A CARDIFF restaurant owner has slammed 34 diners who failed to turn up in one day after turning away 50 walk-ins.
The no-shows had made bookings at the North Star in Maindy for the first Sunday that restaurants in Wales were allowed open for indoor service.
The pub and restaurant's owner, David Rowlands, said they had turned away between 50 and 60 walk-ins as they were fully booked, reports Wales Online.
In a post on social media, he begged customers to "help us stay open" by cancelling reservations if they can no longer make it.
He posted: "Our small kitchen team has worked tirelessly day and night to ensure we have enough food prepped and we have turned down several bookings and walk ins to ensure menu choices for our booked guests.
"This is devastating to our small business, if you book a table with us and cannot make it, please call us so we can let someone else have your table.
"This is the toughest period this industry has faced and we have lost hundreds of thousands during the lockdowns with very limited support."
In preparation for one of the busiest shifts of the week, Mr Rowlands had given his head chef Saturday night off so he could be in early to prepare for the Sunday lunch shift.
The businesses had also already called in all the necessary food supplies to cater for a full-house of guests.
Thankfully, the Facebook and Instagram posts attracted diners to fill the spare tables towards the end of the day meaning no food went to waste.
But it highlighted the devastating impact no-shows have on small, independent businesses.
Mr Rowlands told Wales Online: "It's just really disheartening and demotivating for the team.
"You're having to send staff home early and then they're not getting as much money then."
The hospitality industry has been among those hit the hardest by the pandemic and the Covid closures.
In some areas, the lifting of restrictions in May has allowed them to serve customers for the first time since last year.
Mr Rowlands took on the pub in August 2020 and stayed open throughout lockdown to serve takeaway dinners.
But because the businesses didn't trade in the previous tax year, it wasn't eligible for the hospitality industry's reopening grant.
Mr Rowlands isn't the only restaurant owner who has slammed no-show diners.
Some restaurants bosses have been attempting to crackdown on no shows by enforcing a "pay-before-you-eat" policy.
Restaurants like Birmingham-based 670 grams are taking pre-payments for £70 ten-course tasting menus to avoid missing out on cash.
The restaurant's owner Kray Treadwell told the Sunday Times: "We're such a small restaurant, if the table of four doesn't turn up on a Friday night, then we lose hundreds of pounds."
It comes as around six pubs have vanished for good each week since the start of the first lockdown.
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