Small plates restaurant Maray, based in Liverpool’s Albert Docks development, has banned bookings for groups of fewer than six in a bid to prevent no shows.
Maray, described as “excellent and innovative” by reporters, said the issue has hit daily covers by 10-20 per cent and said something had to be done.
On Facebook, proprietors James Bates, Dominc Jones, and Thomas White explained they needed to make the move following a “dramatic increase in no-shows”, which accounted for between 20-40 covers a day in their small 36-seat fixture.
It is not only Maray hit by no-shows. The industry as a whole has been blighted by the problem, which has become increasingly under the spotlight in recent times.
As the hospitality sector faces challenges far and wide, restaurateurs are trying to tackle the problem. Some by naming and shaming customers on social media, others by asking for deposits before taking reservations.
Maray’s owners explained: “We thought long and hard about this option as it would cause the least disruption to our operation. But it just doesn’t feel very us. We want Maray to be a casual, fun experience, and we felt that taking credit card details for every booking would formalise and sanitise this.”