Consumers are more likely to be in favour of their use in for special occasions and on significant days such as Valentine’s Day or a Bank Holiday, with 65% happy to pay a deposit for a such events, according to the research from leading hospitality tech firm Zonal and CGA.
The findings also reveal that 55% of people are in favour of paying no-show fees if they don’t turn up. Guest inclination to pay deposits is less (41%) for casual occasions such as after work drinks but remains at strong levels for larger bookings of six people of more (59%) and is still over half (53%) for smaller groups.
However, younger consumers are more reluctant than the national average to pay to secure a booking, with only 28% of 18 to 24-year olds saying they would put down a deposit and just 24% saying they would be happy to pay a no-show fee.
“There’s traditionally been a scepticism and nervousness around the use of deposits and no-show fees in hospitality, with many believing that it would prove to be a big turn off for their customers and hit trade,” says Olivia FitzGerald, chief sales and marketing officer at Zonal.
“These latest insights show that, while a blanket approach may not be the optimum way forward for operators, consumers are far more inclined to accept them than we previously thought - and for a wider range of occasions. Deposits and no-show fees shouldn’t just be reserved for high-end restaurants or Valentine’s Day and Christmas either and are a legitimate tool for reducing no shows during busy trading periods.”
The findings are based on insight from Zonal, CGA data and figures from Zonal and CGA’s GO Technology survey, a sample of 5,000 nationally representative British consumers. They form part of Zonal’s industry-wide campaign #ShowUpForHospitality, aiming to highlight the damaging impact of customer no-shows, which collectively cost the sector £17.6bn a year.
“As part of our campaign we want to spotlight this issue, change consumer behaviours as well as start an industry discussion as to how best to combat this long-standing problem,” adds FitzGerald. “We’ve seen phenomenal support across the sector from CGA, UKHospitality, Bums on Seats, Think Hospitality plus many more. It’s been fantastic to see once again hospitality come together for the benefit of the entire industry.”