We’ve all done it.
You’re not exactly sure what you feel like for dinner, so you make a reservation for two restaurants and decide to make a call on the night.
Maybe you forgot to cancel the losing one, or maybe you just can’t be bothered making up an excuse. But when your stomach is full after a delicious meal, who really cares?
You – or at least you will from now on.
Listen: A New York restaurant requires an application to dine at. Post continues after audio.
Restaurants affiliated with Dimmi, Australia’s largest online reservation service, have blacklisted 38,000 diners for not showing up for the reservation in the last year alone, up from 3,159 from, 2015-16 according to the website’s annual ‘No Show’ report.
Getting blacklisted is as simple as failing to show up at your booking, which will mean you won’t be able to book at that restaurant for one year.
(Hear that? It’s your stomach shrieking in fear).
According to data from the report, the service’s new Payments system which stores customers’ credit card details to take pre-payments is acting as a strong deterrent.
It was introduced last year to tackle the reported $75 million no-shows cost the restaurant industry every single year.
"We are doing our bit to try and eradicate no-shows completely by 2020. If someone is a no-show, they will be added to the list ... however, the restaurant can choose to override that," Dimmi founder and chief executive Stevan Premutico told Good Food.
According to news.com.au, the profit margins in the industry are so small - around three per cent - that even just a couple of tables not turning up can mean the restaurant doesn't make a profit that night.
"Consumers in Australia don't typically 'no-show' with malice or bad intention. I just don't think they realise the impact it has," Premutico said.
According to data released last year, the most common no-shows are in 2000 (Sydney), 4217 (Surfers Paradise), 3000 (Melbourne) and 2010 (Darlinghurst/Surry Hills).
Females are the worst offenders with a 54 per cent female, 46 per cent male gender split.
If you do change your mind or have a genuine reason, Premutico says giving 24 hours notice is optimum but even four hours ahead of your reservation gives the restaurant time to try and rebook.
You've been warned.