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Pay here for not eating!

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 19:54 IST

Restaurants in London are charging customers who fail to honour table bookings, adopting a practice already widespread in countries like the United States.
 
Some of the capital's glitziest eateries are penalising no-shows to the tune of up 30 pounds (44 euros, 58 dollars) per person.

And one restaurant frequently voted one of the world's finest -- the Fat Duck in Bray, just west of London -- charges up to 100 pounds per person for group bookings which do not materialise, London's Evening Standard newspaper reported.

Two city centre restaurants confirmed that they impose fees as a way of protecting their revenues.

Roast, located in historic foodie haven Borough Market, said it charged 10 pounds per head for groups of more than 10 people which did not turn up.

Bentley's Oyster Bar in the West End theatre district added that it charged no-shows 30 pounds per person.

Gaby Huddart, editor of the Square Meal restaurant guide, said restaurants had introduced cancellation fees due to some customers' "bad manners".

"A lot of people think 'I'd like to eat out on Friday night', book five places and choose one on the night without cancelling.

"Restaurants aren't greedy but they have very high overheads and narrow margins," she told the Evening Standard.

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