Almost one third of hospitality operators are in the dark about their rights when it comes to dealing with awkward customers, a survey suggests.
According to research from purchasing consortium Beacon, nearly half (43%) of businesses feel the level of complaints is on the rise with British consumers increasingly becoming less afraid of "making a scene".
One in 10 says that customers refusing to pay for food, drinks or accommodation has become an increasing problem.
But despite customers becoming more vocal, nearly two thirds (65%) of businesses believe that standards of service in the industry are getting better.
Diane Webster, head of sales and marketing at Beacon, said: "As the consensus is that standards are rising, the hospitality industry should be careful to differentiate between genuine complaints, and dishonest claims."
She added: "It is essential that business-owners and managers know where they stand and what their rights are, in the same way that customers are beginning to."
Beacon advises that if a customer is refusing to pay managers should take down their name and address and fill in a small claims track form to get the money back.
By Kerstin Kühn
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