How to solve the problem of Christmas party no-shows

How to solve the problem of Christmas party no-shows

Christmas time; a time for joy, a time for cheer and a time for losing money to party no-shows? During the run-up to Christmas, businesses begin to think more about booking their Christmas parties.
With no-shows costing the restaurant industry £17.6bn per year, and with the looming issue of rising costs around the country, it is more important than ever to ensure these bookings are completed.

These are the steps that you should think about to ease the danger of this costly conundrum.  

Think about collecting deposits 

Making a booking has never been easier. Unfortunately, this also applies to not showing up to a booking too.  

With hundreds of no-strings-attached restaurant and venue bookings just a few clicks away, nothing is stopping your customers from making other plans or simply not showing up.

However, a cost they may not be willing to part with is their hard-earned cash. Storing card details to charge a no-show fee, or taking a deposit, or full payment up front, can go a long way to reduce no-shows. Especially when it comes to larger group bookings like Christmas parties which can be particularly damaging for your restaurant if they no-show.

With staff potentially unsure about the amount of deposit that has been paid or unable to automatically take payment, adopting a TMS is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but an essential leap to ensure a reduction in Christmas no-shows. Our clients’ saw their no-shows drop to less than 1% thanks to ResDiary’s automatic credit card detail storage and deposit system. 

Think about booking reminders 

It is often easy overlook the fact that customers are human too, living in a busy, hectic, and dynamic world where so many things can be unintentionally forgotten.

With Christmas party bookings now happening so far in advance, automated emails can help to remind your customers about their booking and build up their excitement.

Messages or emails about the reservation in advance will remind your customers of the details of their party booking. Including an active link to allow the guest to easily switch the time or edit the number of attendees could also save innumerable amounts of money and hassle.

It seems simple but can be forgotten without a system in place.

With ResDiary’s automated communication method, restaurant staff members can cut down admin time from making phone calls but can be assured that partygoers know where to go. These are fully customisable to fit in with your branding and occasion, and with more than 40% of UK venues still not yet making the switch, this will put you one step ahead of the majority of the industry. 

Think about taking pre-orders 

Nothing takes the shine off a Christmas do more than long waits for food and drinks orders – but sadly this is what can happen sometimes when large parties are not encouraged to pre-order.

It puts pressure on your kitchen teams, bar staff, waiting staff, and can even lead to menu shortages, all culminating in a dreaded bad guest experience.

Bypass this by taking a pre-order, which can be done manually, but do you really have time to pick up the phone to each party member, or even the primary booker to take their orders in advance? 

A preorder system, linked with your TMS, allows you to process bookings, allocate tables, and automatically send prompts, email comms to collect pre orders, deposits, send confirmations and reminders.

This takes stress off teams, but also helps with managing stock, ordering, and control running costs by doing all the admin and meaning you and your team are free to focus on delivering an excellent service, in venue dining experience, and encouraging repeat business.

Again, it is difficult to do this without a TMS system which tracks and compiles guest orders ahead of their visit, prints place cards with their details and can accept full payment in advance. A great way to take the stress out of large party bookings and ensure your parties not only show, but book again in the future. 

In short

If your restaurant begins to focus on examining the benefits of technology, you will see a marked improvement in your business’s stability. As the industry and customer behaviours develop, you can easily safeguard your Christmas bookings by using these essential components, which is crucial for a successful Christmas period. 

Find out how a ResDiary's features can reduce no-shows at your venue by arranging a demo with our sales team.

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