Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Chef Mark Greenaway introduces deposit scheme to combat no-shows

23 February 2018 by
Chef Mark Greenaway introduces deposit scheme to combat no-shows

Chef Mark Greenaway of the eponymous three-AA-rosette Edinburgh restaurant has introduced a deposit scheme after recording 450 cancellations or no-shows in just one month.

Greenaway said the decision was one he had "toiled" with, but that the situation was "simply unsustainable".

The restaurant will take debit or credit card details for all bookings and will deduct no-shows £30 for lunch or £50 for dinner.

Announcing the decision on Facebook, Greenaway wrote: "Now this is something we have toiled with, believe me, and not something we want to do, but as an independent restaurant we feel the time has come that we can't simply ignore what is going on in the industry, so we feel we now need to act to put an end to this lunacy of customers booking tables and simply just not turning up.

"We already have a confirmation policy in place and confirm all tables of all sizes every day, however this changes nothing, it would seem. To give just one month as an example, in December alone we had 450 cancellations or no-shows. This is simply unsustainable for our restaurant. There is nothing more frustrating than spending the whole week refusing custom, due to the fact we believe we are full on a given night, only for at times three or four tables simply don't show up. These are confirmed tables that we have staffed and prepared food for.

"The worst example I can give is last September: 22 customers in one night, whom were all confirmed, to just not turn up or call to cancel. Now when you consider we are a small independent restaurant only seating 42, and on the weekend feed 70 customers maximum, this makes a huge difference to the business and is the difference between making money and losing money."

Greenaway said he hoped the move will discourage customers from booking two or three restaurants and making a decision on the evening.

He added: "Please understand we are doing this to safeguard the future of the restaurant, not simply to be difficult."

Earlier this week The Catererrevealed reports from restaurants across the UK that no-shows are "crippling" their businesses, as they revealed that many tables were left empty on Valentine's Day.

Damian Wawrzyniak, owner of House of Feasts, Peterborough, has launched a campaign to combat no-shows after revealing they cost his business about £3,000 in just one weekend.

His #StopNoShow campaign has received the support of hundreds of peers, including award-winning American restaurateur Grant Achatz of Alinea, Chicago.

Valentine's Day no-shows ‘crippling' independent restaurants >>

Mark Greenaway's ‘Perceptions' named world's best chef cookery book >>

Mark Greenaway: a turn-up for the books >>

Videos from The Caterer archives

Are you looking for a new role? See all the current hospitality vacancies available with The Caterer Jobs

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking