No-shows cost hospitality £17.6bn a year, study finds

One in seven customers have reportedly failed to make a reservation without warning ahead since April

Bookers who don’t turn up to hospitality reservations without telling the venue reportedly cost the hospitality industry £17.6bn per year.

According to research conducted by hospitality technology firm Zonal and data and insight consultancy CGA, one in seven customers have failed to make a reservation without warning ahead since April.

The survey, which included responses from 5,000 British consumers, found that 28% of 18-24-year-olds have missed a reservation without telling the venue ahead of time.

This figure compares to just 1% of over 55-year-olds, but has been attributed to younger adults acting as more frequent bookers.

Reasons for the no-shows were topped by changes of plans and someone in a group cancelling (both 19%).

Other responses included someone in a group falling ill with Covid-19 symptoms (18%), forgetting about a booking (16%), and the weather putting a customer off (14%).

Henri Jooste, strategic product manager at Zonal, said: “Bookings are a crucial part of the customer journey – so it’s important that operators continue to proactively find solutions that help customers manage their reservations. 

“While the pandemic has prompted a new-found appreciation and understanding of hospitality among many consumers, there is still more to be done in encouraging them to always honour their booking or tell the venue in advance.”

He added: “Technology can support and streamline this process, enhancing communication between operators and guests that ultimately helps to strengthen loyalty and reduce the chances of no-shows occurring. 

“As the sector emerges from the crisis, we believe a revitalised relationship between operators and their customers is key to a sustainable recovery.”

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