A restaurant in Lancashire was hit by over 100 no shows in the space of one weekend.
The Aspinall Arms, a pub and restaurant in Mitton near Clitheroe, reported 193 covers fail to show up for bookings over the weekend of May 21-23.
The issue of people failing to turn up for booked tables is industry wide. It causes problems for restaurants who lose money on tables they could otherwise have filled with paying customers who had either booked in good faith or walk-ins.
The Apsinall Arms has reported having to turn away a number of walk-in customers due to the volume of booked tables – many of them which do not end up being used.
A spokesperson for the venue said: “Last Friday we had 56 covers not turn up, on Saturday 77, and Sunday 60 covers were also ‘No Shows’. We understand that plans change and people have booked multiple tables around the area as back ups for their day out, but please, if you can’t make it, try and let us know.
“We’re fully booked most days at the moment, and we’re having to turn Walk-ins away, especially when the weather isn’t great and we can’t make use of our outside space as much as we’d like to. So it’s really frustrating when tables are left empty, and we could have given the tables to a Walk in.
“If you can’t get through on the phone to cancel your table, you can always send us an email or a message on social media to let us know, or there is a cancellation link on your booking confirmation email.
“On a more positive note, it’s been lovely to see all of you who have come to see us in our first week of having inside open, and we’re looking forward to many more busy weekends.”
One option some restaurants have taken up to combat the issue is to charge a non-refundable deposit for tables. This is not an option that appeals to or suits all venues.
The spokesperson added: “We have never taken deposits, although it is of course one way to combat the issue. However, it does add a huge increase to the admin around bookings. Also we really don’t want to take the fun out of just popping down to your local for a pint and a bite to eat.
“The issue is industry wide and hopefully it will calm down after a few weeks, but hopefully we can help spread some awareness as I’m sure smaller venues are really hard hit by this.”
The hospitality industry has been particularly badly affected by the restrictions imposed since the start of the pandemic. With fears over the impact further restrictions past June 21 could cause, it remains important to support them in whatever ways we can.
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