April 7 2013

The Pig says No to the booking no-show

The date was set 3 weeks ago: Saturday evening dinner at a friend’s house. Your place at the table in somebody’s home awaits you, and that somebody has been preparing for the event for days, not least of all on the day itself when the food has been brought and prepared and the scene carefully set. Unless you’re the unfortunate victim of a dire emergency or a sudden illness, you wouldn’t just not turn up, would you? Of course you wouldn’t! And yet, countless people believe that, when the situation isn’t quite so personal (ie, a restaurant booking), it’s okay to do (or rather not to, as the case may be) just that.

At least 5 Bath restaurants (most recently Casanis and Menu Gordon Jones) have recently shared the trials and tribulations of the booking ‘no show’ on Twitter – it’s almost as if there’s a trend going on. Personally, I’m aghast – yes, aghast! – that certain individuals think it’s perfectly okay to reserve a table at a lovely, lively, popular independent restaurant and then just not turn up when the date and time arrives. How do such people’s minds work? Have they no thought for the people who work so hard behind the scenes (now more than ever) to maintain the high standards that makes a restaurant so popular that bookings are required? Do they not think that somebody else might be delighted to make full use of a vacant table? Don’t they consider of the cost involved in preparing for an advance booking only to be let down at the last minute? Clearly, no thought is given to any such considerations. And yet, all that’s required of the person who can no longer make the date is one simple transaction: a quick phone call to let the restaurant know that the booking is no longer required, thereby relieving the wasted time, effort and goodwill of all concerned.

So, dearest Piggies, would you be happy to pay a deposit at the time of making a booking? I most certainly would. Few restaurant owners wouldn’t be happy to refund that deposit if an unfortunate circumstance suddenly arises for the diner (book-ee?) concerned – and few people who are organised enough to make darn sure that their table awaits at one of the best restaurants in Bath on the date and time of their choice would resent being asked to offer a token of their reliability.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know – The Pig is open all hours, no booking required.

3 thoughts on “The Pig says No to the booking no-show

  1. When I was a restauranteur, one of the things that really caused us problems was ‘no shows’ we often had turned away walk in customers or telephone bookings because we had thought we were full. It is rude and inconsiderate, and if I have to ever cancel a table i always make sure I call them. We always used to take a deposit for parties of 6 or more, but if enough 2’s or 4’s don’t turn up, it is a real problem.In London, most restaurants ask for a credit card as security, if restaurants in Bath, particularly popular ones keep getting these problems they should ask for a deposit, whether they’ll get one is another matter! The other thing to do , would be to have a ‘customer black list’ that front of house could pass on to other establishments, warning that Mr or Mrs so and so has not bothered to turn up!’

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