'These businesses need every penny' - What you said about paying deposits for outdoor hospitality

As bars, pubs and restaurants welcomed customers back for the first time in months following a further easing of coronavirus restrictions on April 12, we asked for your views on paying a deposit to secure your spot.

The question came as some venues reported punters not turning up for their pre-booked tables, leaving a space which could have otherwise been filled.

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Under the Government’s roadmap out of the third coronavirus lockdown, indoor hospitality is set to follow in the week commencing Monday, May 17 – if the data supports a further easing of rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson carries a pint through a beer garden on the local election campaign trail. Picture: Jacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

We asked our readers whether or not they would be happy to pay a deposit to guarantee their table, with many hugely supportive of the idea as a way to help businesses bounce back.

Others called for venues to instead operate on a first come, first served basis.

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This is what you said on our social media pages:

Graham Donkin: “The businesses have suffered enough without losing revenue from people not showing up. £10 for each person sounds fair enough to me.”

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Barry Graham: “Charge people - so long as it’s taken off the bill after the first round at the venue. No show means no refund.

"People booking tables and not turning up/not ringing to cancel, should be ashamed as these businesses need every penny.”

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Eileen Cassley: “They should have to pay a deposit as businesses are struggling to start with and can't afford to have no shows. Or just do first come basis if you lucky you'll get a table.”

Sylvia Boyce: “No way would I book, I would rather just turn up and take a chance of a table.”

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Billy Hood: “Should be first come, first served. Would never have any empty tables. When it's bookings only you will always get a few who drop you in it.”

Courtney Elston: “Should do half booking, half walk in.”

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Julie Burnham: “Should be just walk ins, first come first served and there wouldn’t be any empty tables, loads less hassle for everyone.”

Courtney Rangihoea Murray: “I think if people book a table they should pay a little deposit per person. Most places are doing that anyway.”

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Stephen Sullivan: “100%. It’s a big deal for hospitality businesses when people don’t turn up for their bookings. With limited available capacity it’s important you do honour your booking or give 24 hours warning of cancellation.”

Barry Green: “Only if you got your deposit money knocked off your bill.”

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Jeni Hart: “It’s a nightmare for pubs who are trying to get back into the swing of things after being closed for so long. I would be very happy to pay the deposit.”

Charlotte Appleyard: “All well and good saying no if you're going to keep a booking, but for a business if there are no shows they are losing money when they can't replace the table.

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"The whole point of a deposit is that it would come out of the bill so why not?”

The dramatic events of the pandemic are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive.

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Thank you.