Kerridge slams ‘disgraceful’ no shows

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Social post: Tom Kerridge took to Instagram to criticise customers who booked at one of his venues and didn't show
Social post: Tom Kerridge took to Instagram to criticise customers who booked at one of his venues and didn't show

Related tags: Food, Tom kerridge, Gastropub, Tom Kerridge’s Bar & Grill

Celebrity chef and pub operator Tom Kerridge has hit out at customers who failed to show at his London venue.

He posted on his Instagram that 27 people had made reservations at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill in the Corinthia Hotel in central London but did not turn up, blaming them for adding to the issues the hospitality industry is already facing.

The gastropub operator also mentioned the impact no shows have on staffing at venues and the cost to businesses.

The post said: “To the 27 people that booked [Kerridge’s Bar & Grill] then failed to turn up on a Saturday night. This industry, like many others is on the verge of collapse.

“Your behaviour is disgraceful, short-sighted and downright unhelpful. All of you “no shows” in all restaurants up and down the country are adding to the issues already being faced.

“You are putting people’s jobs more at risk. We put staff levels to the number of covers booked and when you fail to turn up, it now costs us, which in turn will force very uncomfortable and hard decisions about staffing levels.

“You are the worst kind of guest, and that is 'selfish'. I hope you have good look at yourselves.”

Reduced capacity

Bath Pub Company managing director Joe Cussens also hit out at no-show diners​ last week (Tuesday 7 July), labelling them “damaging and heartless” after three guests failed to turn up to one of his pubs on its first day of reopening.

He told The Morning Advertiser​: “At the best of times, it is just selfish, rude, entitled behaviour and then given the financial situation that all these operators find ourselves in, the idea you can do something so damaging, careless, heartless, is just beyond belief.

“You have got a reduced capacity and actually higher staff costs because the customer to staff ratio has gone down a lot so you're already in trouble there. The idea you can have a table lying idle which people were desperate for and you can't sell is criminal."

As a result, Bath Pub Company has decided to introduce a deposit system of £10 per head on Friday and Saturday services, with a four-hour window for customers to cancel and retain their deposit.

Charging a deposit​ is something other operators have called out for in taking a stand against no shows.

In 2018, Stosie Madi – chef-patron of the Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire previously told The Morning Advertiser ​taking deposits was the answer.

Implementing measures

She said: “We stopped no shows. Up until then, we would have lost a good 20% of sales on busy days.

“We thought enough was enough and we implemented taking card details. Our booking conditions are very simple. We take credit card details, bookings are done automatically online, we don’t take telephone bookings anymore so we don’t have to deal with it.

“The terms and conditions say ‘because of the rural nature of our business we require 24 hours’ minimum cancellation notice otherwise, failing to do that or not showing, we charge £10 per head on the table booked’.

“Since we implemented this, we have had three no-shows. We had a dip in bookings to begin with and we still get the odd person who rings up to book a table.

“We ask for credit card details and if we can’t take them, we say we cannot take their booking. All bookings can only be taken with card details.

“Some customers will ask why and we tell them that we are a rural business, sometimes people don’t show up and we are out of pocket. We rarely have a problem and 99% of our bookings are online.”

Related topics: Chefs

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