Restaurants being urged to charge ‘no-shows’

restaurant news

The Restaurants Association of Ireland is urging restaurants to take a non-refundable deposit when customers are making a booking to guard against ‘no-shows’.

The Association is calling on its members to take the deposits as a way to discourage the practice of people booking tables and then not turning up. According to Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the association, the problem was “rampant across the country” during the Christmas period, with a marked increase in no-shows. In an attempt to curb the issue, the association is encouraging members to take non-refundable deposits which would then be deducted from the table’s final bill or forfeited if the party doesn’t turn up.

The association has proposed a €20 deposit on tables of more than four but according to Mr Cummins, the Competition Authority will not allow the association to set the rate and they are encouraging members to define their own policy in terms of both the price and the sizes of parties charged based on the size of their own operation.

Mr Cummins pointed out that bookings for tickets for concerts and the cinema are forfeited if people do not turn up. “The industry needs to do something about this. We need to stamp out ‘no-shows’. People will have to give advance notice of 24 to 48 hours if they are going to cancel.” Mr Cummins pointed out that bookings for tickets for concerts and the cinema are forfeited if people do not turn up. “The industry needs to do something about this. We need to stamp out ‘no-shows’. People will have to give advance notice of 24 to 48 hours if they are going to cancel.

‘No-shows’ can be extremely costly for restaurants, in terms of both staff and produce bought in. Mr Cummins used one example when speaking to Newstalk this morning of one restaurant which had experienced the ‘no show’ of a party of 20 which was one-third of the restaurant’s capacity and had been very costly for them.