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LATEST: Business 'booming' for local restaurants

Friday 30th July 2021

NO-SHOWS for restaurant bookings are not as widespread as some reports have claimed, Downs Mail has learned.

One Maidstone restaurant owner claimed recently the issue was affecting a catering industry already struggling with the pandemic.

But his claims that almost half the bookings in his restaurant failed to arrive for their booked tables, resulting in staff being sent home with reduced hours and incomes, have been viewed as exaggerated by other catering outlets.

James Porter, assistant manager at Miller and Carter Steakhouse in Sandling Road said: “No-shows have been few and far between.

“The number of bookings is much the same as pre-lockdown with lots of people booking tables.

Our busiest times are weekends and we do take a deposit of £5 per person to help ensure attendance. It’s very positive for us right now.”

Helen Fowler, manager of Fish on the Green in Bearsted (pictured), said: “We’ve not much experience of no-shows. If people are cancelling, most call to let us know. We’re actually busier now than pre-lockdown.”

At Frederic’s, the French bistro in Market Buildings, Maidstone, a spokesman said: “It’s not a problem. We have no staff worries and should we get any cancellations they are offset by ‘walk-ins’.”

A spokesman for Italian restaurant, La Villetta, in Pudding Lane, said: “No-shows are a sad reality and we have seen some increase since re-opening in May.

“We don’t take a deposit to secure a table, but we are thinking of it more seriously now. Customers not honouring a booking means we suffer financially as we cannot replace those covers.”

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