'We need to educate people now more than ever'

The Staff Canteen

Despite the hardship the hospitality industry has endured in the past six months, bad customer habits die hard.

Just one week after restaurants were allowed to reopen in England following a three month lockdown, famous Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge experienced what some hoped was a thing of the past, when 27 guests failed to show up for a reservation at Kerridge's Bar and Grill in London on Saturday night. 

Deploring the near state of collapse of the industry, the chef called the customers' behaviour "disgraceful, shortsighted and down right unhelpful," adding that no-shows are putting people's jobs, already at threat, even more at risk. 

He continued: "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..."

While some responded by saying that customers may still be fearful at the idea of going out, figureheads in the hospitality industry backed Tom Kerridge, with two Michelin-starred chef and owner of Core by Clare Smyth saying the behaviour testified to a lack of education.


International restaurateur and Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton called for action to prevent no-shows from happening, as, he said, "we are fighting for our very lives in an inudstry that's (sic) nearly every person uses to have fun times."


Debates on social media are never one sided; and while some members of the public reacted in solidarity with the chef, suggesting that he charge the customers in question their deposits, or that he "name and shame" them, others weren't so kind, with one user commenting the following: "Get over yourself - you don't even know the reasons behind them not turning up - people feel safer eating at home at the moment not in your fancy schmancy overpriced restaurants."

Hospitality folk! What are your thoughts? How should restaurants deal with no-show customers? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th July 2020

'We need to educate people now more than ever'