No-shows have once again dampened the partial reopening of hospitality, with some operators reporting diners failing to honour their bookings.
Matt Snell, chief executive of 12-site Italian restaurant group Gusto, tweeted that 15% of covers had failed to take their seats on the first day of reopening, despite his team sending confirmation emails and text messages as well as phoning those who had booked that morning.
He ended his tweet with the message: "If you can't make it, no problem. Just let us know."
The message follows a concerted effort from the hospitality industry in 2020 to encourage people to cancel unwanted bookings as businesses struggled to survive under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In July 2020 Gusto was joined by several other businesses in reporting that diners had failed to take their seats as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
As outdoor hospitality reopened in England this week the #nomorenoshows campaign, which last year received more than 12 million Twitter impressions and national TV and billboard coverage, once again asked people not to fail to take up bookings without cancelling.
Abi Dunn of hospitality recruitment business Sixty-Eight People, one of those behind the campaign, said: "The sector was shocked and saddened by the number of no-shows back in July and with sites currently reporting ‘fully booked' space, we just want to make sure that's what they actually have. Our message has always been ‘it's OK to cancel' – in fact you're helping the team onsite by doing so. Making no-shows a thing of the past would be the dream here."
Has your business been affected by no-shows? Email firstname.lastname@example.org