Solving The Restaurant Reservation No-Show Problem - Part 3
Ticket software for restaurants is solving the vexing problem of reservation no-shows (yet again) in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. As the list of eateries using concert-style ticket sales gets longer and longer, now is a good time to pause and see what spurred the decision in L.A. and D.C.
Want To Eat? Better Have a Ticket
Chef and TV celebrity Ludo Lefebvre's new upscale restaurant Trois Mec is one of the finest dining experiences available in Los Angeles. But you won't be able to enjoy that experience by making a reservation over the phone.
After witnessing the PR nightmare suffered by Red Medicine last month, chef Lefebvre has taken the revolutionary step to solve the problem of no-shows by using ticketing software for restaurants. Trois Mec doesn't accept phone reservations and according to Krissy Lefebvre, Ludo’s wife and business partner, ticket sales serves two purposes:
It’s a tiny restaurant. It’s 24 seats and it’s really about having a business model that allows us to create the best experience for our guests...the decision to operate on a ticket system allows the chefs to plan accordingly each night.
According to ABC News, ticket system has been used by high-end restaurants in other cities but "Lefebvre said she believes Trois Mec is the first in Los Angeles."
So, not only has the costly issue of no-shows been solved, the guests' experience is improved. And by selling tickets instead of taking phone reservations, Trois Mec gets $2,160.00 in up-front liquidity (twenty-four $90 tickets sold in-advance). The successful move to ticketing software made by Lefebvre's Trois Mec is also happening on opposite side of the country...
Solving The No-Show Problem
In Washington D.C. the restaurant business is booming, approaching it former peak that occurred just before the financial crisis of 2008. As such, the wait times for a table at some restaurants can be as long as four hours. Telephone reservation may reduce that time, but that assumes the spoken promise to appear isn't going to be abandoned at the last minute.
Some D.C. restaurants have enacted a penalty to punish no-shows, requiring guests to leave a credit card number when they call, then charging a hefty fee for not showing up. That strategy isn't exactly the way to cultivate patron affinity and often results in the no-show becoming an anti-salesperson for the restaurant.
Rather than charge nasty fees, or worse, publicly shame people on social media, Seasonal Pantry has solved the problem of no-shows by simply using ticketing software. As described on the website, Seasonal Pantry is a tribute to roadside farm stands and old-fashioned markets during the day, and it transforms into a restaurant at night.
Tickets for the dining experience, called "Supper Club", are purchased in advance on the website:
Seasonal Pantry hosts a multi-course dinner for [up to] 12 guests Wednesday through Saturday evenings right in the middle of the market. Using mostly local ingredients, Dan cooks simple, fresh dishes right in front of his guests. The menu is set, and the price ranges from $90 to $130 and includes wine, tax and tip.
Note that individual tickets are sold but are limited to six per order. There is also a rather dubious mention of what happens should a no-show occur, even though they have paid in-advance and tickets are non-refundable(!). Any available seats will be announced on Twitter and Facebook. A last minute tweet to sell open seats is something Next in Chicago is doing as well.
ThunderTix Ticketing Software For Restaurants
Trois Mec and Seasonal Pantry are merely the latest to use ticketing software for restaurants instead of telephone reservations, but they certainly are not the last. Your restaurant can put an end to no-shows and enjoy having all that cash up-front too.
ThunderTix can help you start selling tickets online in as little as one business day with no long-term contract commitments. We make nightly deposits of your sales dollars directly into your bank account, giving you the liquidity to buy only what you need for the menu – no waste.
When you say "table d'hôte" we know what you mean. In addition to being the most restaurant friendly ticketing software available, know that ThunderTix has years of experience in enabling venues to sell tickets online. You will inherit all that expertise when you decide to make the move from telephone reservation to selling tickets, either all-at-once or gradually.