A celebrity chef has made a frustrated plea for customers to support local businesses after his own restaurant suffered 27 no-shows in a single night.
Paul Ainsworth, who competed in BBC’s Great British Menu and appears regularly on Saturday Kitchen, shared the disappointing news to his Instagram on Wednesday.
A screenshot of a text message from the general manager of The Mariners pub in Cornwall, UK, revealed four bookings failed to show: a table of nine, a table of two, a table of seven and one booking that reserved two tables for five and four people.
The manager labelled the turn out “disappointing”, a sentiment that Mr Ainsworth reflected in his caption.
“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. Such a shame you thought this was an ok thing to do,” he wrote.
While the world’s hospitality industry has taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Ainsworth noted that he has done everything he can to keep his staff employed.
"We currently employ a 132 family members, we haven’t made one single redundancy, these people rely on Emma and I to pay their mortgages, rents, 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.
“This post is insight to the real cost of a NO SHOW.”
The post sparked more than 1700 comments, with other chefs sharing messages of support for Mr Ainsworth.
“Literally speechless, sorry to hear this chef. Listen people if you book you go, otherwise get used to cooking for yourself for the foreseeable future. Please don’t take the piss,” Masterchef finalist Dean Edwards wrote.
“What??????? What is wrong with people? Don’t they get it?” British Bake Off winner Candice Brown said.
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge wrote that he felt Mr Ainsworth’s pain, after experiencing the same issue over the weekend.
Mr Kerridge’s restaurant Kerridge’s Bar & Grill in London had dozens of no-shows on Saturday night, prompting him to post a scathing message to his own Instagram.
“Your behaviour is disgraceful, shortsighted and down right unhelpful. All of you ‘no shows’ in all restaurants up and down the country are adding to the issues already being faced.
“You are the worst kind of guest, and that is ‘selfish’. I hope you have good look at yourselves,” he wrote.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.