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Tuesday 16 April 2024

When the customer is wrong. Very wrong.


Times are tough in the hospitality industry. 

Costs are rising, good staff are hard to find and even harder to hold on to, and customers are resisting price increases. 

We've all heard stories, probably from friends, as to how they've booked dinner at a couple of places and will decide later which one to visit. 

They may, or may not, bother to cancel their second reservation. 

Because a lot of people are assholes. 

Which is why many restaurants are now demanding deposits when you make a booking. Non-refundable if you cancel without a reasonable excuse. 

Here's an example. 

A small regional business that I know recently took a booking for 80 people: a group who wanted to get together for drinks after an event. 

That meant the establishment had to halt serving food, drinks and coffees to the public - including regular customers - for a couple of hours. And put on an extra staff member for the bar. 

What happened? Of the 80 people who booked, 33 turned up. 

And they ordered an average of one drink each. 

No apology. Just entitlement. 

So next time you are forced to stump up an non-refundable deposit you can think people like them. 

Image: David Rubin,  

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