Consumers are happy to pay deposits for bookings, new research shows

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Reservation figures: half of UK pubgoers are happy to pay a deposit to book a table (Credit: Getty/sturti)
Reservation figures: half of UK pubgoers are happy to pay a deposit to book a table (Credit: Getty/sturti)

Related tags: Beer, Food, Public house

Half of UK pubgoers are happy to pay a deposit to book a table, while 55% revealed they are in favour of paying no-show fees, new research from Zonal and CGA has said.

The survey showed that consumers were more likely to be in favour of their use for special occasions and on significant days such as Valentine’s Day or a Bank Holiday, with 65% happy to pay a deposit for such events.

However, with casual occasions such as after work drinks consumers were less happy to pay deposits (41%) but inclination remained at strong levels for larger bookings of six people of more (59%)

Younger consumers

Younger consumers were more reluctant than the national average to pay to secure a booking. Just under a third (28%) of 18 to 24-year olds said they would put down a deposit and just 24% said they would be happy to pay a no-show fee.

Olivia FitzGerald, chief sales and marketing officer at Zonal said: “There’s traditionally been a scepticism and nervousness around the use of deposits and no-show fees in hospitality, with many believing that it would prove to be a big turn off for their customers and hit trade.” 

Blanket approach

She added: “These latest insights show that, while a blanket approach may not be the optimum way forward for operators, consumers are far more inclined to accept them than we previously thought - and for a wider range of occasions. Deposits and no-show fees shouldn’t just be reserved for high-end restaurants or Valentine’s Day and Christmas either and are a legitimate tool for reducing no shows during busy trading periods.”

She said that Zonal wanted to highlight this issue as part of its #ShowUpForHospitality campaign to change consumer behaviours as well as start an industry discussion as to how best to combat this long-standing problem. 

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