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Bigalora Slices its No-Show Rate in Half with Paid Reservations

When COVID-19 hit, Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina reimagined outdoor dining and kept its igloos full with paid reservations.

Years in Business
May 2019
Started Running Wisely
States with Presence

It’s important for us and for everybody to keep pivoting with the times. The more we learn and understand where we’re headed, we make adaptations along the way. Turning on paid reservations with Wisely is a great example.

Dan Doerfling
SVP of Restaurant Operations at Farm + Ferment


In response to the pandemic, Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina outfitted its patio spaces with igloos to create the safest outdoor dining environment possible for guests during the colder months in Michigan. The community response was positive, but the restaurant saw a 20% no-show cancellation rate. Bigalora needed a way to reduce no-shows and last-minute cancellations, while also making its restaurant table management system more efficient.


Introduce a nominal non-refundable reservation fee through Wisely in order to improve guest show rates and, ultimately, restaurant revenue. The fee needed to be low enough to remain competitive, but high enough to dissuade no-shows. Guests could easily book their paid reservation directly through the Bigalora website by selecting the number of guests, date, and time, and filling out basic guest and payment information.

The Results

10% reduction in no-show cancellation rate
Nearly 5,000 parties seated with paid reservations during peak holiday season
575% increase in guest opt-in rate