Got reservations about reservations? If you’re a restaurant operator, you probably should. With today’s vast world of choices, and a lack of online accountability, diners may whimsically change their minds about restaurant reservations. It’s when they don’t let you know in a timely fashion—or worse, not show up at all—that it eats into your bottom line.

We’re in the hospitality industry, so charging a cancellation fee isn’t exactly hospitable. So, what do we do? Do we overbook? Take a deposit? Publicly shame repeat offenders? Or dump reservations altogether? There’s no easy answer, but here’s what these industry professionals do to contain the madness:

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Prasanthi Vasanthakumar is a communications specialist at Restaurants Canada, where she writes articles, blog posts, newsletters and press releases that tell our industry's story. When she’s not communicating with members and the media, she’s watching quality TV shows like The Bachelor and chasing rabbits away from her tulip garden.