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‘It's pretty devastating': The Vineyard considers additional measures to stop no-shows

13 July 2020 by

The Vineyard hotel in Stockcross, Berkshire, is among those considering the introduction of deposits for restaurant guests as late cancellations and no-shows continue to blight hospitality's reopening weeks.

The hotel opened its new al fresco dining experience InsideOut when the easing of restrictions allowed hospitality businesses to welcome guests once again on 4 July.

Managing director Andrew McKenzie said guests had been "loving" the new venture (pictured), but like many others across the industry it has seen late cancellations and no-shows impact its profitability.

He explained: "I think it's pretty inconsiderate really and people are not as understanding of the issues we're facing as we thought they would be.

"The majority of our guests are delighted to have us back and are really kind and gracious, but we had about 100 booked on Sunday and had 15 cancellations on the morning and a further five no-shows.

"We had written to everyone that had booked explaining our guest journey, giving them our Covid policy and a copy of the menu. We had engaged, but what we haven't done is call everybody the day before, which we're going to reintroduce and I'm probably going to charge a deposit. I'm a little reluctant, but any profit we might have made on Sunday was wiped out by this, it's real money we've lost, it's pretty devastating."

This weekend Tom Kerridge turned to social media after 27 people that were booked into Kerridge's Bar & Grill at the Corinthia London hotel failed to turn up on Saturday night.

He said: "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. You are the worst kind of guest."

Elsewhere, Italian restaurant group Gusto opened nine of its 18 venues on Monday 6 July, only for 270 of those who had booked not to take their seats on the first night.

Antonia Lallement, brand sales manager, said: "It's upsetting because the last thing we want to be focusing on is not being able to fill tables or confirming every table of two to make sure they're coming."

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

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