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15. December 2023, 2 min read

No-shows: How well do you know your guests? 

Author: Jake Juba
Photo by: Getty Images

(Here we go again…)

It’s the busiest time of the year for the restaurant industry, and everyone is on edge—not only because of the high number of guests, but the main concern is: will they show up? 

Just like the world of dating, restaurants are getting stood up, and, in some cases, guests are booking more than one restaurant at the same time – resulting in no-shows.

Thankfully, this is not the world of dating, and you can regain control over who dines at your restaurant—but how? 

Start using your guest data: 

But what do we mean by ‘guest data’? 

This is all the information collected about the people who visit your restaurant.  

This could be as simple as their contact details or more detailed, like their reservation history, dining preferences, and whether they’ve missed reservations before. 

By having access to this kind of data, you can spot patterns in how guests behave, and this gives you the chance to make important decisions that will help you deal with issues like no-shows more effectively. 

Where can I find this data? 

A restaurant booking system of course! 

Acting like a giant guestbook, your booking system is a powerful tool that gathers all this information into one place – smart. 

And with systems like DinnerBooking, you retain 100% ownership of your guest data, in compliance with GDPR

(It’s the law!) 

Photo by: Getty Images

Data-driven Daniel (Prioritise your guests with data) 

If you often face the challenge of customers not showing up for their bookings, it’s high time to put your data to work. 

Meet our data specialist, Daniel Fabricius, here is his take on using guest data:

“By looking at the historical data about your customers, you gain insights into their identities and booking patterns. This information empowers you to pinpoint your ideal customers—those you want to welcome back time and again. 

Recognising that not all customers are the same, restaurants should consider the kind of guests they wish to prioritise. A crucial first step is sorting customers based on their profiles, such as distinguishing between newcomers and regulars. This distinction sets the groundwork for personalised treatment. 

For example, your data might reveal that certain couples living in the neighborhood are frequent guests. The next question becomes: How can we make sure they secure a table every time? How do we not only maintain but also boost their frequency of visits? 

This is where your marketing strategies and relationship-building skills come into play. By using this information, you can craft targeted approaches to cater to specific customer segments, creating loyalty and encouraging repeat business.” 

How well do you know your guests? 

Only you can answer that. 

But by using data, you can get to know them even better and combat no-shows with the data driven facts!

(And who can say no to the facts?) 

Now here’s an interesting idea:

In the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen, Anne Sophia Hermansen suggested that restaurants could try rating guests based on their attendance. A kind of guest review system. 

Thanks, Anne Sophia – you’ve given us something to think about!

You can read her full opinion piece here: https://www.weekendavisen.dk/2023-49/opinion/saa-meld-dog-afbud