Restaurateurs, hoteliers, liberal professions: say stop to the rabbits!

Technical Sheet 2023 – No. 1:

the no showin the jargon of hoteliers and airlines, is the fact of noticing that a customer who has reserved a room or a plane ticket has not shown up.

Until then, nothing very serious, in these two industries and sectors where we are used to taking a deposit or even having been paid before the consumption of the service. But, in many other businesses, a high rate of no-shows, rabbits means a loss of turnover or consequent fees. An osteopath who has blocked slots for a patient, a starred restaurant who has blocked 4 covers and does not see his patient, his client, this is a significant loss of margin. Voxpaya French player in secure voice or online payment, has imagined and deployed an effective, inexpensive and radical solution. Voxpaythe anti start-up?

How to secure reservations and offer greater serenity to merchants?

The construction site is important.

Multiplication of booking channels

That’s a fact, the “no show” has always existed. However, the rise of digitalization and technological changes have had a double effect. Initially, they enabled many professionals to broaden their customer target and therefore increase their turnover. Secondly, the volume being greater, the risk of no-shows has also increased. If we go back even 10 years, to book in a restaurantmake an appointment or even book a trip, you picked up your phone and created a direct link with the service provider in question.

Today, to book, many choices are available to us:

  • The telephone channel
  • Online booking via a dedicated module
  • Social networks
  • Sending an email through the website
  • Direct access at point of sale

The multiplication of reservation and sales channels is a real boon for merchants who offer a wide choice to consumers and in fact meet to their needs. In the travel sector, digitalization has taken its toll. If the turnover of online travel booking in France was 9.33 million euros in 2017, it should reach more than 11.7 million euros by 2023 (Statistics). The same is true for meal reservations. According to Alioze, 50% of French people book their restaurant online, 47% of restaurants offer an online booking service. With the Covid-19 crisis, the year 2020 was very turbulent and difficult for the catering sector, which saw many of its establishments close their doors.

Weakened professionals

Successive confinements, inflation, oil shortage,… some professionals are “starting to stick out their tongues”. While more than 90% of restaurateurs are independent (Source), it is urgent to find solutions to secure turnover and avoid “no show” more commonly known as “the rabbits”. The “no show” is the fact of reserving a restaurant for example, of not honoring its service and not notifying the restaurateur. Thus, a table is blocked for a certain number of people, sometimes to the detriment of other customers, thus depriving the restaurateur of a sale. Due to disappointments, more and more restaurateurs are using systems already used in the hotel industry such as:

  • reservation required by credit card
  • bank imprint
  • down payment request

The principle is simple, beyond a certain number of people, the professional reserves the right to request a bank imprint as a pledge of good faith. In some cases, he may also request a deposit in order to secure the reservation and therefore the turnover but also the presence of the customers. This practice is multiplying more and more and is also applied when booking for two people. In case of non-attendance, the restaurateur can take the price of the menu with impunity. If a cancellation should be made less than 48 hours in advance, too.

The rules are defined by each establishment and must be known and shared by all.

In order to facilitate these fingerprinting and/or deposit taking, these solutions should be integrated into the merchant’s reservation system, more commonly known as “Property Management System” (PMS), so that the experience remains as simple and seamless possible. With the solutions Voxpay, the restaurateur, hotelier, liberal professional, chooses to use secure reservations. In addition, it benefits from strong authentication with 3D-secure to verify the identity of the cardholder and to guarantee payment in the event of non-attendance. Today, we still too often see professionals asking for bank details by telephone and/or e-mail, an insecure practice offering no guarantee. Solutions can be integrated on the voice channelthrough payment link sent by e-mail, SMS, QR Code, WhatsApp or directly on an interactive vocal server. Voxpay solutions are Level 1 PCI-DSS certified and ensure full transparency in the processing of consumer data.

A consumer to educate

In the hotel sector, it is now common to leave a credit card imprint in order to book an overnight stay. For the catering sector, there is no doubt that this will find its place. Raising public awareness is essential to make people aware that behind a reservation, there are people who work, food that has been purchased as a result, a company that puts its heart into it. The more this model becomes more democratic, the more it will be accepted by the greatest number. Already very present in the big cities, it is developing in the provinces and is quickly adopted. Pre-booking is a system that has already proven itself across the Atlantic and is already adopted by many cultures. Solutions exist to help professionals optimize their turnover, limit losses and disappointments. Their integration into business tools facilitates everyday use and offers peace of mind to users.

Photo of one: A retired caravel – credit © En-Contact (Manuel Jacquinet)

We wish to give thanks to the writer of this short article for this amazing material

Restaurateurs, hoteliers, liberal professions: say stop to the rabbits!