The next time you make a dinner reservation, you might want to keep this in mind. OpenTable is cracking down on no-shows with its new policy, “Four Strikes and You’re Out.” It’s exactly what it sounds like — ghost on your reservations more than four times per calendar year and your access will be suspended.
The initiative is part of the company’s efforts to encourage people to cancel or modify their reservations instead of simply not showing up, which is not only unfair but also harmful to the restaurants. According to OpenTable, a restaurant could lose out on its entire profit margin for that shift if a table of six doesn’t show up.
One in 10 Canadians have no-showed on a reservation over the past year, the booking platform says. And despite 75% of OpenTable’s restaurants across the country now being open, many are still struggling to make ends meet amid staffing shortages and limited patio space.
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The four-strike policy isn’t the only way that restaurants can tackle no-shows. OpenTable is now going to start tagging diners with a track record of skipping their reservation without cancelling or changing it in advance. The tool will allow restaurants to label customers as potential no-shows based on their previous activity so that they can follow up and confirm with the customer in advance.
Plus, restaurants will be able to set up and display their own COVID-19 vaccine requirements, so that diners know what their policies are before they book their table. Pretty soon, the platform will be launching a feature to make this process faster, tagging diners as “Verified for Entry” if you’ve met the requirements.