Musselburgh restaurant has 45 no-shows in a day as Scottish hospitality venues issue plea to public over bookings

Hospitality owners and staff have pleaded with the public to turn up to bookings or cancel in advance as one Musselburgh restaurant said they had experienced 45 ‘no-shows’ in a single day.

With the hospitality industry still struggling to recover after months of lockdown and strict coronavirus restrictions, owners and representatives have called for customers to avoid not turning up for bookings without warning or advance notice.

East Coast, a seafood restaurant based in Musselburgh reported 45 ‘no shows’ on Sunday after customers who had made reservations never arrived.

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Carlo Crolla, co-owner of the Musselburgh restaurant, took to the restaurant’s Facebook page to show his annoyance.

“Thank you to the 45 no-shows so far today,” Mr Crolla said.

"This is what I think of you!” he added, posing with his thumb down in the attached image.

On Twitter, Edinburgh whisky and ale bar The Bow Bar called out the increasing amount of no-shows seen at their venue this week.

"What's with people not showing up for bookings, especially groups,” a statement said.

Carlo Crolla from East Coast. Picture: East Coast/FacebookCarlo Crolla from East Coast. Picture: East Coast/Facebook
Carlo Crolla from East Coast. Picture: East Coast/Facebook

"Be a decent human being and let us know. We have been knocking back 100s of requests all week.”

Many independent venues across Scotland have turned to charging a deposit or holding card details to avoid the possibility of no-shows.

These typically range from £5 to £10 per person or booking, or more for larger groups, and are non-refundable should a booking not show up or cancel well in advance.

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Sloans, based in Glasgow’s city centre, holds card details for a £10 deposit per person for inside bookings and £20 per person for outdoor bookings for those wishing to enjoy alcohol under level three Covid-19 restrictions in the city.

Others, such as Edinburgh folk bar Sandy Bell’s, have decided not to take bookings altogether and have opted to take walk-ins only.

Posting on Facebook, Sandy Bell’s explained: “Our business is too small to cope with the trend of no-shows that is common throughout the hospitality industry at the moment.”

Whiski Bar & Restaurant on High Street in Edinburgh also posted on Facebook to say that due to experiencing “an exceptionally high number of no-shows since re-opening”, they are reserving a section of their restaurant for walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Paul Waterson, from the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said: “No-shows are a terrible situation to be in, because people trying to run the places efficiently are operating under reservation systems for the good of the customers.

"It costs a lot of money to premises if people don't show up. It's as simple as that.”

Mr Waterson continued: “I think more and more places are now having to take deposits from people to combat this, especially when they are in a position where capacities have been slashed due to social distancing.

"I think that's the outcome of this and that nobody can really blame them.”

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