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The Ugly Truth About Reservations, Deposits, and Credit Card Holds

Cover Image for restaurant reservation deposit booking
By Sophie Brochu

Is your restaurant storing credit card numbers for reservation deposits? Not only is this an outdated practice, but it’s a risky one. Tock’s restaurant reservation system gives you the power to safely accept both prepaid reservations and deposits with third-party processing technology. The results? Smoother operations and reduced no-shows. This article summarizes the problems with credit card holds and the benefits to taking deposits for reservations.

The Problems With Credit Card Holds for Reservations

More chargebacks. When you charge guests after a no-show, they are more likely to file a credit card dispute. And they have the upper hand. Credit card companies have an incentive to side with their customers—not you. Unless you have signed authorization, the customer will likely prevail. And let’s face it: Do you really have extra time in your day to plead your case with a customer service rep? 

Negative Reviews. Guests who feel that you unfairly charged them will complain, leave negative online reviews, or never return. 

Guest data is at risk. Businesses that accept credit cards must follow Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards or risk losing the right to accept card payments entirely. That means credit card numbers must be safe from hackers and other prying eyes. Spreadsheets, guest notes in reservation systems, and little slips of paper don’t cut it. You can also face penalties from your bank in the form of higher transaction fees and fines. 

Why Tock is the Trusted Reservation System for Taking Deposits and Reducing No-Shows

A lower risk of chargebacks. When you choose to require a reservation deposit, the guest is charged upon booking. How does this work? Like purchasing a ticket to a sports game or a concert, the reservation has value. Deposits go toward the guest’s bill at the end of their experience. If they no-show, they already agreed to the terms for a card charge.

Customization. Free reservations, deposits, and prepaid reservations. Tock allows you to customize your cancellation policy, removing the headache of dealing with phone calls later. You can turn reservation deposit requirements on or off with a click of a button and only require pre-paid reservations during your busiest times or days.

A packed restaurant. Deposits for reservations can help reduce no-shows to as little as 2.73%

Your guest’s privacy is safe. Tock is PCI-compliant, using third-party processing with end-to-end security. Your staff never sees the credit card, so you have no liability for keeping it safe. There’s never a risk of losing guest info to hacking or other nefarious activity.

Want to learn more?

Tock is the best reservation platform for restaurants that want to reduce no-shows, increase revenue, and improve hospitality with a better guest experience. Request more info today.

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