Turkiye: Prepayment system may reduce restaurant losses

Turkish restaurants are facing a growing problem of customers making reservations and then not showing up, and to combat this issue, the industry is considering implementing a prepayment system for reservations, a sector representative has announced.

The All Restaurants and Tourism Association (TÜRES) is exploring a policy requiring a 50 percent prepayment for reservations, with cancellations requiring 24-hour notice to receive a refund. This comes after numerous reports of large groups reserving tables during peak times,particularly Ramadan, and then failing to appear without informing the restaurant.

The practice of no-shows is causing significant financial losses for restaurants. TÜRES President Ramazan Bingöl estimates that a group of 10 people who reserve a table and don’t show up can cost a restaurant 20,000 Turkish Liras (approximately $625) due to wasted food and lost potential customers.

“Especially during Ramadan, the number of people who make a reservation and then do not go to the restaurant without even informing is very high. We can say that the rate of people who make a reservation and do not go outside Ramadan is 10 percent,” Bingol said.

Currently, very few restaurants in Türkiye require prepayment for reservations. Bingöl acknowledges that a prepayment system might deter some customers, particularly for smaller groups. However, he argues that the financial burden placed on restaurants by no-shows necessitates a change.

“We have to officially decide on the reservation fee, otherwise it is not possible for all businesses to implement it. Because it is necessary to spend a serious amount of time for this prepayment. There are many details such as checking bank transfers, issuing invoices, contacting customers,” Bingöl concluded.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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