A landlord fed up with people booking then not showing up has taken matters into his own hands.
Worcester pub defends strict “no show” policy. Barney Reynolds, landlord of the Swan Inn, Worcester, has now put a policy into place for people who waste his time. If customers do not cancel within 24 hours of their booking he charges them £20 for lunch and £30 for dinner. To enable him to do this he takes the credit card details for potential customers when they book a table. He said “No-shows and last-minute cancellations are one of the biggest issues facing our industry.
It follows on from a period where most restaurants and pubs have been unable to open for 10 months out of 14. It’s an issue which is becoming worse. We were one of the very few that you could order, book or buy in advance where either your card details or a deposit aren’t required.” Although he stands by his decision to penalize customers that don’t show up some angry customers said it is “blackmail” and bookings are forced to turn up even if an emergency changes their plans.
One said on Facebook “I have sympathy with pubs but come on, give the punters some flexibility. You might book a table and then get ill or someone in your party, like an elderly relative, falls ill on the day of the meal.
What are you supposed to do? Bring a poorly person into a pub? Surely that’s worse than no-showing.” Another person added “This is plain greed. Have you seen their menu?
You’d need a small mortgage for dinner anyway. Not all no shows or late cancellations are selfish. Sometimes plans change. You can’t just fine people for choosing not to eat in your pub. I don’t want to be blackmailed into eating an expensive meal just because my plans happen to change after I’ve made the booking.” However one regular of the Swan Inn, Denise Archer, said “I don’t see what the problem is.
You book a table and if you don’t show up then you have to pay for the staff wages that night. It’s only fair. Pubs need all the help they can get at the moment and the last thing they need are selfish people not turning up or giving enough notice.”