Mostly all up-market restaurants require credit card details when a reservation is made. | Pixabay

Back in April it was reported that restaurants in Mallorca were increasingly applying the practice of making a charge against credit cards of customers who failed to show up after having made a booking.

The president of the CAEB Restaurants Association, Alfonso Robledo, says that some 20% of all restaurants in Mallorca now require credit card details when tables are reserved. In the case of up-market restaurants, mostly all of them have this requirement. From the start of next year, he anticipates that the policy will become even more widespread. Small restaurant businesses which have lacked the means of implementing such a system are now looking at ways of doing so.

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The typical charge is ten per cent of the expected spend per diner. This goes some way to compensating restaurants, but it is usually the case that revenue from tables is completely lost. Other losses can occur because fresh products go to waste.

"What we want is for customers to come and eat at our restaurants, but given the high number of no-shows we have no choice but to penalise those who do not come without prior cancellation."

Robledo explains that there is another problem. Some customers make reservations at several restaurants for the same time then choose one at the last minute. However, restaurant owners have cottoned on to this. They have an app which can notify them if a customer is making multiple bookings, and more and more owners are using it.