‘Heartbreaking’ - East Lothian restaurant has 549 no-shows in August

An independent bistro and bar has released a statement asking people to keep their bookings after it struggled to cope with 549 no-shows in August.

Saturday, 9th October 2021, 4:45 am

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The public has been encouraged to support local businesses after a restaurant was forced to introduce £10 booking fees due to a high number of no-shows and cancellations.

The Ship Inn said it was been left with “no alternative” but to introduce the booking fee after 549 people failed to turn up for their bookings in August.

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The Ship Inn said 549 people failed to turn up for their bookings in August.

The high number of no-shows and late cancellations at the Musselburgh restaurant left staff at the local bistro ‘heartbroken’ after they had only recently reopened their doors to the public.

Writing on Facebook, the Ship Inn said: “Unfortunately due to an extremely high number of no shows and late cancellations, we have been left with no alternative than to charge a £10 deposit when booking.

“In the month of August we had 549 no shows and late cancellations. I’m sure you will agree this is heartbreaking for us.

“If you have a booking with us and cannot make it, please cancel and give someone else the chance to book in.

“You can cancel over the phone or via your booking confirmation. We hope you understand our situation and we look forward to welcoming you.”

The hospitality industry is still struggling to recover from lockdowns require public support to get back on their feet, but no-shows continue to be a big problem for businesses in Edinburgh and across the UK.

Data from the hospitality tech firm Zonal has found that one in seven restaurant bookings have failed to turn up since venues reopened after lockdown – costing pubs and restaurants £17.6bn a year.

Hospitality workers still struggling

Union for hospitality workers, Unite, has reminded the public that employees remain some of the lowest-paid and most contractually insecure workers in the country as Edinburgh’s hospitality sector continues to recover from lockdowns and restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The knock on effect of cancellations and no-shows is causing more hardship for hospitality workers who were already a struggling against the impact of Covid-19.

Bryan Simpson at Unite Hospitality said: “The pandemic has been catalysmic for Edinburgh's hospitality workforce.

“Over the past 18 months we've seen thousands of hospitality workers in the Capital lose their jobs - many completely unnecessarily - as some of the biggest brands in the country including the G1 Group, IHG and Hilton made mass redundancies instead of using the Job Retention Scheme to retain loyal workers.

“At the George Hotel in Edinburgh, IHG terminated 95 per cent of their workforce despite over 60 of our members lodging alternative proposals to compulsory redundancy which were dismissed without consideration.

“The mass redundancies of 2020 have backfired on many of these employers who are now struggling to recruit workers who are sick and tired of the pay and conditions which have become the norm in a sector which is still the lowest paid and most contractually insecure in the Scottish economy.”

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