We’ve been open since last July with a booking system. We run 10.30 - 1pm and have arrival slots at 10.30, 11.15 & 12. So in theory we can do 3 repairs per repairer (we tried more the first time, but that was a mistake). And I have a couple of repairers, that are perseverers, so I only book 2 for them, as I know they’ll always be on things for longer.
When I email those with arrival slot times, I’m very clear that this is just to prevent too many people being on site at the same time, so they may wait a little while before they’re seen…it’s not a definite start time.
In that email I also ask (in bold at the top) for them to confirm their attendance, and send a very short email the day before asking if they can’t make it, to let me know so we can contact someone on the waiting list.
Since July I think we’ve only had 2 no-shows. We do get some people who have to cancel the day before due to COVID or other reasons, but that gives me time to get someone from the waiting list.
We’ve only had a couple of walk-ins too…and have always squeezed them in.
Finally, we use ti.to for event booking…free for free events, and quite versatile.
Happy to share any of our email copy etc if you’re interested.