New data has found that 51% of UK pub and restaurant goers are happy to pay a deposit to book a table, and even more (55%) are in favour of paying no-show fees if they don’t turn up.
The findings, from tech firm Zonal and CGA, forms part of its industry-wide campaign #ShowUpForHospitality, aiming to highlight the damaging impact of customer no-shows, which collectively cost the sector £17.6bn a year.
The research shows that consumers are more likely to be in favour of their use in for special occasions and on significant days such as Valentine’s Day or a Bank Holiday, with 65% happy to pay a deposit for such events.
Guests inclination to pay deposits is less (41%) for casual occasions such as after work drinks but remains at strong levels for larger bookings of six people of more (59%) and is still over half (53%) for smaller groups.
However, younger consumers are more reluctant than the national average to pay to secure a booking.
Only 28% of 18-24-year olds say they would put down a deposit and just 24% said they would be happy to pay a no-show fee.
Commenting on the findings, Olivia FitzGerald, chief sales and marketing officer, Zonal said: “These latest insights show that, while a blanket approach may not be the optimum way forward for operators, consumers are far more inclined to accept deposits and no-show fees than we previously thought – and for a wider range of occasions. Deposits and no-show fees shouldn’t just be reserved for high-end restaurants or Valentine’s Day and Christmas either and are a legitimate tool for reducing no shows during busy trading periods.
“As part of our #ShowUpForHospitality campaign we want to spotlight this issue, change consumer behaviours as well as start an industry discussion as to how best to combat this long-standing problem.”
Visit the campaign page to learn more, join the conversation and help spread the message far and wide and encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.