Dozens of customers who didn’t show up to their dinner reservations over the weekend have been accused of worsening the impact of coronavirus on the already crippling restaurant industry.
Chef Tom Kerridge didn’t mince his words in a scathing Instagram post addressed to 27 people who booked a table at his restaurant Kerridge’s Bar & Grill in London, in the UK, but didn’t front up.
“To the 27 people that booked Kerridge’s Bar & Grill and then failed to turn up on a Saturday night... This industry, like many others is on the verge of collapse,” he wrote to his 427,000 followers.
“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 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.”
The post was liked more than 27,000 times and attracted comments from more than 3000 people - many of who empathised with Mr Kerridge over the blatant display of rudeness.
“Well said Tom. We need to educate people now more than ever. Our industry needs to come into line with others. Staff don’t work for free because the guests don’t turn up. Ingredients are prepared and wasted. It is incredibly disrespectful,” chef Clare Smyth wrote.
“Absolutely shocking. Disgusting behaviour,” another person said, with a third adding: “This is disgraceful. The biggest insult to our industry.”
“Awful... And unfortunately happening in many restaurants across London, Sydney and beyond,” a fourth person said.
Others were not so sympathetic and one even called on the chef to “get over” himself.
“Oh get over yourself mate... You’re not a doctor’s surgery where missed appointments actually have an impact on something important,” they wrote.
“Happens up and down the country day in day out to smaller restaurants, you are no special case just because of your little Michelin stars,” another said.
Some suggested restaurants subject to “no shows” should request a deposit from customers when they make a booking to provide incentive for them to front up for their booking.
“Take non refundable minimum 50 per cent deposits. Soon [they will] turn up then... Sorry to all the staff who got suited and booted and put the effort in,” one person wrote.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.