Weekend Sun   

Hospitality sector welcomes fewer restrictions

With restrictions on hospitality businesses now eased, removing the cap of 100 people in a venue will be a welcome relief for some.

The Barrel Room owner Stewart Gebbie says the new rules won’t affect them as they are a boutique venue, but it will impact larger venues.

He says things are going fine at the Wharf Street bar and eatery in central Tauranga, but trade isn’t quite back up to pre-lockdown levels.

“Our customers have been pretty good and we’re probably 80 to 90 per cent of the way back,” says Stewart.

However, he admits to having sympathy for Auckland businesses and the impact lockdowns are having on them.

“It'll be a miracle if they come out of this unscathed,” he says. “It must been so hard for them.”

One issue affecting most hospitality businesses is no-shows that can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars each day.

Data from online reservation platform ResDiary reveals people’s failure to cancel bookings and not show up has sky-rocketed by up to 300 per cent in 2021, compared to 2019.

It is anticipated the level two capacity easement, after weeks of restrictions, will see a surge in Kiwis eager to dine out.

However, if the trend for escalating no-shows continues, it will mean those tables that have been held for reservations will result in lost revenue for restaurateurs desperate to recoup losses.

“Something as simple as not taking the time to cancel has real consequences,” says ResDiary head of brand and B2B growth, Rebecca Zeitunian.

“Losing money because people don’t bother to cancel a booking has a huge effect on business.

“Some in the industry have lost an average of more than five per cent of their bookings to ‘no-shows’. Even one table of eight can have real impact.”

Thankfully for Stewart this isn’t an issue at The Barrel Room, with most people calling to let them know they can’t make it.

ResDiary is asking people to remember their manners and call to cancel their reservation.

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