In Saint-Omer, restaurateurs are stepping up to customers who book, but do not come

They decided to say stop. In Saint-Omer, restaurateurs, increasingly confronted with customers who reserve a table but do not come, have put in place measures to stem this phenomenon.

Customers who reserve a table, then never show up (without however having canceled beforehand)… This is what restaurateurs call a “no show”according to the Anglicism which designates what can also be called a “reservation bunny”. Whatever the terms, restaurateurs see in this growing phenomenon a notorious lack of respect.

At 7 p.m., a table of ten people did not come. We called them three or four times, but no response. After an hour we returned to the table.

Manager of the bistRonome in Saint-Omer

Recently, in Saint-Omer, several people wanted to put the hola on, starting with the bistRonome. In this restaurant, everything was decided after the evening too many, July 2, as the manager, Julien Damide tells it: “At 7 p.m., a table of ten people did not come. We called them three or four times, but no answer. After an hour we gave the table back.” In total on this same evening, no less than sixteen people did not honor their reservation.

“Sixteen covers planted, that’s a lot. It’s about 1,000 euros of loss of earnings”blows this son of a restaurateur: “When you have a full service you order accordingly, if people don’t come it’s lost goods, lost work and it demotivates the staff.” Determined to act, he therefore set up, the next day, an online reservation with bank imprint.

A system which obliges the customer, if he wants to reserve a table of at least four people, to fill in his banking information. If he does not come and does not warn, between 10 and 15 euros per person are debited. Julien Damide precisely explains to France 3 Nord why he chose this method:




video length: 36sec

Julien Damide, manager of the Bistronome, explains why he chose the bank imprint method.



©FTV / Jean-Christophe Raczy

“No choice”of course, but the restorer would have preferred to do without this solution to “double-edged”in particular because it must be done online: “Are there people who didn’t come because of that?”asks Julien Damide before immediately answering with a shrug of the shoulders: “We will never be able to know, but for a month, we have had no more no-show”.

At the Claire’Marais restaurant, manager Grégory Bluszcz estimates that three to five tables are affected each week by no-shows, i.e. between 10 and 20 seats. Morally it’s always a bit frustrating. For us as for the people who want to come to us and who we refuse, because there are a lot of them”, deplores the one who opted for another method, as a warning:




video length: 17sec

Grégory Bluszcz, manager of Claire’Marais, opted for another method.



©FTV / Jean-Christophe Raczy

Customers are informed of this system when booking and according to him, they understand it very well. But this solution is difficult to apply when the end of the service is approaching, which is why he does not say no definitively to the bank imprint: “I think there is a little system to put in place. You have to find the right compromise. Why not set up the bank imprint from 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. or for tables of more than four people”, he reflected.

Especially since the deadweight losses caused by these non-honored reservations are added to the difficulties of recruiting restaurateurs, who are already forced, because of the lack of staff, to limit their reception capacity. At the moment, the Claire’Marais therefore offers a dozen tables, or 30% less than usual.

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