The latest figures from Zonal, in partnership with hospitality data and insights firm CGA by NIQ, confirm that 2023’s no-show rate has returned to post-lockdown levels. Doubling from 6% in September 2022 to 12%, these statistics highlight the need to keep this important issue top of mind.

As COVID-19 continues to move further into the rear-view mirror, data shows that it is easy for consumers to forget the struggles hospitality has faced. Despite rising energy costs, staffing and supply chain issues, and the cost-of-living crisis, research from Zonal states that 1 in 7 customers book and then fail to show up without informing the venue. The implications of these ‘no-shows’ are not just financial, but contribute to negative customer service, over-staffing, and wastage.

One of the biggest costs to a hospitality business is labour. People are expensive and having ‘no-shows’ means that more team members are on shift than is necessary.

If we delve deeper into this issue, it is much more than an additional cost to the business. With a reduced amount of work, team members feel unproductive and unsatisfied. We have repeatedly evidenced that having too many staff on shift leads to worse service than too few staff. So, what can be done?

1. Communicate with your team:

  • Driving the engagement and motivation of staff with effective communication makes a big difference to how well your labour is spent. Using a team app as a point of truth for shift allocations and tasks will increase productivity for every shift.

2. Ensure you are paying for the actual hours worked:

  • Need to send a team member home earlier than expected? This shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you have a time and attendance system. This means the team member can clock out when they leave meaning you’re not overpaying for a shift.

3. Accurately report your sales and labour performance:

  • A reporting tool from previous days till data, previous weeks and against last year for a like-for-like view can help you prepare for particularly busy periods, such as Christmas.

Zonal’s report as well as S4labour’s top tips can help significantly reduce the number of ‘No-shows’ and the impact it has on operators. However, it is essential that UK consumers are educated on the full impact that ‘No-shows’ are having, especially with ‘no-shows’ costing the hospitality industry £17.59bn a year. It is important now more than ever to #showupforhospitality!

Discover Zonal’s ultimate guide to eliminating ‘No-shows’ here: Show Up For Hospitality – Stop No-shows (

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