Kirkcaldy pub hits out after 64 no shows in one weekend costs them thousands of £s

The owner of a Kirkcaldy pub has hit out after 64 people who had bookings between Friday and Saturday failed to turn up.
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Dallas Mackay, who runs The Duchess, has vented her anger and disappointment after around 100 people failed to show for bookings between Wednesday and Saturday last week.

She said from the 64 no shows over Friday and Saturday alone, she has lost around £4-5000 in revenue as a result of people failing to cancel.

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She said it just takes two minutes to make a phone call to cancel a booking or to send a Facebook message and that people don’t realise the impact of not showing up for their reservation.

Kirkcaldy pub The Duchess had 64 no shows over Friday and Saturday.Kirkcaldy pub The Duchess had 64 no shows over Friday and Saturday.
Kirkcaldy pub The Duchess had 64 no shows over Friday and Saturday.

Dallas said: “I have their names and numbers and when I have called a few of them they have said ‘oh I meant to cancel’ and one of them started coughing down the phone saying they had Covid, but I said they could still cancel even if that was the case.

"It takes a second to pick up the phone but people don’t understand the repercussions.

Dallas Mackay, owner of The Duchess. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.Dallas Mackay, owner of The Duchess. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.
Dallas Mackay, owner of The Duchess. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

“On Wednesday night, we had nearly 70 covers between 5.00 and 7.00pm. I brought in extra staff in the kitchen, behind the bar and on the floor, and then 32 people didn't turn up!

"I lost between £4000 and £5000 in revenue last weekend.

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"Don’t get me wrong we did manage to fill some of the tables, but there were at least 28 people booked for drinks on Saturday who didn’t show up. I’m keeping bar staff here for parties of six and eight coming in and then people aren’t coming.”

She said everyone knows how hard the hospitality industry has been hit as a result of the pandemic, but people aren’t giving businesses like hers any consideration.

"Many businesses have been crippled because of Covid, but people think they will be the only one not to show up so it’s okay. Staff wages still need to be paid because they are here.”

She said as well as the pandemic, her business was also hit after torrential rain last August resulted in flooding which caused extensive damage to the Duchess, forcing it to close for even longer.

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She continued: “We were only open for three weeks between March last year and May this year because of the flooding as well as the pandemic so it has been really hard.”

She said from this week she is now taking a deposit of £10 per head for bookings: “It’s so much more work but if it makes a difference, then it has to be done.”

Another Kirkcaldy pub, O’Connells, has also experienced problems with customers not turning up.

Manager Eamonn Thompson said: “We had approximately five to 30 no shows on Saturday - nothing as bad as The Duchess, although it is still damaging.

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"We started taking deposits when we opened back up again after lockdown, taking a £20 deposit per table which then comes off the final bill. It secures the table and it helps the customer to honour the booking.

"We have a ladies night in August which we are taking deposits for and we have deposits for larger tables – for six or eight people.

"In future it might be something we might consider for all tables.”

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