Restaurateur and TV chef Damian Wawrzyniak is leading a global call to end no shows after revealing missed bookings cost his top-rated Peterborough restaurant approximately £3000 in one weekend. Chef Wawrzyniak’s #StopNoShow campaign has received support from hundreds of restaurant owners in the UK and around the world.
Among those who agreed with the sentiment is American restaurateur Grant Achatz, one of the world’s most-awarded chefs, recognised by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and co-owner of Alinea.
Chef Wawrzyniak said, “No shows are pervasive in the restaurant industry. We lost approximately £3000 because of no shows in one weekend. Usually they are big groups of eight, 12 or 20 people who book a table and then simply don’t turn up. We’re left with empty tables and have likely had to turn other bookings down in good faith that those with reservations would show.
“As chefs, we spend much of our lives in the kitchen, working long days, late nights, weekends and special occasions. It’s incredibly frustrating – I understand that plans change at the last minute but it shouldn’t be too much to ask that those not able to make it let the restaurant know so they can re-book that table.”
Chef Wawrzyniak’s post has been liked and shared by chefs from all over the world who are similarly frustrated. Some suggest taking deposits or charging for missed bookings, with many also saying that like Chef Wawrzyniak’s House of Feasts, they’ll confirm via phone the day before with a diner only to still have the booking be missed. Others say that some diners admit to pre-booking a selection of tables at different restaurants so they can go for the one they fancy on the day – leaving the remaining restaurants to absorb the cost of the missed booking.
To find out more, search #StopNoShow on Instagram or Twitter.