Popular bar says £25 table deposit has helped deter no-shows after lockdown easing

A popular Washington bar has said it is taking £25 deposits to reserve tables to deter no-show customers.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 5:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 5:48 pm

The River Bar in Fatfield, charges a returnable deposit to book a table in its large outdoor beer garden which overlooks the river Wear.

Assistant general manager Danielle Fullard, explained: “We take a £25 deposit to book a table, which customers get back when they arrive. So that deters people who might book then not turn up. We’ve had four or five who haven’t turned up out of about 400 bookings, so it really hasn’t been a problem for us.”

Since April 12 pubs in England have been able to partially reopen if they are able to provide outdoor table service to up to six people per table. Many pubs with beer gardens, marquees or a pavement licence have taken up the opportunity.

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River Bar has introduced a deposit system for table bookings

Some bars have reported difficulties with some people making bookings then simply failing to turn up.

The majority of pubs in Washington say on the whole customers have been honouring their bookings, and most are open to walk-in customers too.

Joanne Wood, manager of the Wheelhouse in Albany, said: “We’ve been totally fine. Everybody has been spot on.

Clockwise from top left; Washington pubs the Wheelhouse, Victoria Inn, Washington Arms and River Bar.

“I understand it can be difficult. You could have walk-ins only and still have no one turn up. But there aren’t many other places to go to which are particularly close to us.

“We’ve been half bookings and half walk-ins. Only one booking has been taken when the people didn’t turn up – and they rang to say they couldn’t make it. It’s just lovely to be back.”

Lee Jobling, tenant at the Victoria Inn on Oxclose Road, said: “We’ve had a few, but it wasn’t a problem because we had people who were passing by who took their place. Some rang to cancel and some unfortunately didn’t. But it hasn’t been bad.

“Overall we’ve been busy since we opened up again. It’s gone well.”

The Wheelhouse in Albany operates a half booking, half walk-in system and has had no problems with no-shows. JPI image.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes are only able to open outdoor areas until May 17 when indoor dining and drinking is set to return.

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