Popular Italian restaurant Gusto has been hit with an ‘unbelievably painful’ spate of no-shows, reporting more than 1,000 missed bookings in just one week – with some blaming it on a new phenomenon called ‘HOGO’.
The group, which has restaurants in both Didsbury and the city centre, told The Times that it’s equated to around £30,000 of lost revenue.
The problem of restaurant no-shows is devastating for restaurants at what should be their busiest period.
The hospitality sector has lost an estimated £17.6bn to the problem since reopening after lockdowns, with roughly one in seven diners not turning up for a booking – and it now seems to be getting worse.
Matt Snell, chief executive of the Italian restaurant group Gusto, reported more than 1,000 unattended bookings across its sites this week alone.
Calling the loss ‘unbelievably painful’, he added: “My view is that it’s laziness or rudeness.”
“I don’t mind cancellations, I’m happy to get them because at least we have an opportunity to replace that booking even if it’s last minute. It is the no-shows that cost us money.”
The sudden spike in no-shows has left some people to wonder, why, at the busiest time of the year for hospitality, restaurants are suddenly finding themselves with empty seats?
The phenomenon of ‘HOGO’ (hassle of going out) has been floated in the press this week – something that I’d like to quash immediately.
If it’s an acronym and it’s not in the Urban Dictionary, I’m not recognising it (I checked, and it’s not in there).
“Gretchen, stop trying to make HOGO happen – it’s not going to happen.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, toldThe Times she doesn’t think it’s being caused by a fear of going out, nor a repeat of people booking multiple venues at once because they weren’t sure they would get a table.
Rather, she said: “I think it is people changing their minds, changing their intentions and forgetting to cancel and not realising the impact that it has on businesses.”
Events organisers have also reported a rise in people not attending, despite paying in advance for tickets.
Manchester night tzar and WHP founder Sacha Lord has weighed in, asking for people to “please be courteous.”
He tweeted: “What sort of person can’t pick up the phone to cancel?
“A restaurant staffs/buys produce and gears up on the back of bookings Makes the deposit idea stronger. Please be courteous”
In the summer of 2020, the hospitality industry united behind a #nomorenoshows campaign to remind people of all the reasons why it’s a terrible idea to make a booking and then simply not bother to show up.
Perhaps it’s time for that to happen again.
Simply put, if you can’t make your reservation – let the restaurant know. It’s just common courtesy. It stops them from losing money. It helps managers staff their restaurants properly.
Come on guys, we’ve already been through this.
Featured image – Gusto
Herd of Santas descend on Manchester healthcare clinic for pre-Christmas ‘elf check’
A gaggle of Santas have been spotted visiting Pall Mall Medical healthcare clinic in Manchester city centre, getting their ‘elf checks’ in before Christmas.
The group were also joined by TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones, who has issued a stark health warning ahead of the festive season – especially for Father Christmas who doesn’t exactly have the healthiest lifestyle.
So scores of Saint Nicks gathered in Manchester today for an exclusive appointment with Dr Hilary ahead of their 41 million mile journey on Christmas Eve.
The private healthcare clinic on King Street, right in the heart of Manchester, will be offering health screens for everyone, with 20% off in December.
Today’s event at Pall Mall Medical was demonstrating the seasonal once-overs offered there with its ‘Santa Stop Here – Free Elf Check’.
It’s estimated that in one day, Santa Clause eats 2.3 billion mince pies and guzzles 138,389,578 litres of sherry – the same as 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or 181 million times the recommended weekly intake.
Concerned Dr Hilary, who is Pall Mall’s ambassador for health screens, said these eye-popping statistics justify Father C is in dire need of an elf MOT.
The health checks can detect ailments from prostate cancer to heart issues.
Dr Hilary said: “When you digest the figures, it’s a miracle Santa is still going strong.
“A lifestyle like his could lead to chronic fatigue at best – diabetes or heart disease at worst.
“We all love a mince pie or three during the festive season, but without sounding too much like a nutcracker he is going way Ho Ho Ho-verboard!
“Of course, Christmas is a time to indulge, but it is still smart to limit food and drink on the naughty list.
“Hopefully, Santa will take note and adopt an elfier lifestyle this year, so he doesn’t become a ghost of Christmas future next year!”
Watch more on Pall Mall Medical here:
Dr Chun Tang Medical Director of Pall Mall, who conducted the Santas private health screens added: “There is nothing more important than health and prevention is better than cure. A private health screen can detect issues before they become a serious medical concern.”
Throughout December Pall Mall Medical is gifting people a discount on private health screens to mark the festive period.
Simply quote ‘Ho Ho Ho’ at the reception desk and receive 20% off a Well Woman or Well Man health screens throughout December, and quote WINTER10 for 10% off GP appointments.
Manchester gaming bar NQ64 claps back at one-star review harassing its staff
A popular gaming bar in Manchester has clapped back at a one-star review that attacked a staff memberby calling them a ‘progressive student gimp’ for wearing a crop top.
NQ64, which has two sites in Manchester – one in the Northern Quarter, and a second on Peter Street – hit out at the rude reviewer this weekend in an act of bartender solidarity. The bar shared the insulting review, left by username Corbin A, to its Instagram page on Sunday alongside a sunny picture of its bar team: all wearing crop tops and grinning sassily into the camera.
The caption on its response post, which has already been liked over 2,200 times, read: “This one’s for you, Corbs – stay progressive x” with a peace sign emoji.
The full one-star review from the unimpressed Corbin A, who has left three reviews on the platform in total, read: “Half your time in there is spent stood waiting to go on games, the other half is watching some progressive student gimp in a crop top take 10 minutes to pour you one drink while he tries to act like a bartender making random throwing movements with glasses and bottles.”
Commenting underneath, followers chimed in thick and fast with their support for the bar and its staff, with one writing: “Please start selling crop tops that say ‘Progressive Student Gimp.'”
Another person said: “Bar staff solidarity! You love to see it ❤️ still the best bar(s) in Manchester.”
A third wrote: “f*ck yeah. This is why I love you guys!!”
A fourth added: “That review should surely be 5 stars! I mean this is a bloody good reason to go, no?!”
Full of retro arcade games and classic consoles, gaming fans can sip on cocktails, craft beers and spirit mixers whilst playing all of their favourites – including the likes of Pac-Man, Time Crisis 2 and Guitar Hero will be additions such as the Mario Kart arcade game, Time Crisis 3 and NBA Jam.
Arcade games are played using a token system, whilst elsewhere there are a selection MegaDrive, PlayStations, GameCube and Super Nintendo consoles for people to get stuck into.