OpenTable’s new tool helps restaurants combat flaky guests *

OpenTable is giving restaurants a new way to combat flaky guests.

The reservations company will soon allow restaurants to label customers as potential no-shows based on past behavior so they can be proactive about confirming the reservation. It builds on OpenTable’s long-standing “four strikes” policy that suspends users who fail to show up for a scheduled meal four times, along with other protections such as email and text reminders.

The new feature is part of a broader push by the company to call attention to the harms of no-shows, which can impact restaurants’ revenue, staffing and food costs. The company cited a YouGov survey conducted in April that found that 28% of Americans have missed a reservation in the past year.

“When a diner doesn’t fulfill a reservation, it significantly impacts the restaurant’s revenue,” said Debby Soo, CEO of OpenTable, in a statement. “At OpenTable, we believe we have a responsibility to help build awareness of this issue and leverage our technology in every way possible to reduce no-show rates.”

The campaign, called “Show-Up for Restaurants,” will include a blog and other content directed at diners to help raise awareness about the negative affects of no-shows, as well as a refresher on how diners can cancel or change their reservations on OpenTable.

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