How pubs and restaurants can call time on nuisance parking

The steps businesses can take to increase space availability and prevent revenue loss.

If you’re in the hospitality sector, running a restaurant, pub or cafe, you’ll know how important your car park is in creating an overall positive experience for your customers.

Their visit begins from the moment they enter your car park, so you want to ensure they have a convenient and safe space to leave their vehicles. If there are no spaces available due to people abusing your parking provision, they will have to park elsewhere – which may delay their visit and potentially make them late for a reservation. This may result in online reviews highlighting parking issues, or worse, they may be forced to abandon the visit altogether and eat/drink elsewhere.

Parking problems are prevalent in the hospitality sector, particularly for businesses located in busy towns and cities where parking is at a premium. The issue is often compounded due to businesses not being open around the clock, seven days a week, and drivers will take advantage of this fact. The danger is that your car park becomes a free-for-all, even when you are open, and this can lead to lack of space availability for genuine customers which ultimately impacts footfall and revenue.

What is the true cost of nuisance parking?

Loss of income due to nuisance parking could be considerable. At Creative Car Park we continually monitor car park data and our research shows that a restaurant with 20 car park spaces and an average customer spend of £25 typically loses around £42 a day because of nuisance parking. That equates to almost £300 a week!

That’s the equivalent of missing out on 60 pints of beer sold every week. Or 45 glasses of wine. Just imagine the difference those sales might make to your business over the course of a year.

What can landlords and restaurateurs do to deter nuisance parking?

We’re glad you asked. To help you, we’ve put together this handy guide which reveals what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to problems with unauthorised parking on private car parks. These are steps any business owner can take, within the law, and they could save you lots of time and trouble.

But to summarise, here is our specific advice for the hospitality sector.

1. Determine the cause: If unauthorised vehicles are regularly abusing your car park, ask yourself if there’s a specific reason why? Is it as simple as people can park for free on your car park, while surrounding car parks require payment, or is there more to it? We recommend observing your car park for a few days and seeing if there are any noticeable patterns.

2. Consult your neighbours: Do people use your car park when visiting nearby businesses? Perhaps their car park is always full, so they’re using yours as an overflow? If you can trace the activity to a specific business, we’d suggest speaking to them and seeing if they’re willing to help you resolve the problem. They’ll likely be sympathetic to your situation.

3. Install clear signage: Use signs to communicate your parking conditions. This could be a simple notice stating “Parking strictly for customers only”. If you have a problem with people using your business briefly and then leaving their vehicle to go elsewhere, why not place a sign inside your premises in a prominent position? For example: “Onsite parking is limited – please do not abuse this provision”.

4. Speak to the driver: If you notice repeat offenders, try and resolve the problem by speaking to the driver. You may discover they didn’t think they were doing anything wrong or causing your business any problems. If you’re not able to – or would rather not – confront the driver, why not leave a short, polite note on their window screen, explaining the issue?

5. Introduce parking enforcement: A permanent solution to nuisance parking is to introduce car park enforcement measures. This typically involves using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to monitor every vehicle that enters and exits your site. Parking for customers remains free – they just need to register their vehicle online (via QR code) or using an on-site tablet located inside your premises. To deter misuse, anyone who fails to register their vehicle is issued with a PCN (Parking Charge Notice) through the post, so it’s completely non-confrontational.

At Creative Car Park we have a long history of helping pubs, restaurants and eateries solve their parking problems, offering stress-free solutions based around our intelligent ANPR-powered parking systems.

If you’d like to find out more about our car park management solutions, complete the form below and one of our team will be touch.

Share this post