The scourge of the restaurant industry: no-shows can cost businesses anywhere from the wage of an employee for the night or up to potentially $250,000 a year.
A "No Bookings" policy could eliminate the risk of last minute cancellations, but unless you're the hottest dining destination or are located in a high traffic location, the truth is that perhaps your business relies on reservations because walk-ins are never a sure thing.
You can either bear the brunt of no-shows or rely heavily on walk ins. Or you can choose between these two options:
Offer prepaid packages. This could be a set menu or one decided by the Chef including signature dishes and seasonal items. Advantages- encourages larger group bookings, receiving funds upfront for a reservation and confirms menu & stock control for the chef
- Taking deposits or credit card details is a common everyday practice in life such as making a dentist appointment or hotel booking...so why is it that we not do the same for hospitality? This discourages no-shows but at the same time financially covers the restaurant should it occur. Make sure to explain your booking policy and set out rules such as to how late can a table cancel, what to do in the circumstance the party size changes, etc