Restaurant reservations are not honored  Expensive blank tables

Could booking a table become a thing of the past? One thing is for sure, customers who don’t honor their reservations are expensive for restaurants. commonly called No displayScams cause an average annual loss of almost $50,000 to companies that encounter it.

For a licensed restaurant, the amount lost is estimated to be approximately $62,000, while for an independent restaurant it can reach $43,000. Almost 65.6% of restaurants say that the number of tables at which customers ask for rabbit is constantly increasing, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Association Restoration Quebec (ARQ).

Due to the scale of the scourge, the ARQ surveyed its members in January to quantify the financial losses caused by respectable reservations. A first. Martin Vecina, vice president of public and government affairs at ARQ, said these are some of the data available on the subject. Pres I was able to consult the results of this survey on the topic No show and no restaurant business.

In light of this data, the association wants one more argument to convince the government to allow restaurants to fine repeat customers. She questions herself in the context of the survival of the classic model of reservations.

“If the number of unhonored reservations continues to grow, the number of restaurants accepting reservations is likely to decline,” says the ARQ Stats bulletin for members. Therefore, companies, for example, have decided to no longer welcome groups, while others, on the contrary, must only accept reservations for tables with six or more guests.

The booking model is still available. But some companies may be wondering whether to continue booking or not. We are seeing more and more different models. This creates changes in reservation management.

Martin Vezina mentions in an interview

Currently, customers can reserve a table at 94% of establishments in Quebec. Of those who refused to do so, 66.7% made the decision to avoid prosecution. No display.

Change the rules of the game

If they are not ready to close their reservation book permanently, some restaurants are reviewing the rules of the game in terms of welcoming their customers for their part. At La Cochonne Laughs restaurant in Chambly, we say we’re “careful” with groups of 10 or more, agrees manager Philippe Michaud.

“The bigger the groups, the more it’s overwhelming,” he says. Often they come, more than they expected or less than expected. Sometimes they get canceled at the last minute, sometimes they don’t show up. »

“Instead of mortgaging an entire evening with groups, we want to accommodate our regular customers. In fact, we want to prioritize them. We want to make sure there is room for our regular customers who come to see us every week. »

At Satay Brothers, on Notre-Dame Street in Montreal, only groups of six or more can make reservations. For smaller tables, we operate on a first-come, first-served basis, explains co-owner Alex Winnicki.

“People are often late for their reservations,” he notes. “Every time we opened tables, we had to wait after two people who had made reservations, and by that time people were at the door ready to eat, which was difficult to manage.. »

Photo by Charles William Pelletier, special collaboration

Alex Winnicki, Co-Owner of Sade Bros

“We like to keep a lot of desks open,” he says, calling it a “two-tier system.”

“I think everyone in the restaurant business would like to revise the reservation model a little bit, especially if they can protect themselves. But reservations are still necessary. There are many restaurants that prefer reservations to ensure a minimum number of customers. »

ARQ shares the same perspective: Reservations are a great tool for managing staff and food supplies. That is why he is campaigning for “a legal framework that allows a customer to be fined when he or she does not turn up for his or her reservation.” This fine will be approximately $20. For now, the law does not allow restaurants to impose such fines.

“What is prohibited is preemption [par écrit ou verbalement] Amount to be paid if the customer does not honor the contract”, he explained Pres, a few months ago, Charles Tanguay, spokesperson for the Office of Consumer Protection (OPC). “One of the legal principles underlying Article 13 is that no one can take justice into his own hands and fix the quantum of damages arbitrarily,” he adds.

Meetings between ARQ and OPC took place from January. “The file is under study, but there is an opening to consider our solution, which could take the form of a law or a regulation”, notes Martin Vezina. The latter says it could resolve the file by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, restaurants are ramping up strategies to keep customers from losing out. Some even go so far as to draw a blacklist of people who do not respect their reservation. Others, like Les vilains Garçons restaurant, publicly condemned on Facebook the fact that a customer did not show up, the daily reported. Right In February. Some companies require a credit card number and charge a customer no-show. A practice however illegal, at least for now.

” [Ce que l’on propose]It is a simple solution that will probably avoid overflow,” argues Martin Vezina.

Reservation is not honored

Some numbers


A proportion of restaurants often face whiplash


The proportion of restaurants that occasionally encounter it


Proportion of restaurants that never face lawsuits No display


Proportion of respondents saying the incidence is increasing

Weekly financial losses due to non-honored bookings

Catering Bar: $595

Restaurant at the hotel: $1150

Deductible: $1196

Independence Restaurant: $832

Total average: $943

Source: Quebec Restoration Society

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