A Michelin-starred chef has criticized a group of guests for not showing up for their reservation.
On July 12, Tom Kerridge, who owns Kerridge’s Bar and Grill in London, revealed on Instagram that 27 people had reserved seats at his restaurant but were absent at their tables.
“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,” he wrote.
The chef then went on to call out the guests’ behavior and the consequences it had on his staff.
“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 …” Kerridge continued. “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.”
The chef concluded his post with a stern rebuke.
“You are the worst kind of guest, and that is ‘selfish,’ he wrote. “I hope you have good look at yourselves.”
Kerridge’s post has since gone viral, receiving over 30,000 likes and nearly 4,000 comments, many of which were supportive of him.
“Well said Tom,” fellow chef Clare Smyth wrote. “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.”
“This is disgraceful,” Simon Rimmer, a celebrity chef, added. “The biggest insult to our industry.”
The U.K.’s hospitality industry employs about 2 million people, according to Restaurant Business Online. To help combat the effects of the current pandemic on local eateries, the country’s government recently announced that it would cover 50 percent of a customer’s meal (up to 10 euros per meal) from Monday to Wednesday through August. It would also reduce its value-added tax to five percent for restaurant meals and non-alcoholic beverages.
If you’d like to support restaurants during this time, consider looking into businesses in Chinatown.
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