For a trial period from today (9 April) until 22 May Turners in Birmingham are using money saved on cancellations to offer guests a set menu at a reduced price every Thursday.
Turners are the latest restaurant in the UK to introduce an American-style ticketing system, following The Clove Club in Shoreditch.
“Being a Michelin restaurant can be considered to be a bit of a double edged knife, diners expect the best in service and food, but often don’t choose to dine at such restaurants as they perceive them to be expensive,” said chef patron Richard Turner.
“As one of the smallest Michelin Restaurants in the UK, with just 28 covers, our costs remain high. If customers decide not to turn up without letting us know it can make the difference between a profit or loss on certain services.”
Expanding pre-paid dining
Rather than using the American ‘Tock’ ticketing system, as done so at The Clove Club, pre-paying customers will be required to book online using Turners’ Opentable system, entering a reference code before their credit card is charged at a flat rate of £45 per head for the discounted menu.
A representative of Turners told BigHospitality that following a successful trial the restaurant would consider introducing pre-paid tickets across other serving times and menus, potentially using the Tock system. However, ‘as part of a trial the set up cost is prohibitive for smaller venues such as Turners’.
Chef Turner said: “We may upset a few people with this Thursday pre-pay system, but I’ve never been one to make decision lightly. At Turners it’s all about the food, but to make the perfect omelette you have to crack a few eggs.”
Restaurant no-shows have been named as a ‘mega problem’ in the restaurant industry by leading figures including Noma’s Rene’ Redzepi, and can cost operators thousands of pounds in revenue.