New insights reveal top reasons for no-shows

Latest insight from leading hospitality technology partner Zonal and CGA by NIQ, reveals the main reasons guests do not turn up for a reservation.

The the following reasons are coming out on top:

  1. Having a change of plans (27%)
  2. Others in the group cancelling (21%)
  3. People booking multiple venues to ensure they would get in somewhere (20%)
  4. One member of the group falling ill (20%)
  5. Forgetting about a booking (15%)


The survey of more than 1,000 UK adults, shines a light on the ongoing issue of no-shows and the importance of educating customers on the impact this has on hospitality businesses.


New research also revealed that Sunday is the day in the week when no-shows are most likely to occur and that on average Autumn (September – November) tends to be the worst season when it comes to people not honouring bookings.


Figures from a recent GO Technology report from Zonal and CGA by NIQ has also found that 77% of people find not being able to amend or cancel bookings online, a key frustration in the pre-visit customer journey. A further 34% stated that if they experience frustrations pre-visit, such as being unable to amend or cancel bookings online, they would find somewhere else to go.


This all underlines the need for operators to tackle no-shows, which cost the industry £17.59bn per year in lost revenue. One way to mitigate the risk of no-shows occurring is by ensuring the booking journey is easy-to-use for customers – enabling them to book, amend or cancel bookings within a few clicks.


Tim Chapman, Chief Commercial Officer, Zonal, said: “People not honouring their reservations continues to be a challenge for the industry. Plans change and that cannot be helped, however in order to reduce the risk of no-shows, we need to continue finding ways to educate consumers on what impact this has on their favourite pubs, bars and restaurants. The figures also highlight a correlation between people not honouring their reservations and the ability for customers to change or amend bookings. Operators that have digital systems in place, enabling customers to manage bookings online will be able to reduce no-shows from happening, as well as remove any potential customer frustrations during the pre-visit journey, improving the overall customer experience.”


In response to the ongoing issue of no-shows and in support of the industry, Zonal launched their #ShowUpForHospitality campaign in September 2021, to help operators try mitigate the risk of no-shows, as well as to raise awareness of the importance of consumers turning up to a booking or informing a venue if they can no longer make it.


Visit the campaign page to learn more, join the conversation and help spread the message far and wide in order to encourage customers to #ShowUpForHospitality.


These figures are based on insight from Zonal, CGA by NIQ data and figures from Zonal and CGA’s GO Technology survey, a sample of 1,018 nationally representative British consumers. All figures are taken from the March 2024 edition of the survey.


 Click here to access all the latest reports. To discuss the research, email CGA by NIQ client director Andy Dean at  

Recent posts:

Share post


Subscribe to our newsletter

Access the latest On Premise news and reports by signing up below.