Money & Banking

Bar owner slams no-show customer in open letter

Bar owner slams no-show customer in open letter

As restaurants and bars across New South Wales reopen with a limit of 10 diners at once, a Sydney restaurant has published an open letter criticising a customer who did not show up for her reservation.

Aref Jaroud, owner of Surry Hills bar Low 302, unleashed on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Saturday evening after a party of four under the name “Aimee” decided not to show up without cancelling.

The post began by thanking Aimee for making a booking for four people, or “40 per cent of our entire capacity”, and then failing to show up without having “the common courtesy to call us up and cancel”.

“We had people on a waiting list who would have been happy to take your reservation,” Jaroud wrote.

“Maybe you have no idea the financial impact this has on a restaurant right now. Maybe you don’t care.

“You have single-handedly set the worst of precedence for our entire industry at this most difficult time.”

Jaroud said the no-show forced the venue to move to a deposit booking system, “something we really wanted to avoid having to do”.

The post was signed off with the message: “Aimee, there is a special place for you to burn in hospo hell.”

Jaroud told 9Honey he had changed his mind about taking deposits from patrons since the post was published.

“If a person is feeling a bit unwell they should not feel any pressure to attend a booking because they fear they may lose their deposit. For that reason alone we will not be asking for deposits and will ‘take it on the chin’ for no shows,” he told the outlet.

“I understand that there may be circumstances whereby a person cannot make a cancellation and that's fine, but my point being if you can pick up the phone because you’ve just changed your mind, please do.”

Jaroud told Yahoo News Australia he doesn’t regret the Facebook post, saying it was a “reminder to people that restaurants really are doing it hard”.

Mat Lindsay, owner of Surry Hills wine bar Poly, also experienced a no-show on Saturday night. He said the two people who did not show up made up about seven per cent of loss in “possible takings”.

“That night when it happened to us it was 5pm – we had a whole bunch of people we had to say ‘Sorry, the space is taken’ to, and they left disappointed,” Lindsay told Broadsheet.

“They were excited – they could finally go out and have dinner and a glass of wine and we said we couldn’t fit them in. Then those seats sat vacant. That was the more upsetting thing about it – turning people away.”