The Handbook
The Handbook

If you’d asked me a week ago what it would take to send Tom Kerridge, officially the nicest man in cooking, into a rage I would’ve drawn a blank. He’s the sort of guy where you could steam-roller his car and he’d still make you a sandwich. We teased him about his accent, and he retweeted us. A friendlier guy you’re never going to meet… unless you no-show at his restaurant.

An enraged Kerridge has taken to social media to blast ‘selfish’ diners who make bookings at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill at the Corinthia London and then simply don’t turn up.

His Instagram post came as 27 bookings for the already iconic restaurant decided to cancel their bookings without calling ahead, leaving the restaurant over staffed and over prepared for the evening and losing out on crucial revenue.

At a time when walk-ins are rare, given central London footfall has dwindled to nothing, restaurants rely on diners to follow through on bookings.

Kerridge slammed them, saying ‘Your behaviour is disgraceful, shortsighted and down right unhelpful… You are the worst kind of guest, and that is “selfish”. I hope you have good look at yourselves…’

The West Country chef also owns two Michelin star-er Hand & Flowers, one-Michelin-starred Coach and the Butcher’s Tap (which is basically every restaurant in Marlow), as well as the Bull & Bear at Manchester’s Stock Exchange Hotel, and probably knows as well as anyone the damaging effect of no-shows.

You are the worst kind of guest... I hope you have good look at yourselves

It was a cause taken up by a number of other chefs, who added to the Insta thread. Michelin starred chef and owner of Social Eating House and a string of top-flight London restaurants Jason Atherton agreed, writing ‘why does our industry get treated like this when a single phone call when you change your mind sorts all of this out? YOU should be ashamed of yourself ‘, continuing with a plea to ‘name and shame them Tom’!

Bake Off winner Candice Brown chipped in with ‘What???? This is not ok’ while the wonderful Clare Smyth from CORE added ‘Well said Tom. We need to educate people now more than ever. Our industry needs to come into line with others. Staff don’t work for free because the guests don’t turn up. Ingredients are prepared and wasted. It is incredibly disrespectful’. Indeed, CORE takes credit cards on reservation and charges £100 a head for no-shows.

And it’s not just the posh restaurants like Kerridge’s swanky Corinthia joint, but applies nationwide. Kerridge makes the point ‘I talk about the whole of the industry, not just my restaurant in London, that has zero Michelin stars…. this is about a much bigger picture, all restaurant staff in the whole of the sector are under the threat of redundancy and this does not help’.

Tom, as ever we are absolutely behind you! Kerridge has been a standard bearer for an industry we love throughout lockdown and once again is spot-on.

Guys, please stop no-showing!