A third of diners have admitted failing to show up for a restaurant reservation with London, Manchester and Leeds topping a list of no-show cities.
In response, reservation platform OpenTable has launched a Book Responsibly campaign in a bid to educate diners about the impact of no-shows.
A survey by the platform found that young adults were the worst no-show offenders with a quarter of 16 to 24-year-olds admitting to regularly failing to honour reservations.
Adrian Valeriano, vice-president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for OpenTable, told The Caterer: "I think while they may not understood the specific effect it was clear from our survey that people felt guilty for doing it. The thing that restaurants understand, that diners need to understand, is that we all do get busy but there's an issue that gets caused."
OpenTable has a number of measures in place to prevent no-shows including a bar on users booking two restaurants in the same city on the same night and a ban for those who no-show four times in a year.
After Valentine's Day 2018 many restaurateurs spoke out about large numbers of no-shows sending their profits tumbling on what should have been one of the most successful nights of the year.
In response some introduced deposit systems or began taking card details. Valeriano said this could work for some but while adding a layer of friction to the booking process advising restaurants to think about "the approach that fits their identity".
OpenTable's data shows that no-show rates have remained fairly level, at 4.6% for phone bookings and 4.4% for online bookings.
It hopes that by increasing awareness of their impact these rates can be lowered. Valeriano added: "We're turning the tables and painting for the diner what would happen if the shoe was on the other foot. What would happen if you turned up at a restaurant and the staff decided to no-show on you? I think it's about telling that story but also about creating a more personalised picture of what that impact is."Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).