The run up to the Christmas season is obviously a busy time for restaurants, generating much needed revenue (with over 20% of the annual restaurant income being generated in in 3 weeks). Office and work parties mean that large tables are reserved well in advance allowing the restaurant managers to plan, purchase stock and organise work rosters.
Over the past year on Twitter, I've noticed the occasional tweet from assorted restauranteurs about confirmed bookings who fail to show. These no-shows caused annoyance as it means that managers have turned away other bookings as well as the loss of income.
As Christmas came closer, the frequency of these "no-show" tweets gradually started to increase, turning from a trickle into a flood. Restaurants who hadn't previously commented started to share their experiences. Here's a selection of tweets from the run up to Christmas.
4 confirmed tables no show so far, somethings will NEVER change.
We lost 40 people between Fri and Sun through no shows..needs to be highlighted.
Last night 12 people didn't turn up @bonappmalahide but thankfully we had a few walk ins so it was a good night :-)
on Friday we turned away a few & 8 no showed sun & 2 tables of 6 no show I know of another rest on sat night 3 groups no show
a nearby restaurant where a full house would be 70 covers, 1 nite last wk had 30 no shows & late cancellations
Since 5pm today 42% of my bookings @bonappmalahide tonight have cancelled or not turned up and the nights not over yet!
This problem isn't limited just to Irish restaurants as I've also noticed similar complaints emerging from English tweeters. Understandably, restaurants are annoyed at these no-shows and late cancellations and the Restaurants Association of Ireland started a press campaign to highlight this issue. Many venues are considering implementing a deposit scheme at the time of booking, which will be refunded against the cost of the meal.
The message is simple - if you can't make your reservation, please get in touch with the venue to cancel, preferably giving as much notice as possible. It's just manners after all.