Northumberland restaurant owner hits out after 93% of bookings fail to turn up

A Northumberland restaurateur has hit out at the number of people not turning up for bookings.

By Ian Smith
Friday, 4th June 2021, 1:58 pm
Lock, Stock, 'n' Burgers owner Robert Stott and his sister, Carly Stott.
Lock, Stock, 'n' Burgers owner Robert Stott and his sister, Carly Stott.

Robert Stott, owner of Lock Stock ‘n’ Burgers in Berwick was shocked when only four diners out of 56 bookings turned up last Saturday night.

"It’s been happening every night but that night in particular was ridiculous,” he said.

A few days later, tables of eight, six, four and two failed to turn up.

Lock, Stock 'n' Burgers in Berwick.

“As a small business we can’t carry on just accepting no shows,” said Robert. “We did try and contact these bookings but we got hung up on on every phone call.

"It’s not just us it’s happening to either. There are a lot of places in Berwick and probably elsewhere where it’s happening.”

"We understand things change last minute. But please just let us know as we turned down a lot of people who would have liked to come.”

As a result, a minimum table deposit has been introduced for phone bookings.

"We really didn’t want to put this in place,” said Robert. “But have been left with no choice after the year hospitality has had.”

This will only be required for tables above four. They will require £5 per head for tables. And £10 per head for tables above six when permitted.

"This will be deducted from your bill on the night of your booking – and will be non refundable if we do not get 24 hours notice of cancellation,” said Robert. “If your table is smaller than the booked size this will also non-refundable for the missing people unless you let us know.”

The new system is already having an impact.

“Lots more people are now turning up,” said Robert. “We’ve got a good following of locals so we’ve had a lot of support since word got out that we’d had so many no shows.”

The restaurant, which opened in 2018, stayed open serving takeaways for the vast majority of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It’s been good since the restrictions were eased and Berwick is very busy just now so we’re getting lots of bookings,” he said. “We just need them all to turn up.”

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