Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge has hit out at “disgraceful” no-shows who booked to eat at his restaurant on Saturday night then failed to show up.
He launched the rant on his Instagram account after 27 people who booked at his London restaurant Kerridge's Bar and Grill in the Corinthia Hotel didn’t show up.
It comes just a week after the hospitality industry reopened following the coronavirus lockdown, with many restaurants, bars and pubs close to collapse following months of closure.
Kerridge wrote on his Instagram post: “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...”
He went on: “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...”
The hospitality industry has warned of £73bn ($91bn) worth of sale losses this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to a report in The Telegraph ahead of the opening of pubs and restaurants last weekend, trade body UKHospitality said the combination of lost tourism, weak consumer spending and operating constraints due to social distancing would cause the industry to lose almost half of its usual £133bn annual sales.
Kerridge’s post, shared on Sunday morning, had already been liked more than 20,000 times by the evening and had attracted more than 2,600 comment.
They included backing from fellow top chefs including Jason Atherton, who tagged Boris Johnson in his response, writing: “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 as we are fighting for our very lives in an industry that’s [sic] really every person uses to have fun times.”
Simon Rimmer wrote: “This is disgraceful. The biggest insult to our industry”, while Tom Aikens wrote: “Totally unbelievable that even in this modern age of communication in that all that it takes is a few seconds on a phone to cancel change a booking.
“People can be so disrespectful of a business that is run by life giving passionate souls that are their [sic] to serve & entertain guests.”