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The George landlady in 'blacklist' threat to pub no-show customers

THE landlady of a Fordingbridge pub has threatened to blacklist customers if they fail to show for a booking twice without cancelling.

Caroline Roylance said The George will adopt the policy after she lost money as lockdown measures have eased to allow outdoor hospitality.

She was left "very disappointed" when more than 30 people failed to show up for tables booked on Saturday night. She highlighted how they amounted to over a quarter of all 120 reservations.

Landlady Caroline Roylance outside the pub's pergola area
Landlady Caroline Roylance outside the pub's pergola area

She added: “Many people say we should take deposits but it’s just not possible.

"It is already one person’s full-time job to take people's details for Test and Trace – the system that the government paid £27bn for doesn’t really seem to be being used – less than 20% of our customers have the app – and I simply cannot afford to pay a person to look after deposits.

"We’re already running with 50% more staff than usual because we have to provide full table service to be open.

"If you have booked a table at a pub or restaurant or a café or a farm shop and you can no longer make it please call to cancel."

She said that since putting up the post on Facebook, the pub had been sent messages of support by customers, who offered to fill empty seats.

The George is operating a booking system
The George is operating a booking system

"That has brought a tear to my eye," Ms Roylance added.

Based at Bridge Street, the pub is well known in the Forest for its outdoor dining area that overlooks the River Avon. During the lockdown it built new features to host diners and drinkers, including a pergola and courtyard.

On The George's Facebook page, many joined in with Ms Roylance’s condemnation of no-show customers.

One said: "That's so rude and so annoying for you. We got stuck in traffic Friday lunchtime and even phoned to tell you we would be late but still wanted the table – just common courtesy.

"Some folk have no manners at all."

Another added: "This has been an incredibly difficult year for the hospitality sector and it is seriously disappointing that people are inconsiderate enough not to factor that in."

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