For those of us who love restaurants - either eating in them or working there - having them reopen after so many months closed is a big deal.
For many restaurants, big or small, this could make the difference between them staying in business or having to shut their doors for good. As a city, London's hospitality industry is a large part of why people want to live and work here. Eating out in London really is a lovely thing to do.
But, if you are dining out today, tomorrow or really any time soon we do have a simple request to ask of you, dear readers. If you book a restaurant, please make sure you turn up - or cancel if you can't.
Not turning up to (or not cancelling) a reservation you've made is - not to put too fine a point on it - a dick move. Before the pandemic, we were hearing more and more tales of no-shows. That was bad enough then, but right now this could contribute to restaurants closing down, and we're betting that none of the people reading this site want themselves to be the cause of that.
Since restaurants reopened, we're hearing more and more about no-shows, and more needs to be done to address it. It might start with changing your own behaviour, or helping others to understand the huge amount of damage no-shows can cause restaurants at this difficult time.
Tom Kerridge explained the ramifications in a post following a spate of no-shows at Kerridge's Bar & Grill in Whitehall; "To the 27 people that booked and then failed to turn up on a Saturday night...YOU are putting peoples jobs more at risk..... 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."
Western's Laundry agreed in a separate post - " In normal times that table would be difficult enough to fill at such short notice and we would rely on last-minute walk-ins to do this, which we don t allow at the moment for logistical & safety reasons. Under the current conditions, it's virtually impossible to make up for the loss of revenue. A no show of 4 typically costs the restaurant around £240. We had 12 no shows last night in just one restaurant."
If you suddenly feel nervous about going out, or (God forbid) you develop symptoms of Covid, or even if you just don't feel like that meal anymore, please, PLEASE cancel that reservation.
We love restaurants. We know you love restaurants. So let's all enjoy and treasure them - AND TURN UP - because we certainly wouldn't want to lose them.
Catherine and Gavin Hanly (Founders - Hot Dinners)
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