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21. September 2023, 5 min read

Sustainability in dining: 6 reasons why prepayments are a win-win!

Author: Jake Juba
sustainability prepayments
Sustainability & prepayments
Image source: Getty Images

Sustainability… An ever-prevalent global topic gnaws at the conscience of restaurateurs. How can you even begin to think about environmental concerns, when your prime focus is on sustaining the business itself? 

Answer: Get double the benefit from a single action. 

What if there was a way to keep your restaurant thriving while simultaneously embracing green practices?  


This isn’t just an idealistic dream; it’s a practical path forward… By integrating initiatives, like prepayments, restaurateurs can give a nod to Mother Nature without compromising on their bottom line.  

Now that’s smart!

The green connection

When discussing prepayments, especially in the context of larger group bookings, there’s an implicit link between sustainability and food waste that might not be immediately obvious.

This indicates that a certain level of sustainability is achievable without resorting to extraordinary measures.

So, how can prepayments pave the way for a greener restaurant?

1) Curbing no-shows to combat food waste

No-shows are a restaurateur’s nightmare. More than just an inconvenience, they directly affect revenue, disrupt operations, and can result in food waste. The effects are especially felt with larger group bookings and this is where prepayments come into play. 

Through an initial financial commitment, restaurants can gain a clearer projection of their expected guests. This insight ensures efficient meal prep, waste reduction, and benefits both sustainability and business practices. 

Sustainability & no-shows
This is the same restaurant with and without a prepayment setup.

In this example where a 160-seat restaurant had 32 no-shows, using prepayment allowed the restaurant to recover 57% of its potential earnings. This method is both cost-effective and of course – sustainable.

2) Stable revenue, sustainable practices  

Here’s some food for thought – 

A more predictable revenue stream through prepayments supports the sustainability of the restaurant business. 

As you know, the restaurant industry typically operates on tight margins. By minimising losses from no-shows, businesses can invest more in sustainable practices, such as sourcing locally produced, organic, or sustainable ingredients.

3) Prepayments and conscious consumerism 

Prepayments create a conscious commitment!

When guests knows they have made a financial pledge, they are more likely to be responsible about updating their reservation should plans change.  This encourages a mindful approach to resources, like food, that depend on their commitment. 

4) Streamlining for sustainability

Advanced payments can aid in better inventory management. When restaurants have a clear picture of the expected turnout, they can order supplies more accurately, leading to less overstock and subsequent waste. 

This goes beyond just food –  

Think of utilities like water and energy required to prepare for larger parties! 

5) Turning potential waste into community benefits 

With a clearer view of guest numbers, restaurants can embrace the joy of precision. Fewer leftovers means smarter planning. If there’s ever a little extra, what better way to spread the love than teaming up with local charities? 

Let’s turn potential waste into wonderful meals for those in need.

6) Where financial stability meets green initiatives 

Without doubt… Financially stable restaurants are in a better position to adopt environmentally-friendly practices and prepayments can contribute to this stability! 

With better finances, restaurants might invest in energy-efficient appliances, waste reduction programs, and other eco-friendly initiatives. 

Think about it.

Sustainability & prepayments
Image source: Getty Images

Implementing prepayments:

Some restaurants might be apprehensive about adopting prepayments, wondering if guests might perceive it as impersonal. Will they feel “locked in” and decide not to book at all?

Solution: Clear communication

It’s crucial to communicate prepayment terms throughout various steps of the booking process. For instance, in the payment overview:

“To combat food waste from no-shows, we request a prepayment of €30 per guest to secure the booking. This amount will be deducted from your final bill during your visit.”

A transparent booking guideline not only establishes trust by offering clear terms and open channels for communication, but it also ensures customers feel valued, respected, and well-informed. This approach ultimately elevates their perception of the restaurant.

If we make it clear how prepayments work, your guests will be less bothered by them.

Sustainability through prepayments: A win-win for restaurants

Prepayments are more than just a financial safety net for restaurants. They bridge the gap between profitability and eco-consciousness. By reducing no-shows, they combat food waste and enhance economic security. This dual benefit allows restaurants to thrive while honouring their commitment to sustainability. 

It’s not just a smart business move—it’s the future of responsible dining! 

Interested to learn more about how prepayments can benefit your restaurant? Get in touch!