Pub sees 250 no shows on first weekend of outdoor trading

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Reservation issues: the Prince Louis has now changed its booking system, allowing half of its tables to be available for walk ins (image: Getty/BrianAJackson)
Reservation issues: the Prince Louis has now changed its booking system, allowing half of its tables to be available for walk ins (image: Getty/BrianAJackson)

Related tags: Food, Legislation, Finance, Essex

A pub in Essex turned to social media to voice disappointment in seeing 250 customers book and not turn up last weekend.

The Prince Louis in Great Notley, Braintree called on guests to let them know if they were unable to attend the pub ahead of the booking slot.

A Facebook post on Saturday 17 April said: “250 – that’s the number of guests we have had not show for bookings so far over the course of yesterday and today.

“Sadly, we have turned many guests away this weekend as we were ‘fully booked’. Please can we ask in future that if you no longer wish to join us, please cancel your booking.

“You can do this by giving us a call on 01376 328 777 or following the link on your booking confirmation email.”

Beyond belief

When pubs reopened after the first lockdown last July, operators hit out at diners who booked and didn’t show.

Bath Pub Company boss Joe Cussens told The Morning Advertiser​ as a result of no shows, the company was introducing a deposit system for weekend reservations.

He said: “At the best of times, it is just selfish, rude, entitled behaviour and then given the financial situation we [as 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."

Put in protection

He added: “Of course, it [no shows], has always been a frustration for restaurateurs but there’s no even second thoughts about it, we have to put in some sort of protection otherwise it is just insanity.”

Due to bookings not showing up, the company put a £10 per head deposit system in place on Friday and Saturday nights.

Meanwhile, a second Facebook post from the Prince Louis stated the pub changed its booking system as a result of the level of no shows during the first weekend of trading.

It means half of its covers can now be reserved prior to diners going to the pub and the other half will be kept available for walk-in customers.

Related topics: Legislation

Related news

Show more

Spotlight

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more

The MA Lock In Podcast

Join us for a Lock In

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to The Morning Advertiser

The definitive voice for the pub trade

Get the latest news, analysis and insights from the uk pub sector straight to your inbox!