Nose-to-tail restaurant St. John in London’s Clerkenwell will start charging a £20 per diner no-show fee for guests that fail to turn up when it reopens on 29 July.
As reported by Eater London, St. John’s owners, Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver, have decided to implement the fee following a string of customer no-shows since restaurants have been allowed to reopen in the UK on 4 July.
Bloomberg’s Richard Vines broke the news that both St. John’s flagship restaurant in Smithfield and its sister site, St. John Bread and wine in Spitalfields will reopen on 29 July. Both venues started taking bookings last Friday.
“It’ll be great to fire up the stoves and to put good things on the plate once more. The ‘no-shows’ experience of many already is not acceptable. One pandemic is enough, hence the charge,” Gulliver told Eater.
The move comes as an increasing number of chefs have been taking to social media to vent their frustration regarding no-shows.
On 12 July, chef and restaurateur Tom Kerridge, who runs two Michelin-starred pub The Hand & Flowers in Marlow, flagged up the problem of no-shows on Instagram.
He revealed that 27 people had failed to turned up to his London restaurant Kerridge’s Bar & Grill at the Corinthia London hotel after making reservations.
“This industry is on the verge of collapse. All of you ‘no-shows’ in all restaurants up and down the country are adding to the issues already being faced,” Kerridge wrote.
“You are putting people’s 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 will in turn force very uncomfortable and hard decisions about staffing levels. You are the worst kind of guest, and that is ‘selfish’,” he added.
According to Eater, Jolene in Newington Green, Primeur in Highbury and Westerns Laundry in Holloway have upped their no-show fee to £50.