St. John restaurant, one of London's leading traditional English restaurants, is introducing a new charge of £20 to mitigate the financial impact of 'no-shows' after it re-opens on 29 July.
The popular restaurant, co-owned by Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver, is not impervious to the pressures of re-opening with reduced covers to ensure social distancing measures. People booking and failing to turn up only makes things worse for restaurants already feeling the strain of the coronavirus crisis.
Gulliver said: “It’ll be great to fire up the stoves and to put good things on the plate once more. The ‘no-shows’ experience of many already is not acceptable. One pandemic is enough! Hence the charge.”
St. John's booking reservation system reads: "The safety of our guests and our staff is paramount. In line with government guidelines, strict measures will be in place to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. To reflect the financial impact that no-shows have on us at this time, please note that we will charge £20 per head should you fail to notify us of a cancellation via email."
The idea was also endorsed by leading UK restaurant critics:
The news breaks in the same week that other British chefs such as Tom Kerridge and Paul Ainsworth have blasted no shows for being selfish, at a time when restaurants are on their knees and running at limited capacity after an extended period of lockdown.
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To the 27 people that booked @kerridgesbandg and then failed to turn up on a Saturday night..... This industry, like many others is on the verge of collapse. Your behaviour is disgraceful, shortsighted and down right unhelpful..... all of you “no shows” in all restaurants up and down the country are adding to the issues already being faced.... YOU are putting peoples jobs more at risk..... 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, and that is “selfish”. I hope you have good look at yourselves...
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