Restaurants and pubs were only able to start serving food indoors a week ago, but the age old problem of no shows has already been an issue.
One Cardiff business owner reported that they had 70% no shows and another pub had 110 people not turn up in just one day.
Alexander Taylor, of Pennyroyal in the city’s High Street, says they are thinking about stopping bookings.
He said: “Our no show rate was about 70% in the last week.
“We had 170 covers booked throughout the week. Our cap is now 42. Most of those were twos, with some fours.
“If we had to chase deposits on them all, that’s a good 15 staffing hours per week.
“I think the main thing is that this hurts the smaller independents more. We have tighter budgets and generally the larger chains have a staff member solely to manage bookings and take deposits and pre authorisation, so the solution isn’t as easy for us to find.”
Since cafes, pubs and restaurants were allowed to reopen in the UK they have been plagued by no-shows. TV chef Tom Kerridge went on the offensive last week because of it and called potential customers ‘disgraceful’.
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Jay Page from the Botanist in Cardiff says that they had more than 50 people not show up over the weekend.
“The crazy thing is that a lot of the people who didn’t show had actually paid a deposit,” he said. “We ask for a deposit of £5 per person, so that can be quite a lot of money to lose.
“That is why it is so strange that people don’t turn up. We have been quite lucky as 50 is not as bad as some places. One bar in Cardiff had 110 people not come in just one day.
“People are tending to turn up at the start of the week for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, but from Thursday onwards no shows gradually seem to be increasing.”
MasterChef: The Professionals judge Monica Galetti has spoken about the topic.
She said: “They are running half full and they are then having people who are not showing up. That’s a huge cost. It’s to pay for everything.
“They are signing the right amount of staff, the kind of food they can have is limited, and people aren’t showing up during this pandemic. People won’t be able to get paid.”