How to reduce no-show bookings

Nobody wants a no-show. Us FireText-ers have jotted down tried and tested ways to reduce no-shows. Spoiler: it includes our trusty friend, the SMS message, and some inspiring content examples.

Text the booking info to your customer

To reduce the likelihood of your customer forgetting the date or time, send a confirmation text message with all the booking deets included. Use the message as a chance to build rapport and hype up their arrival by being friendly and approachable. Take this example…

Level up: You can make use of custom fields, such as first names and dates and times, to send bulk-but-personalised SMS messages to your table bookings.

Make cancelling or rescheduling simple

One of the biggest reasons for no-shows can be the lack of accessibility to cancel or re-arrange a booking. It’s best to make the route to cancellation as easy as possible (so there’s no excuses for no-shows!)

Texting provides a direct line of communication for recipients to cancel or re-arrange if they need to. You’re literally putting the option in their hands, allowing them to change the booking via a link, number or by reply if you’re sending from a reply number.

Level up: If you regularly post on social media, why not link to this in the message like our example above? This helps make the experience memorable for your customer before they’ve even arrived as they can get a good feel for you as a brand, reducing the chance of a no-show.

Send a reminder text message before the booking

An effective measure to replace or complement a pre-booking deposit is to send an SMS reminder ahead of the booking. Create a message that not only reminds your customer, but helps you to build rapport with them before they arrive. If they can’t make it, offer an easy option to reschedule if they need to.

Level up: Keep things topical by showing off your specials. Again, this transforms your transaction into a positive and friendly message, helping you build brand loyalty and rapport with your customer (making them less likely to stand you up).

Invest in communications for the long run

A UK Hospitality Report, ‘Beyond the Booking‘, states that between January and February 2023, 5% of confirmed bookings resulted in no-shows, costing £1,325 to the average restaurant in this period alone. Something as direct and simple as SMS messages is worth investing in for the long term, helping you to reduce no-shows, build rapport and with the right content, keep your customers coming back for more.

Make no-shows a no-no with FireText

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