Ghosting Restaurant Reservations Could Cost You Big Time

Missing a restaurant reservation can be annoying, but for most of us, it doesn't carry too many consequences aside from having to make new dinner plans. But for the restaurant itself, these missed connections can have a big impact on the business. That's why some establishments are implementing new tactics to deter customers from skipping out on their tables, including reservation deposits and no-show fees. Unlike ghosting a date, ghosting a restaurant may now result in financial repercussions.

It only takes a few skipped reservations to hurt a restaurant's profits, especially at smaller establishments. To combat these potential losses in revenue, some eateries have begun charging customers if they miss their booking time with fees usually around $25 to $50. On top of that, sites like Resy and OpenTable are allowing restaurants to require a deposit for reservations, with some high-end locations charging as much as $50 per person. It may sound steep, but in most cases the money represents a portion of your final check, and you won't actually be paying anything extra once you close out the bill. Along with protecting the restaurant's profits, these fees also deter bots and scalpers from taking up all of an establishment's reservations instead of paying customers.

Deposits and no-show fees make skipping reservations expensive

The benefits these new charges provide to restaurants is clear: They act as a safety net so that when customers don't show, the business doesn't lose as much money as it would have otherwise. This also makes it easier for the restaurant to schedule its staff, and allows those staff members to anticipate making a certain amount of tips that day. Additionally, it makes it less likely for customers to change the number of people in their party after arriving at the restaurant, so the staff can accurately accommodate the reservation.

While it doesn't seem like it at first glance, these fees can be a good thing for patrons as well. What would normally be a vague idea of going to dinner on a certain date suddenly becomes a concrete plan with a deposit since you're a lot less likely to forget about a reservation once you have money on the line. In a time when even the most exclusive restaurants book reservations online, extra charges are important to help provide tangible evidence of these transactions. So, when you're booking a reservation for your next date night, don't be alarmed by the new fees. They're ensuring the restaurant gets its money, and that you get your meal.