A quarter of 16 to 24-year-olds admitted they regularly failed to show up for a food reservation, in a survey by OpenTable.
Reasons for not warning a venue included customers thinking it was too last minute to cancel, forgetting, and not knowing how to cancel a reservation.
Overall, slightly more than a third of diners (33.7%) admitted to being a no-show, with commitment from phone bookings slightly better than online reservations.
Last year, 4.4% of online bookings through OpenTable’s platform ended up in a no-show, in comparison to 4.6% of reservations made over the phone.
OpenTable wants to raise awareness on the consequences not turning up has on businesses and encourage the use of reservation systems. Even a last-minute warning is better than none at all, they urged.
Its new campaign Book Responsibly features a video experiment where the tables were turned on unsuspecting diners whose restaurant failed to show up to their reservation.
The cities with the largest number of customers who reported not turning up to a booking at least once in their life was London (40%), Manchester (39%) and Leeds (38.7%).
Impact on businesses
While the majority of the 2,060 people surveyed said they felt guilty after they did not show up to their booking (71%), many businesses feel customers do not understand the impact of late cancellations or no-shows.
The research comes as cocktail lounge Dine said it lost almost £2,700 in revenue on Valentine’s Day.
“We can all be more aware of the impact that no-shows and late cancellations can have on a restaurant,” said OpenTable vice-president Adrian Valeriano.
“We have launched this campaign to help build awareness among diners of the issue and showcase how we continue to leverage our technology and diner network in ways that only OpenTable can to help reduce no-show rates and mitigate the impact of late cancellations.”
Technology can minimise the impact of no-shows on both diners and businesses, Valeriano said.
The number of venues taking some type of payment protection increased by 40.1% last year, according to reservation system ResDiary.