Leading chefs have slammed “no shows” after encountering dozens of guests booked and failed to turn up for dinner.
Michelin-starred personalities Paul Ainsworth and Tom Kerridge have led the charge after reopening post-lockdown and taking down hundreds of reservations for their restaurants.
Paul and Emma Ainsworth said they were left “shocked” and “disappointed” after 27 guests didn’t keep their bookings at the Mariners pub in Cornwall, despite the industry persistently explaining to the public how damaging it is to businesses.
The couple, who also own the Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth at No 6, Caffè Rojano, and the Padstow Townhouse guesthouse, have implored diners to think twice before failing to show up for dinner.
“After the efforts our teams have put in to making our restaurants a safe environment and the money Emma and I have spent to make it possible. Disappointed doesn’t even cut it!” Paul said.
“To those 27 people who thought it was OK not to show tonight and that no one would miss you. You are very wrong. We were ready for you. The restaurant rota had been written for you. The team were waiting to welcome and take care of you.”
The chef said 132 team members are employed across the businesses, with no redundancies made as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added: “These people rely on Emma and I to pay their mortgages, rent, bills and many of them are the sole income earners for their families. So the number of people you are affecting is far greater than the 132 employed.”
Countless other chefs have talked about no shows at their restaurants and said businesses will close and jobs will be lost of people carry on.
Kerridge was one to speak out at the weekend and slammed “selfish” guests who booked into Kerridge’s Bar & Grill at the Corinthia London hotel since it reopened.
The chef, who also owns the two-Michelin-starred Hand & Flowers, the one-Michelin-starred Coach, and the Butcher’s Tap, all in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, as well as operating the Bull & Bear restaurant at Manchester’s Stock Exchange hotel, said: “To the 27 people that booked and then failed to turn up on a Saturday night…
“This industry, like many others, is on the verge of collapse. Your behaviour is disgraceful, shortsighted and down right unhelpfu – 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…”