We’ve all been in the situation where we remember that we have an upcoming restaurant reservation that completely slipped our minds, only to realize that we’ve made other plans. You might also just not be in the mood to put real pants on. Whatever the reason, sometimes restaurant reservations are forgotten. So what do most people say when they try to get out of reservations?
According to SevenRooms, a restaurant platform that surveyed thousands of Americans, about 71% would not pay to cancel a reservation, and prefer to either beg for a refund, try to give the reservation away, or even lie about a fake family emergency. People will go to great lengths to avoid having to pay a cancellation fee.
Josh Todd, who is the CMO of SevenRooms, said: “When a diner no-shows, it can be devastating for a restaurant. Not only do they miss out on revenue, but they also miss the opportunity to show that diner an incredible hospitality experience.”
That’s why cancellation fees are actually in place, but about 20% of the survey respondents said they are willing to fake medical excuses and 21% will use a family emergency as an excuse.
On the other side of things, 35% said they were willing to change their plans in order to make their current reservation time, and 55% said that they would give their reservation away to their friend instead. About 38% said that they were okay with paying a cancellation fee as long as it did not exceed $10.
According to Todd, the data is critical to restaurants so they can create policies to help navigate the situation. He said: “When diners enjoy better experiences, they don’t feel like they have to fake a medical emergency to get their money back.”
Of course, restaurants realize that cancellations happen, many just want customers to follow etiquette when it comes to making the cancellations. That’s why using a reservation tech platform helps, as restaurants can actually ban serial cancel-ers by suspending their accounts.
The best plan is to cancel your reservation as early as you possibly can, call to reschedule, or try to give your reservation away to someone else.
Todd concluded: “Restaurant hosts have seen it all before, so don’t make up an elaborate story about why you shouldn’t have to pay the fee. Instead, be honest, and they’ll usually understand and be able to accommodate you in some way.”