Restaurants plea for ‘common courtesy’ after customers bail on bookings

Restaurants have begged the British public for “common courtesy” as they reopen.

After being closed for months, venues have been dealt a “lethal” blow as punters aren’t showing up for their reservations.

According to MEN, no-shows cost the sector £16bn a year and can almost be as crippling as the pandemic itself.

Matt Snell, chief executive of Gusto restaurants, says 15% of customers failed to turn up this week.

He tweeted: "15pc of covers no showed yesterday, this is despite confirmation email, personal call in the morning, confirmation text four hours before the booking. If you can make it, no problem. JUST LET US KNOW."

Fred Sirieix, celebrity maitre d, echoed these thoughts in a tweet of his own.

The First Dates star added: "If you book a restaurant turn up, that is just basic."

Rochdale's Wow Yau Chow restaurant also shared the post, saying: "It really is simple. Turn up or cancel your bookings early.

"Hospitality is already working to reduced seating. #GiveUsAChance is ALL that we ask.

"If we start to experience no shows – we would be forced to take a deposit, which we absolutely don’t want to do."

UK Hospitality's CEO Kate Nicholls said: "A heartfelt plea – if plans change, we understand but tell us and then we can let someone else take the space. No shows cost businesses and they can ill afford it at the moment.”

The #NoMoreNoShows campaign, launched last July with support from some of the country's most high-profile chefs, has been brought back to life as pubs and bars reopen again.

The original campaign came from hospitality recruitment company Sixty-Eight People and Antonia Lallement from Gusto with a simple message – cancel your booking if you can't make it.

Sticking to this simple courtesy makes all the difference for restaurants that have been hit hard by the pandemic – so be sure to stick by the booking etiquette when possible.

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