Manchester hospitality pleads for customers to give notice as no-shows continue
The lifting of restrictions combined with good weather has resulted in high demand for tables since April 12. But some restaurant and bar owners have revealed that people are still failing to turn up for their bookings.
Restaurants in Greater Manchester are asking customers to cancel any reservations they can no longer make after reports of more no-shows happening across the city.
Hospitality launched the #NoMoreNoShows campaign last summer following the revelation that so many customers are abandoning pre-booked tables it’s costing the sector £16bn a year.
And the damaging habit has seemingly resurfaced following the reopening of outdoor venues in 2021.
The easing of restrictions combined with good weather has resulted in high demand for seats at bars and restaurants since April 12 – but owners have revealed that too many people are failing to turn up for their bookings.
Olivia Thornton Stubbs, Area Business Development Manager for San Carlo Group, said the number of no-shows on Sunday (April 26) had been “disheartening”.
“People, please call restaurants to cancel,” she posted on Twitter.
“We’re working harder than ever to give you the best experience and this means we have to turn others away throughout the week who we’d absolutely love to fit in.”
Chief Executive of Gusto Matt Snell also spoke out last week, explaining that the Italian chain was seeing a high rate of cancellations on a daily basis – but this was “actually a good thing” as the empty covers could be replaced.
One Gusto restaurant, however, had seen 15% of covers failing to show without notice.
Snell explained: “We are having up to 40% of covers CANCEL each day. This is actually a good thing though as we are able to replace these covers. We still have a restaurant suffering up to 15% of covers no showing, despite all the checks we’ve put in place.
“If you can’t make it, that’s fine. Just let us know.”
Volta bar and restaurant on Burton Road in Didsbury also weighed in on the topic, stating the #NoMoreNoShows message “had never been more important”.
“Last week the hospitality industry saw lots of empty tables in the busiest (and arguably most important) week of the year for us and so many others,” bar reps stated.
“Let’s stop that.”
Restaurants right across the country have reported the same problem since reopening to the public two weeks ago.
A small venue in the Wirral recently made regional headlines after announcing online that it could simply “not afford” any more empty tables, whilst another pub in Benfleet near Southend reported a staggering 60 no-shows in just two days.
The Bohemia in North Finchley said it had suffered 90 no-shows and last-minute cancellations on its first Friday back open since lockdown.
Some venues have now resorted to taking deposits from customers in an attempt to soften the financial impact caused by deserted tables.
The #NoMoreNoShows campaign encourages all customers to contact venues if they cannot make their reservation and rebook for a different time.
One of the early backers of the campaign, Abi Dunn at 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: Victor He / Unsplash
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