Writing on Instagram and warning of job losses, Kerridge wrote: “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…”
His post was met with a slew of support from some of the country’s most recognisable chefs.
Clare Smyth, of Notting Hill’s two-Michelin starred Core, replied: "Well said Tom. We need to educate people now more than ever. Our industry needs to come into line with others. Staff don’t work for free because the guests don’t turn up. Ingredients are prepared and wasted. It is incredibly disrespectful.”
Jason Atherton, who has 17 restaurants and bars across the globe, said: “This is not okay 😤😤😤😤 why does our industry get treated like this when a single phone call when you change your mind sorts all of this out. YOU should be ashamed of yourself and we should have protection against this."
Paulo Detarso, who owns and operates Margot in Covent Garden, added: “Chef it is simply ridiculous. Although I am positive about the future, there are a lot of people out there without a clue, and they haven’t learned anything from this.
He went on: “They don’t deserve you, your brilliant food and the wonderful service. You are the best chef!”
The post comes less than a fortnight since restaurants have been able to welcome guests to dine in, and amid the worst crisis the hospitality industry has faced, with charity UKHospitality warning that restaurants, bars and pubs across the country could expect to lose as much as £73bn in sales this year.
Speaking to the Telegraph, the charity’s chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The size of the loss over the last few months dwarfs any of the opportunities that pubs and restaurants got for reopening and resuming revenues.
“It underlines the importance of the government not moving straight from rescue to recovery and making sure that these businesses are supported so that they can play their part when that recovery comes for them.”
Kerridge is far from the only restaurateur to deal with customers not following through with their booking. Last week, the Caterer reported that Italian group Gusto had 270 guests book but not arrive, while his morning, the team behind Volta Manchester tweeted: "Big Thankyou to the 2 tables of 6 who didn’t turn up without a phone call at @Voltamanchester How can someone do this wen everyone is holding on for dear life at the moment.
"It’s hard enough in a small restaurant with half of your covers wiped out.
"What sort of person does this?"