Foursquare Group recently launched the #SaveMySeat campaign to help customers understand the impact of ‘No Shows’ on our independent hospitality industry. Throughout the pandemic, the Group has supported the hospitality industry to ensure as Liam Jones founder of Foursquare Group, puts it; “we help the industry that we serve”.
The Group is keen to normalise the idea of paying a deposit when booking a table at your favourite independent restaurant. ‘No Shows’ are a huge issue for hospitality venues with 1 in 5 restaurant bookings never showing up, impacting the industry by more than £16bn per year. However it’s quickly become apparent that other industries are facing similar challenges. Speaking about the campaign, Foursquare’s Hospitality Director Louise Kissack says:
“Over the past few weeks it’s become apparent that this is not just an issue in the hospitality industry. Within the first few days of launching our #SaveMySeat campaign, I’d heard from beauticians, massage therapists and home cake bakers – all experiencing the same issues with no-shows, and all shouldering the cost of customers failing to cancel. We want customers to understand that when a local indie asks you for a small deposit on booking it’s simply their way of safeguarding their business and protecting their future.”
Foursquare Group helps independent hospitality, retail and leisure businesses to succeed. Their aim – through various products, tools and advice – is for independents to start, run, grow and protect themselves in a successful, easy and effective way. Asking customers to pay a small deposit when booking is one way in which independent venues can gain some level of certainty and plan for the future, however independents are far less likely to ask for deposits than larger chains.
“A recent twitter poll asked customers whether they would be prepared to help solve the no-show problem by paying a deposit when booking a restaurant. Over 2,000 guests responded with 95% of people being in favour of the idea. So, if most customers are in favour, and restaurants are still suffering the effects of no-shows then surely implementing a booking and deposit system goes some way to solving the problem… Yet many independents are still hesitant to ask their customers to put their money where their mouth is.”
Foursquare Group is now calling on the public to support them in protecting our much-loved eateries and favourite drinking spots so that they can bounce back from the devastating reality of Covid-19 and ultimately, stick around.
“This is how we see it.” Louise says. “Customers who don’t want to pay a deposit are not invested in their visit to your venue, or the future success of your business. And those customers who fail to show for bookings are not only letting you down, but they’re also disappointing your loyal customers who can’t make a reservation when you’re fully booked. After all, we want our favourite places to be around for us to enjoy for many years to come!”