Well-known Sheffield pub sends warning to ‘no-show’ diners: ‘Far too often we are falling victim’

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A Sheffield pub in one of the city’s most picturesque spots has issued a warning to ‘no show’ diners – a sign that the problem persists despite the campaigning efforts of top chefs and the wider hospitality industry.

The Norfolk Arms – a Grade II-listed former coaching inn at Ringinglow on the edge of the Peak District – is taking bookings to help enforce social distancing indoors, but bosses say people are failing to turn up for their reservations ‘far too often’.

In a message headed ‘polite reminder to all customers’, accompanied by a picture of an empty table, the pub's management wrote on Facebook: “It goes without saying, thank you for showing interest in dining with us.

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“However, when you book a table please remember to turn up to your booking or if you change your mind, which is completely fine, please call us to cancel and if we don't pick up, please leave us a voicemail.

“Sadly, far too often and especially on busier days, we are falling victim to the dreaded 'no-shows' which means we're not only losing your custom but also we're turning away other families who would no doubt have enjoyed a lovely afternoon and some good pub grub on the available table.”

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The scourge of ‘no-shows’ has been on the agenda after restaurants, pubs, cafés and bars were given the green light to reopen with social distancing measures from July 4. The need to control numbers and offer table service means many places that would traditionally have a relaxed walk-in policy are now insisting on bookings.

Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge reported that 27 customers did not turn up as expected over a weekend at his London establishment, while TV cook Paul Ainsworth said he had 27 ‘shocking’ no-shows in Rock, Cornwall, on July 14.

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The Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow, Sheffield. Picture: Chris Etchells.The Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow, Sheffield. Picture: Chris Etchells.
The Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow, Sheffield. Picture: Chris Etchells.

Kerridge said such behaviour was ‘disgraceful’ and was putting jobs at risk after coronavirus shut down the hospitality industry in March.

In Sheffield, almost 100 people with bookings did not arrive at BoozeHound, a bar at the Cutlery Works food hall in Neepsend, on the first two weekends following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

Fine dining venue Rafters, in Nether Green, charges ‘no-show’ tables £45 per person.

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