The impact of last minute cancellations on the hospitality industry

Restaurant owners are charging up to almost £90 for a no-show booking. According to Barclays research, one in ten adults would prefer to pay a no-show fee rather than verbally call and cancel a reservation. 

However, the large majority of people are against paying a no-show fee, due to cancelling reservations because of unforeseen circumstances, in which case the fee may seem cruel to them. The current cost of living crisis has put the hospitality industry under immense pressure and combined with 18% of diners not turning up or cancelling reservations, some pub and bar owners are considering closing for good due to the loss of revenue.
Restaurant table with reserve sign

All of these factors can be major contributors to the increase in delivery and takeaway sales, which should be a point of consideration for hospitality businesses in the future.

Many restaurants within the industry use a thorough booking confirmation system in order to minimise the number of last minute cancellations.  It’s crucial that guests have an improved understanding of the way a restaurant is negatively impacted by a last minute cancellation, leading to food wastage and also a loss of sales.

“With more venues considering charging cancellation fees to deter no-shows, we want to help diners understand the impact on businesses of cancelling at the last-minute so they can think ahead and give advance warning – and not get stung with a cancellation charge.” – Kirsty Morris, MD at Barclaycard Payments 

It is possible that restaurants in the future will introduce a compulsory booking deposit, in order to compensate for any last minute cancellations and therefore encourage diners to either attend to their reservations or reconsider making a booking if they are unsure whether they can attend. 

With TouchReservation’s built-in deposit functionality, hospitality businesses are able to implement a per-person or per-booking deposit to help combat the lost revenue due to no-shows. Find out more about how TouchReservation and the wider ICRTouch ecosytem could help your business on our Hospitality page.


Back in April 2023, ICRTouch made a generous contribution of £2,000 to Wightoak Youth Services. The organisation aims to provide valuable support to young people that come across the charity. Donations received are primarily directed towards facilitating activities that nurture potential future opportunities and create positive memories.