time to change their minds; it's not all set in stone. Guests won't mind paying a little bit beforehand; the sentiment around prepayments is positive and has been done for ages in other experience industry areas like cinema and theater. 

2. Reminder email 

In the Formitable dashboard, you can quickly set up a reminder email. You automatically send this friendly email to your guests in the time window you prefer. You can choose how many days in advance you will send the email, at which time, and if you want to add some extra information like the address, where the parking area is, and that you're looking forward to welcoming them to your restaurant. 

We just launched a new option to really make sure your guest will show up. You can do this by adding an extra reconfirmation button to the reminder email. For guests that didn’t reconfirm you can always choose to call them to make sure they saw the email. 

3. Flexible reservation system

Let's say your guest wants to adjust the time or number of people on their reservation, but the only way to do this is by calling your restaurant. If you don't pick up the first time, the chances are that they won't make another effort calling you. As a result, you could end up with a no-show. With a flexible reservation system where guests can adjust their reservations themselves at any given time, you solve this kind of no-shows. 

4. Credit card guarantee 

With the option of credit card guarantees, you’ll be able to charge a fee when guests don’t show up. You’ll be able to customize the fee amount as you see fit. In our Help Center you can read all about how to set up credit card guarantees. 

Extra tip: 


It is not a direct way to cancel out no-shows, but it will help a bunch. The Waitlist option allows filling the gaps in your planning if guests don't show up or cancel their reservation. It automatically or manually, whatever you prefer, sends out an email to the guests that are registered on the Waitlist when somebody doesn't show up or a reservation is canceled; this way, you'll have more chances to fill up those no-shows spots. 

Learn all about the ins & outs of Formitable and become a pro by watching our demos.