A popular independent brewery bar in Bolton has announced it is to stop accepting bookings due to an unprecedented number of no-shows.
Like numerous other hospitality venues across Greater Manchester that have reopened for outdoor service now that ‘Step Two’ in the government’s “irreversible” roadmap for lifting England’s current national lockdown has commenced, Blackedge Brewery Bar in the Horwich area of Bolton has been let down by several customers who have booked a table at its beer garden and then failed to turn up.
The issue of no-shows has sadly blighted the region’s hospitality businesses throughout the last year of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
So much so that the hospitality sector was forced to launch the #NoMoreNoShows campaign last summer following the revelation that so many customers abandoning pre-booked tables was costing the sector £16 billion a year.
Taking to Twitter to confirm that no further bookings will be taken, The Brewery Bar – part of Blackedge Brewing Co – said: “With immediate effect we are no longer accepting bookings [but] all existing bookings will be honoured.
“We will now operate on a normal walk in first come first served basis.
“This is due to the sheer number of calls and emails that we don’t have capacity to deal with, and booking no shows”.
Blackedge Brewing Co then added: “Shame on you people that book tables at any venue and then fail to show up for your booking without giving any notice.
“Small independent businesses have had a rough year and are reliant on bums on seats.
“If you book a venue and cant make it, let them know”.
Managing Director Wayne Roper, 45 – who founded Blackedge Brewery 12 years ago – has since said that he does not wish to expand upon his initial Twitter statement and decision to suspend bookings at the venue due to receiving “backlash” from locals.
The #NoMoreNoShows campaign encourages all customers to contact venues if they cannot make their reservation and rebook for a different time, and one of the early backers of the campaign – Abi Dunn at Manchester-based hospitality recruitment company, Sixty Eight People – has continued to emphasise to customers that “it’s ok to cancel”.
“In no other area of business is it acceptable to renege on a contract in this way,” she stated.
“We have to change the way people behave and the notion that no shows are acceptable.
“Greater Manchester is a metropolis of bars, dining, coffee hang outs, gastronomic delights and nights to remember.
“Please help them all stay open”.
Featured Image – Blackedge Brewing Company Ltd
Food & Drink
BrewDog advert claiming fruit-flavoured beer is ‘one of your five a day’ banned by ASA
A BrewDog advert claiming its fruit-flavoured beers can be considered “one of your five a day” has been banned by authorities.
As part of an email that was sent out to customers back in July this year promoting beers with names such as ‘Lost In Guava’, ‘Pineapple Punch’, and ‘Lost In Lychee & Lime’, popular brewery and pub chain BrewDog claimed the drinks could be considered “one of your five a day”.
But after someone complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) that the phrase was considered misleading, the advert has now been banned.
The ASA said consumers “would not expect advertisers to include such claims”.
Addressing the complaint and confirming the banning of the advert, the ASA said: “The ASA acknowledged that the subject heading ‘one of your five a day’ might be interpreted by some consumers as a humorous nod to the fruit-flavoured beers featured in the body of the email.
“However, because the claim referred to well-known government advice on health and wellbeing, we considered that, in general, consumers would not expect advertisers to include such claims unless the advertised product was recognised as meeting the requirements of that advice.”
The ASA added that many consumers would be aware that some craft beers contain an unusually high amount of fruit, but in general, they would be uncertain as to whether this would be counted as a portion.
Because of the this, the advert has been banned and must not re-appear in its current form.
BrewDog then agreed in response to the ASA ruling the advertised beers did not count towards a consumer’s five a day.
Yet, the company sarcastically followed this up by admitting the advert was just “tongue in cheek” and only sent out via email to existing customers likely aware of BrewDog’s “playful” marketing style, believing they would generally understand that alcoholic beverages are not equivalent to portions of fruit or vegetables.
“We respect the ASA’s decision and are happy to confirm that beer is not a fruit or a vegetable,” a spokesperson for BrewDog said in response.
Featured Image – Grant Anderson (via BrewDog)
Food & Drink
Popular London bakery Gail’s to open string of North West cafes next year
Popular craft bakery Gail’s has hinted at plans to open a string of new cafes in the North West next year.
The group, which already has a large number of bakery-cafes in the south of England, has announced it will open its first North West site in Wilmslow in early 2023.
Bosses have also said that ‘further locations in the North West’ will be announced in the new year, adding that all the new bakeries will serve GAIL’s artisan sourdough breads, pastries, sandwiches, and cakes alongside its specialty House Blend coffee.
The news also seems to potentially confirm speculation that the brand is planning a move into Manchester after The Manc shared news of potential plans for a Gail”s opening in the city centre in October.
Having already seen planning documents that suggest the chain is planning to take over the former White Stuff unit on King Street, it now appears that more news on that opening will be coming in 2023 – although it’s hard to say if it will be the first Manchester site to be announced.
The bakery group already has strong ties with Manchester, having run its sister wholesale bakery The Bread Factory in Openshaw since 2017.
Formed in the early 1990s by namesake Gail Mejia, Gail’s began when its eponymous founder decided to bring together the best bakers in London to create bakes for the capitals top chefs and restaurants.
Today, is known more as a customer-facing cafe and bakery whilst The Bread Factory continues the original wholesale legacy – supplying high quality, artisan breads to some of the region’s top local restaurants.
Gail’s first cafe opened on Hampstead High Street in 2005, and now the brand has 79 in neighbourhoods in and around London, Oxford, Brighton and more.
Turning back the clock on industrialised baking practices and moving to bake bread as it used to be baked: by hand, using quality ingredients and time-worn artisanal methods, Gail’s soon established a name for itself and has come a long way since those early days.
Still, the stuff that matters – the ethos, the suppliers, the skill and a handful of tried-and-tested sourdough starter cultures – hasn’t changed.
A champion for sustainability, the bakery also prides itself on minimising food waste by carefully setting aside any leftover food and donating it to a selection of local charities in each eatery’s neighbourhood