No Call, No Show!!!!!!!!

Don't be the be the no show...(Photo Credit: Amass Restaurant)

Don’t be the no show…(Photo Credit: Amass Restaurant)

This blog is a way for you to see what is going on at the restaurant, but also a way for us to let you know how we are feeling so here it goes.

I want to address an issue that has been talked about since the first restaurant opened. People who book a table and do not show up. They don’t call, they don’t send an email because they don’t give a shit. Every restaurant owner knows exactly what I am talking about and I am definitely not the first person to rant and rave about this. Would you schedule a doctor’s appointment and not show up? Would you schedule a hair appointment and not show up? Would you book a meeting with your bank advisor and not show up? Then why would you book a table at a restaurant and not show up? If the answer is yes to any of these, then you are a selfish person that has no respect for the people around you. I say selfish because you have a reserved a table, therefore making it not available for other people that have every intention of coming. Of course people get sick and other circumstances may arise making it not possible for you to come. All you have to do is call or email and that table becomes free for another person to book. Aside from the selfish aspect, it hurts the restaurant as a business. For anybody out there that is not aware of the financial gains of most restaurants, the profit margins are minimal so an empty table really hurts most restaurants. OK. I am done. Thank you for listening and please, if you make a reservation at a restaurant…show up.

15 thoughts on “No Call, No Show!!!!!!!!

  1. Marcello Bosschar

    Couldn’t agree more! By the way, I have been in Amass on the opening week and really enjoyed the experience! Have had dreams of the potato bread I ate then… see you soon!

  2. Ada

    Send an invoice by email for no shows. It will teach them not to book a time and not cancel with the proper decorum.

  3. Mikkel Steen Andersen

    No show = no go. It’s that simple. If I forget a dentists appointment, he charges me 450 DKK, which I find incredibly annoying, but quite fair 🙂 Especially because those 450 could do me a lot of good at Amass or elsewhere.

    Does Amass do confirmation calls or not? It would seem to me, that it’s harder to not show up, after you have confirmed our table the same day. Or is this simply too big of a task? Could it be outsourced?

    1. Matt orlando

      We definitely do confirmation calls the day before. And 9 times out of ten you get the “Oh I’m sorry I thought I cancelled that on line” yeah right. It is just people being lazy and inconsiderate.

  4. Patrick

    Agreed about the calls. I work in an Opticians in Ireland and we send out text messages the day before to remind patients of appointments.
    Still occasionally people don’t show up. I know where you are coming from. Rant over!

  5. Rune Nørager

    First up: I have had the pleasure to enjoy a wonderful evening at Amass. Truly wonderful people, food, atmospere and view.

    Second: ranting is fair enough – practical solutions even better. Consider extending a service where reservations have to be confirmed in a sms text /e-mail that you send out. something along the way:

    “Dear xyz, your table is set for you tonight and we look forward to hosting you. I will be your waitor for the evening (name+pictureof assigned person to make it personal). Please confirm your reservation:
    [button: yes we are comming tonight]

    or pass your table along to someone else

    [button: we are not able to make it – sorry]


    In this way you help your customers help you. In a perfect world everybody would be cool and this service not needed. It is a truly wonderful world – but not perfect.

    Look forward to visiting you again.

    Kind regards


    1. Matt orlando

      Thanks Rune
      We pay extra for a system that sends texts and email when they make the booking and the day before. It still is not fool proof

      1. Rune Nørager

        I thought might do. However, are these just notifications or do your guests have to actively have to confirm their table? Engaging people and making it easy to do so can really shape behaviour. You might also consider taking a look at the reservation formula – it is very technical and unpersonal which makes it easy to be “inhuman” and detach empathy with your needs. There is no “Matt” or no tangible ressource (the table you occupy) visible in the formula – only abstract text. Abstract things really disengages our emotional human side – this makes it easy for some not to show up.

        Lets start a project with your online booking service – the wager is simple: cut no shows by 40% simply by redesigning the online booking formula. Yes, it is “nudging” or psychological behaviour shaping – and it really really works.

        Kind regards


        1. Matt orlando

          Thanks Rune,
          All this makes a lot of sense. Especially attaching a more personal touch. We will look into it. Managing time is what a booking system is for so I guess it can become a bit detached personally, which is ironic because being personal is what a restaurant is all about
          Thanks for the feed back

  6. Brandt

    Having dined at many restaurants that handle this in a number of different ways, I don’t know what the right solution is. But it’s probably somewhere between what Alinea is doing (charging for the meal ahead of time) and just taking a phone call with no sort of credit card to hold the table, I like the restaurants that have confidence in me that if I say I am going to come, I fully intend to show up, but I really appreciate the problem.

  7. Wade Murphy

    Couldn’t agree more. We have a limited number of tables in our restaurant and no shows really drive me crazy. We even confirm a week out and the day before. No shows get black listed straight away. Ruins it for others who genuinely want to come to us.

  8. Pascale Adriaens

    I totally agree with Mr Orlando, and …. the ranting is definitely justified ;-). I am one of those people who calls even when running 5 minutes late. And no, I am not a 90 year old dinosaur stuck in her old fashioned ways, I just find it absolutely normal to do so. Hence, I find it totally acceptable for a restaurant to charge the price of a full meal when people do not show. I lived in the US , where this is common practice.
    If people were to behave better and show some respect as well for the restaurant, as for those people who missed out on a table because of a no shower, we would all be much happier.
    Certain people even make it a habit of booking 3 restaurants for the same evening, and, depending of what they fancy that night, just do a no show in the 2 remaining. Quite contemptible.
    Be it a restaurant, a dentist, a beautician … it does not matter, a blunt no show is utterly disrespectful and bad-mannered.
    I am not sure what the bottom line cost for any business is to have to text, call … booked customers, but I can imagine these reconfirms run up a substantial bill. We should no expect everything to always be a one way direction just because we are the customer …
    So to all … have some respect for one another … being graceful does not cost a thing, it just earns you a smile.

  9. MARC

    Hi Matt,
    yeah…big problem…some guys in Germany ( like Christian Jürgens ) take only reservations by credit card, but many people are very angry about this system. But on the other side, if you will book a hotel room it
    isn´t possible without a credit card, right?
    A friend of mine had a 12 people no show for the new year dinner…very sad about this.
    So, what system could work. Maybe a Network where you can find people who are famous for a “No Show” Show. I think most of the time they are the same people who do this?
    A reservation system where you must be a member? I think some reservation systems are very impersonal.
    A contract? Where the signature is required. No Show…OK…but you must pay 30 % ? By hotel bookings this is also the normal procedure. So, I will think about this and maybe I will get a brainwave…
    Greets Marc

  10. Igor

    Hello Matt,

    We apply a different approach here in London. Our new restaurant rewards those diners who is willing to commit. With 20 covers capacity we can’t afford no-show at all, as you may imagine;)
    Diners pay us at the time of booking, say 90 pounds, but get 100 deducted from their bill when they come. And reservation amount is non-refundable. Everyone is happy. Would be interesting to know what you think.


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