Restaurants really can’t handle no-shows after a year of coronavirus.
It’s been a tough year for restaurant owners across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as businesses are preparing to reopen (even if only partially), many are making changes in light of their recent struggles.
Some restaurants in England are telling customers that they have to pay before they eat.
Some restaurants in England are telling customers that they have to pay before they eat, The Sun reports. The new policy is apparently a response to owners worrying about people making reservations and then not showing up.
Restaurants in England will be able to open for outdoor dining on April 12th and then, assuming things don’t change, indoor dining will be allowed to start on May 17th. According to The Sun, restaurants across the country have seen a surge in reservations and many are saying that they are booked solid for the entire summer.
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Owners are reportedly worried, however, that people will make reservations at multiple locations and then choose which place to eat at on the night of the booking. This would leave restaurants stuck with empty tables.
“No-shows are a nuisance at the best of times but, with businesses still so fragile, their impacts would be hugely compounded,” Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK hospitality, told The Sun.
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In response, some restaurants have decided to switch up the process, which usually sees guests receiving their bill after eating their meal. Now, they’re taking payments upfront to prevent no-shows.
Restaurant owner Kray Treadwell spoke with The Sun, explaining that his venue will be serving a 10-course tasting menu and is taking payments up-front.
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“It’s like getting a ticket to the theatre,” he explained. “If you can’t go that night, you can give it to your friend.”