Members of the public who are making multiple reservations and then deciding on the evening to which venue to go are hugely undermining the recovery of businesses in Galway, that is according to CEO of Galway Chamber Kenneth Deery.
Mr Deery says even the loss of one table booking can be the difference in a business' ability to make full payroll for the night.
"In ordinary times no shows are a huge disappointment and frustration," he says. "One table can make the difference in the ability of an owner to make full payroll or not. I spoke to one restaurateur who had three no shows for dinner last Saturday night.
"There will always be exceptional cases where someone takes unwell and a group cannot attend, but anecdotally there is evidence of people making multiple reservations and then deciding on the evening which venue to go to. This is hugely undermining and disappointing to hard pressed employers and employees, it’s a loss of revenue."
In order to limit the impact of no shows on businesses, Mr Deery believes credit card details will be needed to be provided on reservation.
"I think most people will find it reasonable to provide credit card details to confirm a reservation – in keeping with data protection there are many technological solutions where a link can be sent from the restaurant to the mobile of the chief booker, who will confirm the intent to turn up.
"Chamber member company and PorterShed member Clearbookings led by Ciaran Flynn could happily work with any property to build a very easy to use solution."
Local restaurateur Jp McMahon echoed similar sentiments saying he has had to ask for credit card details upon bookings at Cava Bodega and Tartare.
"We never took credit card details with bookings at Cava or Tartare before recently. We are trading at 60 per cent at what usually would so we can't afford no shows. On Saturday we had eight people not show for lunch at Cava.
"We are practically down to zero walk-ins at Cava. It is all bookings now. Just two [customers] on Saturday were walks-in which normally would be around 60 or 70 so when there are no shows for bookings, we have nobody to replace them."