Why do we keep a deposit for late cancellations?

We have to charge a 50% deposit which can sometimes lead to disappointment for clients, and that’s really tricky for us as a service business so I wanted to talk about the reasons that we do this. In 2017, 19% of clients cancelled at the last minute (less than 48 hours before) and the appointment wasn’t filled, or just didn’t show up to their appointment. A sustainable percentage of late cancellations is 2% a year. 19% is terrifying!

Independent businesses on the high street everywhere and especially in the west end, have to meet the costs of government rates, taxes, high rents, service charges, H&S tests and modern equipment so we can offer the best services and this all amounts to a large outlay of cash. This is before wages, National insurance, holiday pay; and pensions.

Most salons are independent and every penny counts, so every last minute cancellation or no show client is an issue. Once you have reserved an appointment time it is effectively sold - no one else can book into this space, this is your space. If you cancel less than 48 hours beforehand we are unlikely to be able to fill that space but still have to pay the stylist, receptionist and apprentice with no income for that time. As appointments range from an hour to as many as 3 or 4 for technical work, that can effectively mean half a day with no income.

We appreciate things come up but this time is booked and we still have the same costs; I have a team that still needs to get paid and I want to pay more than the living wage. They work hard and study hard.

This is why salons, restaurants, yoga classes, physios and other small businesses now need to take deposits to survive.

So I urge you - if you can’t make time or things pop up, give the 24- 48 hours’ notice so we have time to hopefully fill the space especially in busy times like lunch and evening which are always in demand, and understand why we still charge for the space when it leaves us with no income.
We understand people’s jobs are demanding so if you find it hard to commit to booking an appointment and don’t want to risk losing your deposit, you can always phone on the day to see if there are any appointments available.

Save our high streets by supporting small businesses!