The Problem with the No-Shows: Why do Restaurants charge money, when the tables remain empty


It is 20 PM, the Service is ready in the kitchen, the final preparations are completed, everyone is waiting for the guests. However, it takes only 15 minutes, then half an hour. No one shows up. The catering understands this to mean, a typical No-Show scenario.

For a Restaurant, it is similar to a financial Meltdown: Who can only offer up to 22 seats, a group of 10 people at the last Minute cancels, or – even worse – simply doesn’t show up that often remains with the costs. The food is already paid for, the staff is also busy in full occupation.

It is currently the hottest discussion in the German gastronomy. What to do when the tables remain empty, because guests cancel their reservations, spontaneously, or without a message to stay away? Restaurateur Fabio Haebel, which operates the Fine-Dining Restaurant “haebel,” in Hamburg’s famous district St. Pauli, and has been busy ever with this question. “In the past, I was angered easily, but have never responded,” he says of the star.

That guests have to place your credit cards for reservations behind, he has not considered necessary. Until now. Because of the financial loss is too great: “in 2018, we have a financial damage in the five digit range, accept. The guests have cancelled within 24 hours or are not available,” says Haebel.


chef Thomas Bühner, “La Vie”

He had one of the best Restaurants in the world to close – what has this to do with the stinginess of the Germans in order to

By Denise Snieguole Wachter, The No-Show issue takes to

of Course, it may happen that guests have to spontaneously cancel. It was for health reasons, such as illness, but also personal. The Problem, as well as Simon, Adam, restaurant Manager at star Restaurant Königshof in Munich knows. “The No-Show problem has greatly increased,” says Adam of the “General Hotel – und Gastronomie-Zeitung”. The guests will be non-binding. So it’s no wonder that restaurateurs are forced to tighten their booking conditions. It is also a double are multiplied, and multiple reservations are made, is it from the restaurant.

the innkeeper has several options against No-Shows: Either he accepts no bookings. That is to say, who comes first, eats first. Especially in large cities, this method is widely used, more and more. Restaurants that do not provide tables for reservation, usually have a Bar or counter, you can bridge the waiting time.

If a restaurateur reservations to accept, he should write down always the phone number and the best of the day before to ask whether the time and number of persons remains the same. This is time-consuming, but often necessary.

Particularly problematic is the No-Shows for Restaurants in the Fine Dining area. There menus are often offered with high-quality ingredients that are mostly bought on the same day and processed. They threaten to ruin if a booking is not perceived. In the USA it is already more common than in Europe: Local at the time of reservation a credit card number, if necessary, a No-Show fee may be collected.

theft: A restaurateur grabs: The claw, the Germans in Restaurants Fullscreen

That oodles of Cutlery disappear, probably knows every restaurateur. Maybe simply because someone wants to expand his collection.

© No-Shows: a Lot of restaurateurs can pay

Also, Fabio Haebel strikes as well as other gastro colleagues this way: For all reservations must in the future be a security deposited. “The card will not be charged, you pay in advance,” says the restaurateur. “But Only for the case of the classical No-Shows or cancellations within 24 hours we reserve the right to charge the credit card of 60 Euro per guest.” In the scheme, but there are exceptions: The credit card will only be debited if the table cannot otherwise be forgiven – besides, the reservation is at any time transferable. The chairs remain empty, Haebel no other choice. “Of course, is the primary host, but you also have to think economically.”

Hausmann’s in Düsseldorf

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The step is big, but not new. Many of the top restaurants such as the Haerlin in Hamburg’s Four seasons Hotel, awarded with two stars, request for No-Shows and cancellations within 24 hours a fee of 85 euros per Person. So you want to covers the cost of ingredients as well as manufacturing. The Two-star Restaurant Tantris in Munich gets most of the day before each individual reservation whether it remains at the evening reservation. So restaurateurs are on the safe side.

First cafes in major cities require a reservation for Breakfast at the weekend of a certain number of persons an advance payment which will be credited against the total invoice.

several years Ago, measures such as No-Show fees were still unthinkable, in this country it has become in the catering sadder everyday. Star chef Ali Güngörmüs pulls, however, for his Restaurant Pageou no No-Show fees into consideration. Although he, too, is faced with empty tables. But he has an advantage: The Pageou is located in a Prime city location in Munich. The guests do not come, he can fill it with Walk-ins, with walk-in customers. But it also allows for reservations of six persons or more in advance by telephone to confirm.

Whether the measures will deter guests, or whether it is raising the awareness of the customers, it will show. The fine Art would of course be: Who has reserved a table at a Restaurant and something comes in between – should be easy to cancel.

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