Restaurant owners around Australia have a message for people making reservations

Many of us make reservations at restaurants and cafes every week, to save ourselves a spot in a busy period

Many of us make reservations at restaurants and cafes every week, to save ourselves a spot in a busy period or so we can make plans.

But there’s something going wrong in the hospitality industry and it’s enraging restaurant owners: they’re sick of no-shows.

Instead of calling up to cancel a reservation, an influx of diners have decided not to give an signal they weren’t coming, leading to loss of business as staff have to turn others away.

It’s led to owners taking to social media to name and shame those who don’t turn up – but is it two wrongs make a right?

According to Australia’s largest online restaurant booking network Dimmi, “Enough is enough — either show up for your booking, or face being banned”.

CEO and Founder of Dimmi, Stevan Premutico, told News Corp these extreme measures need to be enforced by restaurant owners and that their “charity nature” of letting ‘no-shows’ go unpunished needs to stop.

“For too long restaurants have been trying to get by with no-shows and its got to a point where enough is enough,” Mr Premutico said.

“We want a ban on people who frequently no-show to restaurants, and for those who book 3 restaurants and then choose 1 of those to be named and shamed.

“It’s one the single biggest issues impacting Aussie restaurants, and it needs to be fixed”, said Erez Gordon, owner of Bishop Sessa restaurant in Surry Hills.

“There were hundreds of restaurants on Valentine’s Day that could have filled their space 4 or 5 times over,” he said.

“But say at the last minute, 6 people are a no show, that means the chances refilling at such short notice is almost zero chance. So that $1,000 that would have been cleared, has now gone.

“This means there’s a high chance that an owner or chef will go home without making a dollar., and that’s why no shows are such a sore point for restaurant owners and the industry.

“Banning the repeat offenders who fail to honour reservations will help to eradicate the issue,” Mr Premutico added.

The CEO said there needs to be more public awareness about what a no-show does to a restaurant because
“customers assume a table can be filled through other means, and they don’t realise the damage it does.

“If you can’t go, give notice to the restaurant and they can resell that. Not showing up is not good behaviour, and it’s not Australian”.

Tell us, have you ever not shown up for a restaurant booking? Would you care about being named and shamed?

  1. I would NEVER just not turn up for any appointment. One of my biggest hates, people who do this. Irresponsible, rude, inconsiderate. If you can’t make it for any reason, ring and cancel. It’s not hard.

    • Maggie Sedgman  

      Unfortunately it’s the “me” generation (not always the youngest either) who think they are the only ones that matter. Height of ignorance & rudeness.
      Would you make arrangements for friends or family to come for dinner and go out? I don’t think so. Would you just not turn up when invited for dinner by family or friends, knowing they have put themselves out financially as well as preparing the meal. Extremely rude and good way to lose those friends.

    • I whole heartedly agree with. These are business trying to make a living. I have never not shown up, if I could not show, I would ring and apologise. Unfortunately manners are long gone. I agree with the name and shame ON FACE BOOK where all their friends are likely to see.

  2. Yes! Ban them, keep a register that all restaurants can access when bookings are made. I think it is the height of rudeness, but typical of today’s (younger) way of thinking. Being banned might just make them learn some manners, and their friends will not stand in for them in case they get the same treatment.

  3. That’s like telling friends you’ll come to their place for dinner then not showing up. If an emergency came up, I still feel it’s your moral responsibility to ring and cancel — unless you are dead!

    • Yes the only time I can remember that we have ever not told someone we’d be late or not turn up was when we had a car accident on the way to the event. I phoned the next day to apologise.

    • I can understand what you are saying but I recently sat in my doctors surgery for an hour and 15 minutes over the appointment time , only then to be told my doctor had been called away for an emergency and could I reappoint for the next day, that was annoying too

    • David, I understand what you are saying, but when something like that happens, I think how grateful I would be if it was a family member, or me that the doctor went to help. We should never begrudge the doctor the tine it takes to treat someone needing help. On the other hand, the receptionist should have let you know much earlier so you could make another appointment, so that is where the problem lies

    • It’s never easy. Some people arrive an hour early the complain about being made to wait! I sympathise with you David as it is annoying. I’ve occasionally been on the receiving end as well!

  4. Restaurant owners need to get themselves a state wide Facebook page and list every person who books and fails to show and show the dates and times. That way the other restaurants can check and if they are 30 minutes late – put someone else there because they know this person already has cost another restaurant loss of income. We went to our favourite restaurant and every single table was reserved. We said, you know we have one drink then eat then leave. We’ll be gone before these people even arrive. They still refused. We haven’t been back. I believe now the big time miners don’t have money to throw carelessly around our formally favourite restaurant has plenty of empty tables. We still haven’t been back.

    • Come on, get the log off your shoulder. If they had you sit at a table just for a drink, and then a quick meal,while people having meals are still waiting, because the others customers are going to make a night of eating and drinking. Once you get at a table don’t tell me you are going to shift and get up and leave once the other person comes.Go on bea champion and ring up for a reservation and go back to your fav restaurant. It is so hard these days to deal with the public and what they expect. Was talking to a retired butcher the other day and the stories he told of what some customers asked him and complained about.

    • Kay Baker The staff themselves would tell us that these people are always late but they were not allowed to let us use the table. It was the restaurant owner who was making the rules. Well – go ahead – enjoy your rules lady. By the way – the restaurant was dead empty when we were being refused service. We eat early and go before the restaurant is remotely full. There are other restaurants in town who appreciate customers like ourselves.

    • Just saying-you said it was your favourite restaurant, so thought u wanted to go rules by me, I just get over things easier, life too short. You can eat wherever you like, I am sure nobody else worries. Have a happy day.

    • I’m rather glad we don’t go there anymore. We have been to any number of restaurants since then. Tried out them all. Actually a new restaurant a few blocks from the ex-favourite restaurant has just opened. Very nice too.

    • Kay Baker
      Why have a go at Leone O’Sullivan. Can’t see anything in her original comment that would make you want to lash out at her quite so nastily.

    • I agree Leone. While I agree it is pure ignorance to book a restuarant and not show up I also believe restuarant owners could organise themselves better to cover themselves. I’m lucky because many times I’ve fronted fully booked restuarants and they have agreed to honour me with quick service. My party was out, the table reset for their booking and I was grateful for the service. They won me and my future patronage. All with a little extra work and not being afraid of inconvenience.

    • And if you made a booking, arrived at the designated time and your table was not available….. The restaurant can’t win!!! I know…I’ve been in that situation.

  5. I wouldn’t dream of not cancelling a reservation if I couldn’t go. It’s just common courtesy. I think restaurants should have a non-refundable charge on a booking which becomes part of your bill after you’ve eaten but is charged to your credit card if you don’t show up. People would think think twice about not cancelling then.

    • [email protected]  

      Good idea, Rosemary Miles. Many Motels do this. It may not make them much money but hopefully it would make some people think. I would like to see this tried before experimenting with a naming and shaming scheme. As much as some people deserve to be humiliated, I would prefer them to be faced with a polite learning opportunity first.

  6. I can’t believe the discourtesy of people who do this. Many restaurants turn customers away because a table is booked, I’ve seen people turn up an hour late and abuse restaurant staff as their booked table has just been given to another group. I can’t believe that in 99% of cases it was too difficult to call the restaurant and cancel or notify a change of plans. Even where it’s a last minute decision, it gives the restaurant a clear signal they can give the table to walk in customers. I don’t blame them if they do name and shame and I bet the same names would turn up time and again.

  7. I think it’s rude not to turn up. Yes sometimes things happen but a two minute phone call is all it takes. I had a table booked for 5 of us one time and we got stuck in traffic so rang restaurant and told them we were running a bit late but would be there.

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