Ever bristled slightly at being asked for a phone number when booking a restaurant? Ever felt a bit irritated if asked to confirm a booking on the day? Consider it from the restaurant's perspective: no-shows are a costly business, in terms of wasted food, wasted labour and the disgruntlement of those who are turned away.
Spare a thought for Cardiff's Bar 44, which suffered from an incredible 16 no-shows last night on what should have been one of the busiest nights of the year. Owner Owen Morgan is understandably fuming, pointing out that the consequences can be devastating. As he notes, the city has already suffered from a spate of closures since the start of the year, and people's thoughtless attitude is hardly helping.
How hard is it to pick up the phone or send a quick email if you can't make it? No harder than it was to make the booking in the first place. No one wants to see restaurants starting to take deposits for all types of booking, whatever the size - but sadly that looks to be inevitable.