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The hospitality industry needs you to show off your reservation

The White Lion Pub, seen in Covent Garden, UK.

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As the parties come out of the blockade, pub and restaurant owners have a simple request for players: read your reservations.

Drinks and eateries that fail to give up before making a reservation are expected to cost the UK hotel 1

6 billion pounds ($ 22.2 billion) in 2019. Now, after more than a year of reduced trade, what once a social sin, it may turn out to be a poison pill.

Pubs, whose appeal lies in granting a licensing license, are uniquely vulnerable to the limitations of Covid-19. The UK lost more than 2,700 of them in January and February alone, on top of about 12,000 or more that research consultancy CGA estimates it should have closed its doors forever last year. This is more than one pub that falls apart every hour.

In America, the situation is just as terrible. The National Restaurant Association estimates that 110,000 dining and drinking venues have been closed in the long run – if not forever – by December 2020, as the industry has lost nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars.

Eating and drinking places, bars and taverns were hardest hit, with those remaining open seeing a 65% drop in sales during the year.

Even if President Joe Biden’s vaccine plans and infrastructure plans lay the groundwork for the miracle to recover, the association says profits this year “will not be nearly enough” to offset Covid-19’s losses in the sector.

The data collected by the reservation company OpenTable reveals the damages. “Even more than ever when restaurants reopen,” EMEA Vice President Lucy Taylor said in a statement, “it’s important to all be aware of the impact that non-exhibitions can have.”

When customers do not warn a pub or restaurant that they cannot reach a reservation, the place remains to hold the bag. Foursquare Group, an independent business advocate based in the United Kingdom, explains: “Hospitals use their booking information to plan staff and ensure they have enough supplies to fulfill their orders. When a customer fails to arrive for a given reservation, it is almost impossible for a restaurant to resell that table without notice. ”

Egil Johansen, owner of The Kenton, a multi-award-winning pub in Hackney, East London, told CNBC during a phone call about his experience of not arriving when English pubs briefly reopened in December.

“We were fully booked and one Friday 30 people did not show up. We repelled people. These non-arrivals represent about half of our indoor capacity,” he said.

Johansen described the loss of business as “devastating”, stressing the habit of some players to reserve tables in different places at the same time, choosing one and not canceling the others, as particularly discouraging.

Despite Covid-19, about 60% of new restaurants failed their first year before the pandemic hit. Now these surviving businesses are going down a thin line to turn on the lights: following the rules of social exclusion inspires the number of people businesses can serve, and in many cases forces them to reduce their trading hours.

The venues can serve small groups outside England and there is hope that the sector will be able to recover – the latest CGA data show that almost half of older Englishmen have already returned to hospitality within a week of resuming.

In Kenton, Johansen said he was “very nervous” waiting to open his doors on April 12. Earlier on Monday, he built a roof over the beer garden in case visitors were repelled by the city’s notorious erratic weather.

In an effort to reduce the number of missing showers, Foursquare Group has launched the #SaveMySeat campaign, urging the public to pay a deposit when making a table reservation.

Louise Kisak, executive director of the hospitality group, says the goal is to “help customers understand that when a local independent restaurant asks you for a small deposit when booking, it’s just their way of protecting their business and protecting their future.” . “

For its part, OpenTable also punishes people who do not show up. Lucy Taylor explains: “Repeated offenders who do not show up for a reservation four times in 12 months are prohibited from making future reservations through the app and the website.”

Johansen took a different approach – what he called a “deterrent, not a deposit”. Kenton does not accept deposits when booking, but requires visitor card details. “No money leaves your account unless you show up,” he says. “Regulars don’t mind, because they’re used to putting a card behind the bar anyway. If people are serious about showing up, they’ll provide their details.”

It’s still the early days of the England opening, but when Johansen spoke to CNBC, Kenton was at full capacity every night without showing up. On the first night, he says, “the mood has just risen.”

However, visiting the pub created a problem for him. “I had to place another order with my supplier,” he laughs. “Otherwise, I may not be able to meet the demand.”

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