December 4, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Reservations: “Disgraceful” cancellations for restaurants

Reservations: "Disgraceful" cancellations for restaurants

Restaurant owners say they are humiliated by the spate of customers who don’t show up for their reservations, resulting in a significant financial loss in the middle of the holiday season.

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On Friday, a restaurant in Quebec was forced to close without serving a single person because a group that had reserved all the seats did not show up.

“We managed to fill the restaurant ten times with requests that we had to turn down because we were full. Instead, the equivalent of a few thousand dollars was thrown out the window,” laments Jerome Gilpin, co-owner of Verre Pickle Restaurant.

Almost an hour into the reservation, a table is still empty at this small establishment on Maguire Street.

“We confirmed with them the day before that everything was fine and on the same day, no one called us to cancel. What a shame to close for two years on holidays! Harassed Mr Gilpin who had to close his business for the evening.

A recurring nuisance

Some of the food ordered by Verre Pickle on this occasion may be sent in a boxed lunch to several customers earlier in the week, to show their support on social networks.

But not everyone is very lucky and a phenomenon No show Very common throughout the province, as evidenced by restaurants contacted News magazine.

“Very quickly, we decided not to take more than six people without signing a contract,” says Erica Soleilhac, owner of Tandem restaurant in Verchers on Montreal’s South Shore.

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On the side of Brasserie INOX in Quebec, owner Philippe Desrosiers did not mince his words to condemn consumers of this practice who have been victimized for the past few days.

“It’s become a plague. People book at multiple places so they can choose where to go that day without canceling other reservations. It’s completely disrespectful,” he said.

“Break” the trend

The Association Restauration Québec (ARQ) is currently working with the government to allow restaurants to charge a “modest fee” in the event that a reservation is not met.

A last-minute cancellation forced Verre Pickle' restaurant co-owner Jerome Gilpin (right) and his cook Philip Gilpin to close the establishment without serving customers on Friday.

Photo QMI Agency, Joel Lemay

“We’re talking about $20, if that’s what it takes No show. In the medium term, we will no longer need this, but for now, we must break this trend,” explained Martin Vezina, Vice President of Public and Government Affairs for ARQ, who will be meeting with the Office de Law. Consumer Protection to this extent in January.

Exception

At the moment, the only exception to the rule is signing a contract for the reservation of groups where the customer agrees to make a deposit, as the restaurant does in tandem.

“We choose the menu and the wines depending on the number of people. Then, we issue a quote to our clients and they return the signed contract to us with a 30% deposit,” says Ms. Soleilhaq explained.

In collaboration with Audrey Robitaille

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