Kinsale restaurant takes no-shows off the menu as diners fail to fulfil bookings in 'new culture'

Kinsale restaurant takes no-shows off the menu as diners fail to fulfil bookings in 'new culture'
The Black Pig wine bar in Kinsale, Co Cork, which has had a number of no-shows at their restaurant. Picture: Dan Linehan

The owners of a restaurant in Ireland's culinary capital have bemoaned no-shows by people who have already booked tables.

Siobhan Waldron, who runs the Black Pig Wine Bar in Kinsale alongside her husband, Gavin Ryan, has said that since reopening, a small minority of people who are booking tables are not showing up.

“First of all, I would like to say that we have received an amazing show of support since we reopened. I would like to thank our customers for that. We have had to make some changes since reopening, meaning we have fewer tables and just take reservations. We wouldn’t have many walk-ins,” said Siobhan.

“This has left us with a small minority of people who are reserving tables and not showing,” she added.

Siobhan says that they have seen a worrying trend of two-to-four customers a night not showing, with a group booking of 10 people failing to show earlier this week.

“With the new regulations, we can only seat around 25. This, along with the fact we are not getting walk-ins, means it is very frustrating. For the night we had 10 people not show, that was two tables left empty. 

"We had brought on an extra member of staff to help with that table, and they still had to be paid. If this continues, it will put us at risk.”

Siobhan says that this trend is a new one and that they did not have the issue to the same extent prior to closing for lockdown.

We wouldn’t have had the same levels of no-shows beforehand. It seems to be a new culture nationwide.

Similar to other restaurants across the country, The Black Pig will now be taking a reservation fee for parties of five and over.

“I never have liked putting that kind of onus on people. I would just ask people who have booked, and can’t make it to give us 24 hours notice or at least give us a call that morning. Again, we want to say that this is a very small minority. We are so grateful to our regulars who are continuing to support us,” she said.

Meanwhile, one generous customer in Dublin left a tip of nearly €200.

Staff at Hugo’s Restaurant in St Stephens Green took to social media to thank the diner, whose tip was nearly 400% the price of the meal.

“An amazingly generous act towards the team by a lovely & totally unassuming customer tonight. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you,” they said on Twitter.

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