A ‘No Show Fee’ policy, what is it and why should you do it?

None of these burgers went to waste at the Food Waste Awards!
Photo by LOHX Photography.


If you’re following our activities, you surely heard of our last event: the Food Waste Awards! This ceremony celebrates the pioneers in food waste reduction. And if we celebrate food waste fighters, we should honor them by avoiding food waste at our own event, right? Therefore we added a ‘No Show Fee’ clause to the registration form for the networking dinner. All the participants who registered for the dinner thus actively agreed to pay 15 euros if they did not show up at the event.

Prediction tool for caterers

Is that a new trick to make money? Not really… The idea behind this fee is to predict the amount of food needed more accurately. Caterers are responsible for a significant portion of food waste. This is mainly because it is difficult for the organizers to know exactly how many people will come to their events. When people that registered don’t show up, it means that the food cooked for them won’t be eaten. With the ‘no show’ policy we tried to avoid this waste. And we were pretty successful at beating the stats! On average, 30% of your guests don’t show up, but at the Food Waste Awards we reduced this number to only 8%! Due to the fee, people were urged to notify us whether something came up and they couldn’t make it. This allowed us to make better arrangements with the caterer.  

Beware: some things to take into account…

If this fee seems quite amazing, it also requires some precautions. The first one would be to clearly notify the participants of this ‘no show fee’ when they register and set a clear deadline for cancellations. Then, having a good registration system is mandatory. This to avoid sending ‘no show fees’ to people who were actually present at the event.

Ready to test it yourself?

Now that you know everything on ‘no show fees’, you’re ready to host your next event without wasting any food! Let us know what you think about this trick!