London restaurant introducing ticketing system to combat no-shows

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Clove Club restaurant is located within Shoreditch Town Hall
The Clove Club restaurant is located within Shoreditch Town Hall

Related tags: Restaurant, Food, Clove club

The Clove Club in Shoreditch is to become the first restaurant in the UK to introduce a ticketing system where diners pay for their meal in advance.

Designed to reduce the number of no-shows, which can be as high as 20 per cent at some restaurants​, guests will pay for their meal up front using US ticketing app Tock.

Clove Club chef Isaac McHale told Bloomberg: "It's going to ruffle a few feathers, but everyone has a problem with no-shows and short-seated tables. The more ambitious your restaurant, the more money you spend on ingredients and staff, and you want to keep prices down. We tend to have very high break-evens."

Tock's pricing system means it will be possible for restaurants to charge a premium for more desirable dining times, as well as freeing up staff from taking phone reservations.

The Clove Club currently charges £65 per head for a 'no-show' or cancellation with less than 24 house notice.

Beginning in April, the restaurant will move to the ‘Legacy’ ticketing system, the original platform designed by Nick Kokonas for his Chicago restaurant Alinea,​ with the full Tock system being delivered later this year.

Internal data released last year showed that the incidence of no-shows at Alinea dropped to less than two percent in 2013 as a result of the ticketing system.

No-shows have been flagged up as a 'major problem'​ in the industry, with ResDiary launching new cancellation fee technology​ earlier this year. A number of industry experts have blamed the rise of online booking sites​ for contributing to an increasing number of customers failing to show up for reservations.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Restaurant

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