To ensure that their trip is not wasted, diners make restaurant reservations before heading down to a restaurant. It is necessary to make a restaurant reservation especially on weekends or at popular restaurants. This ensures an enjoyable dining experience for yourself and your guests.
For the restaurants, reservations help them to estimate the amount of food they should prepare as well as the amount of manpower they should deploy at different times of the day. This reduces food wastage and helps to prevent labour shortages or oversupply.
Due to changes in lifestyles, people are getting busier. There are times when people make restaurant reservations and completely forget about them. Restaurants are facing an increasing number of “no shows”. No shows refer to the problem where diners make reservations and do not turn up without informing the restaurant. This causes restaurants to lose revenue as the reserved tables could be offered to walk in customers.
As restaurants prepare the food based on the number of expected diners, they may end up with too much food. As food is perishable, they will have to throw away the excess food as they are not able to keep it for the next day.
This problem is made more severe during peak hours. Walk in customers queue outside the restaurant while tables are left empty for the diners who have made reservations. This creates displeasure among the walk in customers queuing outside the restaurant. Some restaurants try to circumvent the problem by not taking reservations during peak hours and only accept walk in customers. Other restaurants call the customers the day before to confirm their attendance. This solution costs the restaurants extra time and effort and is not entirely foolproof as they may be a small number of diners who do not turn up despite receiving their confirmation of the restaurant reservation.
Some restaurant owners solve the problem by adopting an unpopular approach much to the chagrin of the diners. They request for the diners’ credit card numbers and charge a fee to the diners’ credit cards in the event that they do not turn up for the dinner appointment. Although this method is effective, restaurants may be reluctant to enforce it may create negative publicity for the restaurant.