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 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.”
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.