The Food & Dining section in today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about the fees restaurants have to discourage reservation no-shows and the reasons for them,
Restaurateurs say that when you skip out on your reservation, it can have a big ripple effect on supplies, staffing and finances, especially for smaller restaurants. Knowing how many diners to expect helps the chef determine how much food to buy, and what size staff to have on the floor that night.
“It hurts everybody here,” said Niko Regas, chef at Emilitsa, a 48-seat Greek restaurant on Congress Street in Portland. “It doesn’t just hurt the business. It hurts my employees as well.”
Servers may go without tips, Regas said, and the back-of-house staff might be sent home an hour early.
and an article about program some restaurants have put in place to encourage Winter business.
Winter has always been a tough season for Maine restaurants in seasonal communities along the coast. Once tourists go home, making enough money to get through until spring can be a challenge. Towns like Yarmouth, where snowbirds fly south for the winter, can also suffer. This year has been especially difficult, since winter started early with snow on Halloween. Keeping diners in the seats requires creativity – cue the special events, exclusive dinner offers, and happy hour specials that run only during snowstorms.