A pub landlord has hit out at a 'disgusting individual' who booked 42 seats in its restaurant – then didn't show up.
The Black Ladd in Shaw, Greater Manchester, was forced to turn away 47 genuine customers last Tuesday (29 June) after a rogue would-be customer or customers used fake information to reserve seven tables.
Each reservation, for six dinners, was made via an online booking service using fake information and contact details.
Bosses have called it a “deliberate, disgusting act” that forced them to turn away paying customers who genuinely wanted to dine out.
Staff at the Manchester pub say the tables were intentionally booked with no intention of using them, to "disrupt the business financially".
Among those who were refused service were “loyal, elderly” customers who visit every Tuesday evening.
The disruption came as landlords nationwide are under more financial pressure from no-shows, as they recover their businesses in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
The boss of one upmarket pub in Worcester has defended his decision to charge customers £30 if they don't show up for a booking.
Describing their mass no-show, meanwhile, the Black Ladd pub in Manchester said in a statement: “All management and staff at The Black Ladd want to say a huge thank you to the individual or individuals who decided to use our online booking service to book tables using false information and wasting 42 seats in our restaurant yesterday.
“It’s not enough that our sector has already been hit the hardest due to covid, but this individual or individuals decided to book 7 tables each for 6 diners, all for yesterday using false data and telephone numbers each time with no intention of ever turning up.
“This was done for no other reason that this person or persons wanted to disrupt our business financially.
“All tables were booked through our system from 9.15am to 9.34am which were allocated throughout most of the day.
“We had to turn away 47 customers yesterday that legitimately want to come and dine with us but due to this deliberate disgusting act we had to refuse them a table.
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“The main reason this is so frustrating is that our lovely staff lost half of their hours yesterday which they rely to live on.
"What hurts just as much is we had to turn away some of our elderly loyal customers who come every Tuesday evening due to this disgusting act!!
“I will of course personally ensure none of my staff are out of pocket due to someone’s act of stupidity.
“We have had to change some of the parameters in our online system to avoid this from happening again but it is just as simple as before to book a table online when you wish to do so."