Restaurant boss slams diners for failing to turn up for Sunday roast

Restaurant boss slams 34 diners for failing to turn up for Sunday roast forcing him to turn away 60 walk in customers because they were fully booked

  • David Rowlands was forced to turn away 60 walk-in customers on Sunday
  • Some 34 diners failed to turn up for their bookings in The North Star in Cardiff
  • Mr Rowlands posted an angry message online to ask customers to cancel 

A restaurant boss has slammed 34 diners for failing to arrive for their pre-booked Sunday roast.

David Rowlands was forced to turn away 60 walk-in customers because The North Star in Maindy, Cardiff, was fully booked.

The businessman posted an angry message online to explain how no-shows were ‘devastating’ for the pub.

He said the pub’s kitchen team ‘worked tirelessly day and night’ to make sure enough food was prepped for the number of bookings. 

But on Sunday, more than a third of those scheduled to arrive for lunch failed to turn up at their allotted time.   

David Rowlands was forced to turn away 60 walk-in customers because The North Star (pictured) in Maindy, Cardiff, was fully booked

The businessman posted an angry message online to explain no-shows were ‘devastating’ for the pub (pictured)

He wrote: ‘Our small kitchen team has worked tirelessly day and night to ensure we have enough food prepped and we have turned down several bookings and walk-ins to ensure menu choices for our booked guests. 

‘This is devastating to our small business, if you book a table with us and cannot make it, please call us so we can let someone else have your table.’ 

Coronavirus lockdown was ‘the toughest period this industry has faced’, the businessman said, as he revealed the pub lost ‘hundreds of thousands’ of pounds. 

Mr Rowlands took over the business in August 2020, meaning it did not qualify for the Government reopening grant of between £2,500 and £25,000.

He told Wales Online: ‘The [Facebook] post really helped. We had so many people wanting to support us and messaging us or ringing for a takeaway or to come in for lunch – we managed to get rid of our stock.’

The no-shows meant staff were sent home early and did not receive as much pay as expected, he revealed, describing it as ‘really disheartening and demotivating’.

Mr Rowlands took over the business in August 2020, meaning it did not qualify for the Government reopening grant of between £2,500 and £25,000. Pictured, inside the pub

Mr Rowlands is not the only pub-owner to take to social media to vent after a number of no-shows. 

General managers of the Prince Louis pub in Braintree, Essex said they’d lost covers for 250 people on the first weekend of reopening following lockdown after tables were booked but customers never arrived. 

Posting on Facebook a photo of an empty beer garden at the Prince Louis, general managers Claire and Aaron, wrote: ‘250 – that’s the number of guests we have had not show for bookings so far over the course of yesterday and today.

‘Sadly we have turned many guests away this weekend as we were “fully booked”‘. 

General managers Claire and Aaron, who run the Prince Louis pub in Braintree, Essex revealeds they’d missed out on 250 covers this weekend after customers who booked tables didn’t turn up 

The pub’s general managers shared a photo of an empty beer garden and pleaded with those who’d booked tables to call and cancel if they could no longer make it 

Elsewhere, restaurants and chefs have painted a similar picture despite huge enthusiasm for pubs re-opening, and a dose of sunshine across much of the country in recent days. 

Restaurant chief executive Matt Snell who runs a string of eateries across the UK wrote yesterday: ‘If you can’t make it, that’s fine. JUST LET US KNOW.’

He later added: ‘We are having up to 40% of covers CANCEL each day. This is actually a good thing though as we are able to replace these covers. We still have a restaurant suffering up to 15% of covers no showing, despite all the checks we’ve put in place.’  

Others agreed that diners should phone ahead if they can’t make a booking saying it was ‘selfish’ to not turn up when the industry had been brought to its knees by consecutive lockdowns and restrictions on indoor dining.  

@n1mmers wrote on Twitter: ‘Tell your friends. No shows cost businesses a lot of money. Imagine cooking a meal for 5 of your friends and none of them turn up, no call, no nothing. How p****** would be? How much did the shopping cost you? #nomorenoshows’.

Chief executive of a chain of UK restaurants Matt Snell urged people to call and cancel if they can’t make it, saying his business had also been hit

Landlords at the The Swan in Whitacre Heath in Birmingham said it was vital people called to cancel bookings or the industry would struggle to recover fully

On Instagram, landlords at The Swan pub in Whitacre Heath in Birmingham said while they were ‘absolutely delighted to be back open again’, the pub had fallen victim to no shows.

They said customers cancelling bookings is crucial to their survival. 

‘We are still finding a lot of bookings are either not showing up, or arriving with less people than originally planned. 

‘Plans change, we of course understand that – drop us an email to let us know the changes so we can switch things around as soon as we possibly can. By doing this not only are you helping other people return to the beloved pub, but you are in turn supporting our industry and increasing our chances of survival.’ 

Last week, a campaign launched last summer aimed at reducing restaurant and pub no shows reiterated the need for customers to help the industry.

Pub and restaurants owners have been sharing the #nomorenoshows hashtag in a bid to encourage customers to think about the impact not turning up for a booking has on their industry.  

When outdoor dining began on April 12th – after 12 weeks of lockdown – photos and videos shared online showed people packed onto tables laden with food and drinks.

Attila Kulcsar, a media communications manager partying in central London on the first night of re-opening said the crowds felt ‘like a return to the ‘real’ Soho of the 1990s’.

‘Tonight’s atmosphere beats the whole of last summer… it really is like how I imagine VE Day,’ the 54-year-old said.

‘It’s almost like watching Hogarth paintings come to life in 2021. There is a wonderfully raucous hysteria everywhere. It’s very celebratory.’ 

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