Wall of Shame? No refund Deposits? Restaurant No-Shows…

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On New Year’s Eve we were expecting to have a wonderful night at Angeli.  We had a full book of reservations and we put extra people on the schedule to handle them.  My restaurant seats 62 people.  35 people were no-shows.  No show, no call, no nothing.

Angeli is a casual restaurant.  On regular nights we take reservations but we always leave a good number of tables open for walk-ins.  We try to strike a balance between the convenience to some diners of having a table waiting (especially for large parties),  and to others supplying a place for a spontaneous meal out.

But on holidays or nights with special menus no-shows take on another level of torture.  We have never had the policy of over-booking.  This year that policy bit us in the butt.  No restaurant can afford to lose business these days.  We want to serve you, but in return we’d like you to respect us enough to at least call when you know you aren’t coming.

People ask why our Thursday Night Dinners are no longer every week.  Well the answer is this.  All of the no-shows made me crazy.  I would shop and cook with ingredients that weren’t our usual items and 50% of people who reserved wouldn’t show up.  So I ended up serving a very expensive staff meal.  Over and over.

Take a look at a discussion of No-Show on Serious Eats and tell us what you think?

What do you think?