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No-Shows When Using Online Reservation Services


deangold
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I have a customer, well not really. Lets put it this way... someone who makes reservations regularly and then doesn't show up. She has one profile in my system with 3 no shows and one with 5. So when this person make another one for tonight, I was amazed that Open Table allowed that. I called Open Table and they checked the reservation profiles and sure enough, this person had figured out a way to game the system, In fact, the OT representative could identify that this person has over 30 no shows around Washington DC. Needless to say, their profiles are now flagged and deactivated in Open Table.

Any restaurant owner/manager wanting this person's name can PM me.

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I don't know if this is an appropriate question, but I assume you have to pay opentable for each reservation? Is it a flat fee? Something you negotiate? A percentage of the tab?

They do pay for each reservation ($1, I believe), but I'm sure Dean's more concerned about turning away a customer because a table is reserved, and then getting a no-show, so he lands up with an empty table.

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They do pay for each reservation ($1, I believe), but I'm sure Dean's more concerned about turning away a customer because a table is reserved, and then getting a no-show, so he lands up with an empty table.

Oh I know, I didn't mean that. I just thought this was as good a place as any to ask my question. Thanks for the info though. They should deduct points for no-shows. Wouldn't solve the problem, but might mitigate it a bit.

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Twice I have recieved e-mails from Open Table questioning my not showing up, once at Harry's Tap Room in Clarendon and the other at Oceannaire. I responded to both with enough information (what I had, the amount I charged) and the possible reasons for being No Showed when I had showed. The first case at Harry's seemed to be because a reservation wasn't really needed so the hostess just seated us and didn't enter it into the system. At Oeannaire, the host had the reservations listed on a legal pad and didn't check back with the system. After both explanations, they credited me the requisite points.

Open Table is a great and generally trouble-free reservations service and glitches appear to be human rather than system.

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Some times we do miss marking someone as seated and they get no showed. But far more often we often have a situation where the individual has a reservation, but seeing a less than full restaurant, does not mention it. Then they get marked as a no show even though they were in the restaurant.

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They do pay for each reservation ($1, I believe), but I'm sure Dean's more concerned about turning away a customer because a table is reserved, and then getting a no-show, so he lands up with an empty table.

Exactly. On a Friday or Saturday night, we don't want to turn away business when we are actually going to have tables. Sometimes we call on a no show before we mark it (ie large parties when if we give away the table, there will be no where to put them if they show up later) and most times they say they forgot to cancel.

OT only charges you for reservations actually seated.

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How is this person gaming the system? Is she somehow getting points without showing up?
My guess is that they are making multiple accounts under multiple email addresses but similar names. If you have more than a certain number of no-shows, OT suspends your account.
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My guess is that they are making multiple accounts under multiple email addresses but similar names. If you have more than a certain number of no-shows, OT suspends your account.

What is the point of making all these reservations and then not showing up? Just to piss off the restaurant?

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How is this person gaming the system? Is she somehow getting points without showing up?
I would rather not give a primer on how to avoid deactivation of an account on open table when there are multiple no shows on the profile. They are getting no points as the points are only given when the reservation is marked as seated.

THis person has managed to find a way to have one profile with 5 no shows on it which means that they avoided the deactivation filte on OT. As I said, when I called OT, they were able to find 30 no shows that this person has on just the profiles they were able to identify manually.

Just as an aside, I cancelled out the reservation they had for last night when I saw it and they in fact no showed again.

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What is the point of making all these reservations and then not showing up? Just to piss off the restaurant?

How is anyone to know the answer to this? It could be someone hostile to OpenTable, or hostile to certain restaurants. It could be someone who mistakenly thinks they're getting points for each reservation, or maybe someone with a hacker mentality - who does it "just because they can." Or, it could just be someone selfish enough to think they can make a bunch of reservations, and choose one at the last minute - if that's the case, it sounds like that strategy isn't going to work much longer. In general, I find that people tend to be tools on a case-by-case basis.

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no-shows do not cost anything, OpenTable runs a report, sends it the restaurant, and from there you go back over the months report and denote any no-shows.

I'd have to disagree here. No shows cost the restaurant a great deal... As a courtesy, many restaurants hold reserved tables anywhere from 15-45 minutes. The table sits empty waiting for the guest with the reservation to arrive. In the meantime, there could be any number of potential diners waiting in the bar, or (even worse turned away) that could be sitting at the table, enjoying a meal and generating revenue for the restaurant.

Unfortunately, the practice of not calling or showing up is one that can really hurt a restaurant and subsequently, diners. The restaurant will eventually have to make up the lost revenue in some way, most typically through higher prices.

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I have a customer, well not really. Lets put it this way... someone who makes reservations regularly and then doesn't show up. She has one profile in my system with 3 no shows and one with 5. So when this person make another one for tonight, I was amazed that Open Table allowed that. I called Open Table and they checked the reservation profiles and sure enough, this person had figured out a way to game the system, In fact, the OT representative could identify that this person has over 30 no shows around Washington DC. Needless to say, their profiles are now flagged and deactivated in Open Table.

Any restaurant owner/manager wanting this person's name can PM me.

Man that is just plain rude.

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It sounds like this particular person is merely deranged. Like somebody with 73 cats.

As it happens, and I REALLY mean this as no criticism of Dino, the one time that I ever made and kept a reservation on OpenTable that was flagged as a no-show, it was at Dino. I even made a point of saying "I have an OpenTable reservation" when I showed up, but the host person probably got distracted, which is understandable enough, and a couple of days later I got email from OpenTable telling me I was apparently a no-show, and asking me to explain. Which I did, and it was straightened out, but it's kind of funny in the light of this thread. (Just to make it clear, OpenTable or otherwise, I have never made and failed to either keep or cancel a reservation in my life.)

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It sounds like this particular person is merely deranged. Like somebody with 73 cats.

As it happens, and I REALLY mean this as no criticism of Dino, the one time that I ever made and kept a reservation on OpenTable that was flagged as a no-show, it was at Dino. I even made a point of saying "I have an OpenTable reservation" when I showed up, but the host person probably got distracted, which is understandable enough, and a couple of days later I got email from OpenTable telling me I was apparently a no-show, and asking me to explain. Which I did, and it was straightened out, but it's kind of funny in the light of this thread. (Just to make it clear, OpenTable or otherwise, I have never made and failed to either keep or cancel a reservation in my life.)

It happens everywhere. Seriously- it happens to me at restaurants where I'm a regular and ones where I'm not. It's more of an issue that unfortunately hosts get distracted and either forget or enter seated parties names wrong.
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Yesterday, looking at bookings for tonight, I spotted that my favorite non customer has made a reservation for prime time Friday night, but with a different name. The system caught her and changed the profile so her record was available to see. Then I looked at her reservation history and she had not only a Friday night reservation but one for another night as well. A few minutes later she called and tried to make a reservation for a third night and I simply told her I could not accept her reservations.

:D

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How is anyone to know the answer to this? It could be someone hostile to OpenTable, or hostile to certain restaurants. It could be someone who mistakenly thinks they're getting points for each reservation, or maybe someone with a hacker mentality - who does it "just because they can." Or, it could just be someone selfish enough to think they can make a bunch of reservations, and choose one at the last minute - if that's the case, it sounds like that strategy isn't going to work much longer. In general, I find that people tend to be tools on a case-by-case basis.

I think the most obvious answer is that the individual likes the convenience of OpenTable, but is one of those folks who makes multiple reservations and then chooses which restaurant they want to go to and fail to cancel the other reservations. There are folks that do this over the phone too, OpenTable just made it easier.

Also a personal disclaimer, I love OpenTable, but I have never not cancelled a reervation well in advance if I was not going to keep it. If you don't show up for a reservation there had better be a really good reason, and it should include blood at least.

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I think the most obvious answer is that the individual likes the convenience of OpenTable, but is one of those folks who makes multiple reservations and then chooses which restaurant they want to go to and fail to cancel the other reservations.

The persistent pattern as described sounds more like a serious personality disorder to me. Perhaps a psychiatrist member of this board can diagnosis this behavior for us.

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Yesterday, looking at bookings for tonight, I spotted that my favorite non customer has made a reservation for prime time Friday night, but with a different name. The system caught her and changed the profile so her record was available to see. Then I looked at her reservation history and she had not only a Friday night reservation but one for another night as well. A few minutes later she called and tried to make a reservation for a third night and I simply told her I could not accept her reservations.

:D

Dean, what's the name? If this person is doing the same around town, I should be able to get into some otherwise fully booked spots. :blink:
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I think the most obvious answer is that the individual likes the convenience of OpenTable, but is one of those folks who makes multiple reservations and then chooses which restaurant they want to go to and fail to cancel the other reservations. There are folks that do this over the phone too, OpenTable just made it easier.

Also a personal disclaimer, I love OpenTable, but I have never not cancelled a reervation well in advance if I was not going to keep it. If you don't show up for a reservation there had better be a really good reason, and it should include blood at least.

I think you can't make multiple reservations under one account at the same time... though it sounds like this person has no problem making multiple accounts.
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I think you can't make multiple reservations under one account at the same time... though it sounds like this person has no problem making multiple accounts.

Actually, it is pretty easy. Just ask for an Administrative Professional Account, and you can make reservations under as many names as you want.

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The persistent pattern as described sounds more like a serious personality disorder to me. Perhaps a psychiatrist member of this board can diagnosis this behavior for us.

Can a psychiatric social worker take a guess? Perhaps she has multiple personality disorder (now called dissociative identity disorder) and each of her various personae has their own Open Table account. Where she ends up going depends on who is out at dinnertime. :D

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Twice I have recieved e-mails from Open Table questioning my not showing up, once at Harry's Tap Room in Clarendon and the other at Oceannaire. I responded to both with enough information (what I had, the amount I charged) and the possible reasons for being No Showed when I had showed.

This happened last night at Kora. Properly checked in at the desk. Arrived early. Yet, still an e-mail today from Open Table claiming a no show. Very annoying I responded with the particulars. I do not want the points, since I do not maintain an account at Open Table or collect points. I just do not want to ruin the good name of my email address. How much effort do they put in to verify that the reservation was indeed honored?

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This happened last night at Kora. Properly checked in at the desk. Arrived early. Yet, still an e-mail today from Open Table claiming a no show. Very annoying I responded with the particulars. I do not want the points, since I do not maintain an account at Open Table or collect points. I just do not want to ruin the good name of my email address. How much effort do they put in to verify that the reservation was indeed honored?

I have avoided this more and more by telling the hostess that I made a reservation with OpenTable. But still happens.

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