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June 22, 2017

Reservations can be a double-edged sword for restaurants. If they choose to keep a line during popular times, it can piss people off in the long run. But if a reservation never shows, it hurts the establishment in the short term. With restaurants operating on razor thin margins, these sorts of choices can make a big difference. But an Australian reservation app thinks it has a solution to the “no show” problem – and even more ambitiously, the brand hopes to end no-shows completely by 2020. That’s a challenge I bet some bong-ripping stoners would be willing to take!

According to Australian site Broadsheet, Dimmi is the island nation’s most dominant online restaurant-booking service. And the company has been flexing those muscles to defend the restaurants it handles bookings for by allowing eateries to ban customers for up to a year if they no-show on a reservation. Last year, the first year of the new blacklist policy, only 3,159 people were on the list; today, reportedly, 38,000 flaky diners are being denied service.

Though the policy might seem harsh, Dimmi said no-shows have been cut by 25 percent since its implementation. “The industry is better without this customer. They are the guys who cripple the profitability of these restaurants, who make them charge more for the rest of us,” Stevan Premutico, the company’s founder and CEO, told Broadsheet. “It’s a very powerful way to make an industry better.”

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But in an even bolder statement, Premutico also promised that by 2020 his company would have no-shows eliminated entirely… actually down to zero. That said, he didn’t mention if it would be because, by then, everyone in Australia would be on the blacklist. Hey, zero no-shows out of zero reservations is still zero no-shows! Or is it infinity no-shows? That math question always confused me.

Interestingly, Broadsheet compares Dimmi’s strict no-show policy to Uber’s system that not only lets passengers rate drivers but also lets drivers rate passengers. “You can’t deny it has made us think harder about being on our best behavior,” the site writes. True, but I also didn’t book my Uber a month ago before my wife decided she’d rather just stay home tonight.

[h/t Grub Street]

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