Industry campaign helps ease no-shows

Efforts to cut the number of no-shows in hospitality are paying off and could save operators nearly £4bn a year in lost sales, new data from CGA and Zonal shows.

Joint research for the GO Technology series of reports last year highlighted the huge scale of the problem of no-shows in hospitality as part of the industry-wide #ShowUpForHospitality campaign. It estimated that no-shows were collectively costing the sector around £17.6bn a year.


However, CGA’s latest Consumer Pulse survey suggests the problem may be easing. It found that 11% of consumers admit to having not fulfilled a booking without telling a venue recently—a drop from the 14% who said they had done so between April and September 2021. This reduction of three percentage points equates to a £3.8bn saving in reservations that would previously have been lost.


The problem of no-shows came into sharp focus after COVID lockdowns, when many consumers—and parents in particular—planned trips more carefully in advance, and made reservations to guarantee space in venues with limited capacity. Some bookings were also not taken up because guests contracted COVID or were too anxious about their safety.


These latest figures coincide with an easing of fears about COVID, but they also show that the #ShowUpForHospitality campaign encouraged more consumers to honour their bookings.


CGA client director Andy Dean says: “Hospitality’s concerted efforts to tackle the blight of no-shows are working. The campaign has shown people the damage that they inflict on venues when they don’t turn up, at a time when so many businesses are financially precarious. With COVID concerns hopefully receding, we may see no-show rates falling further in the months ahead—but nearly £14bn a year is still being lost to no-shows, so there is clearly still a lot of work to be done.”


As well as spreading awareness of the no-show problem, the GO Technology research set out possible solutions, including customer deposits and no-show fees. It also suggested what operators might do to make it easier for guests to cancel bookings in advance and reallocate tables. Among those who didn’t turn up for a reservation, well over half said it was because they were either embarrassed (20%) couldn’t reach someone (17%), or simply forgot (18%). By providing solutions like automated reminders and quick online cancellations, technology can help to ease these and other issues around no-shows.


Olivia FitzGerald, chief sales and marketing officer, Zonal said: “No-shows are an issue that have impacted our industry for quite some time, so it’s encouraging to see the number of customers not honouring their bookings and not informing the venue reduce since launching our #ShowUpForHospitality campaign. The hospitality industry is a tightknit community and one we’re really proud to be a part of, so it’s great to see the industry rally together around campaigns such as #ShowUpForHospitality to raise awareness of important causes impacting the industry everyone loves.

“We know that there is more to do to reduce the occurrence of no-shows. At Zonal, we’re keen to continue our support for the industry, supporting them as they continue to rebuild after a difficult few years. Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés are the hubs of local communities, so it’s important to that we continue to show our support in any way we can.”


To read the full ‘Reservations and no-shows’ GO Technology report, click here.


To learn more about the GO Technology series from Zonal and CGA, contact or


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