In simpleERB, you can set up custom cancellation reasons and a cancellation policy for bookings, in hopes to assist in monitoring and deterring customer no shows or late cancellations.
The cancellation set-up is listed in the 'restaurants settings' section.
You can have both a cancellation policy and selectable reasons enabled, or just one or the other, depending on your requirements. If you have 'none' selected for the 'cancellation in advance', this means a customer or staff can cancel a booking at any time.
The cancellation policy has a selectable period of 1 hour to 2 weeks prior to the booking date/time. When a chosen period is selected, this cancellation policy is applied to every booking.
Setting a cancellation policy, will not allow the customer to be able to cancel their own booking via the email cancellation link during the cancellation period. When the booking enters the cancellation policy, the email cancellation link is disabled and the customer is presented with the following message.
This will hopefully prompt the customer to contact the restaurant to advise of the cancellation directly. It will also prevent last-minute cancellations by customers, which can often be missed during service, allowing the restaurant to decide if any penalty charges apply to customers booking as outlined in booking terms & conditions.
Important: If you are going to be enforcing no show/last-minute cancellation penalty fees, please ensure you have these highlighted in your booking terms & conditions so customers are aware of them.
The cancellation policy will be highlighted on the online booking widget, customer booking confirmation and reminder emails.
When a customer calls the restaurant to cancel a booking that is within the cancellation policy, the booking will not be able to be confirmed as cancelled unless a 'manager authorisation' is entered to confirm the action. This is to ensure any penalty charges are actioned or discussed with the customer.
Cancellation reasons can be enabled and customised to allow your customers and staff to record the reason for their cancellations.
These reasons are then recorded on the customer booking for your records and in the cancellation report, which can be exported.
There are default cancellation reasons in place, which you can edit to your preferences. You can also set certain reasons to have 'free text' that allows the customer or staff to enter in custom text.
From the image below, you can see the cancellation reason and the custom text added along with a record stating how the cancellation was made, which was by the customer through the email cancellation link.