Hot! Les réservations non honorées ou les « No-show », un fléau pour les restaurateurs!

Le sujet est d’actualité et plusieurs membres nous ont contacté, car ils ne savent plus comment réagir face aux clients qui réservent dans leur établissement mais qui ne se présentent pas, communément désignés par le terme « No-show » dans le milieu. Deux irritants majeurs ont été cernés par les restaurateurs : les clients qui réservent mais ne font pas acte de présence et les groupes qui réservent pour un certain nombre de personnes, mais qui arrivent en délégation moindre.

De nombreux restaurateurs ont décidé de prendre les choses en main et d’appliquer diverses méthodes pour se protéger dont, notamment, l’imposition de pénalités monétaires.

Afin de connaître la légitimité de cette méthode, l’ARQ a demandé un avis juridique à l’Office de protection du consommateur (OPC) en août dernier. Nous avons posé la question suivante :

« Pour une réservation faite par téléphone, le restaurateur peut-il prendre le numéro de carte de crédit du client et l’avertir verbalement que s’il ne se présente pas, une pénalité d’un certain montant sera chargée sur sa carte? »

Voici un extrait de la réponse officielle de l’OPC reçue fin novembre :

« En ce qui concerne la […] question, nous croyons qu’il faut répondre par la négative. En effet, l’article 13 de la Loi sur la protection du consommateur interdit spécifiquement au commerçant la stipulation qui impose au consommateur le paiement de frais, de pénalités ou de dommages dont le montant est fixé à l’avance dans le cas de l’inexécution de son obligation. Par conséquent, les restaurateurs ne peuvent imposer une pénalité fixée à l’avance au consommateur qui ne se présente pas au moment prévu de la réservation. Si le restaurateur estime cependant que le consommateur n’a pas respecté une obligation contractuelle en ne se présentant pas au moment de la réservation et, que de ce fait, il a subi un préjudice, il pourra réclamer du consommateur les véritables dommages que cette inexécution lui a causés. »

Et vous, faites-vous face à de nombreuses réservations non honorées? Quelles mesures avez-vous mis en place pour y faire face?

 

N.B : La Loi sur la protection du consommateur ne s’applique pas si c’est une compagnie qui fait la réservation, seulement si c’est un particulier.

2 commentaires

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  1. À l’émission la Facture de Radio-Canada, ils ont posé la question dans le cas de quelqu’un qui ne se présente pas à son rendez-vous médical. Les médecins ont le droit de demander 50$ pour un généraliste et jusqu’à 70$ pour un spécialiste à condition qu’ils ont clairement indiqué leur politique lors de la prise de rendez-vous. Si les médecins ont le droit d’imposer des frais pour leurs no-shows, pourquoi les restaurateurs n’auraient-ils pas le droit de faire pareil?

  2. I have had the opportunity to work for Montreal’s finest restaurants. Every business has the right to protect themselves , from unscrupulous individuals, who do not even take the time to inform the restaurant a day or two that they will be less than « the reserved number « . The owner of the business incures the extra cost of more employees to serve the event, plus a number of tables remain « locked out  » because they have been locked into the event because the event required x number of people.
    I know of a few restaurants that have gone as far as having group contracts written out by notaries, contracts that spell it out that in the event of no shows or of an inferior quantity of customers, that the restaurant will wave a penalty charge to cover the losses incurred. When dealing with companies, who are responsable, the very fact that there is a penalty clause, and that the contract must be signed to get a confirmed group reservation, that keeps away the unscrupulous customers . When I asked the restaurant rep what the reaction was from the group rep, some would protest, but the response from the restaurant was  » If you do not fill and sign the contract then we can not serve your group » Not one company who signed the contract had no show issues.
    Not one.
    Why? Because 2 weeks, 1 week, 3 days and 1 day before the event, the customer would be contacted and given the opportunity to reduce or increase the number of chairs required and all of the contacting would be done by email. All of the emails would be saved according to client. In some cases a deposit would be required and in the event that the group client refused to paynthe deposit, then the reservation would be refused.
    How’s that for protection.
    Even though the restaurant asked for the deposit, they would not charge the deposit on the day of the contract signing. They would wait till 48 hours before the event.
    There is a famous restaurant in the north part of the city that handles group reservations differently.
    For one he does not give any information on the phone. He insists, in a friendly demeanor for the customer to come look at the place and to bring along any person that they want. Of course he only does this if the banquet room is available.
    When they arrive, he shows them the banquet room facility and then asks if they would like to sit down for a quick menu explanation. At the end of the explanation, the client has the proposed menu in her hands and then as they walk towards the door, here is what he says  » You are honest people and I reespect your right to shop around. Here is what I suggest. In my reservation book for your date, I will write your name your phone number and the number of people. I will also write not confirmed. If someone else calls me and asks for the banquet room for the same date as you, I will call you and ask you if you still want the room. If you dont want it, then I will book it for someone else and everybody is happy. But if after you leave this restaurant, if you continue to shop and if you decide to do it somewhere else, all I ask is a call. Here is my business card.
    In the event you do not find a better deal, then I promise that me and my staff wil respect your wishes according to your budget. He does not ask for a deposit. But if the client insists, then it will be a modest sum. Because he offers the room to the client, it automatically reassures the customer that in the worst case scenario, if they do not find a better place, at least they have one place ready to serve for the date wanted. If the client is not serious he backs out of the offer before the restaurant even writes his name down in the book.
    As far as hotels is concerned, I know of a few that want the rooms to be paid in full on the day of the reservation.
    Others charge half. But in most cases they give the client up to 48 to 72 hours before the check in date to cancel and to be reimbursed in full. As for group reservations, they all work by contract.

    In conclusion, I am not convinced that the opinions of a few employees over at bureau de la protection du consommateur would stand up in court. Notaries do not generally draft out contracts that would break the law.
    Contracts are written within the rules of the laws and the interpretations and the judgements that create a legal precident.

    One thing for sure is that the average person does not want to be held responsable for no shows.
    It is up to the client to communicate this to the owner and if the owner agrees to take a chance , if there are no shows, then then the owner swallows the pill. That of course will only work if the owner trusts the client.
    Clients can not expect a restaurant owner to fully trust a customer who they do not know.
    By the very demeanor of a client who is negotiating a deal, an owner can spot a problem.
    The owner could ask for a credit card number as a reference, even though the card would not be charged right away, only to test to see if the client is really ready to lock in a reservation or if the client is just browsing for deals. Why lock in a section of a restaurant for someone whomis not ready to commit himself. If the. lient says that he still have a few calls to make, I would not a accept the reservation. en