Source: The Guardian
The case of Martin O’Grady – who was not allowed to reschedule a £660 pre-paid meal at the Fordwich Arms – highlights the fine margins of the hospitality industry Many of us have had to cancel a restaurant booking, but one customer was left with a bitter taste in his mouth after being charged £660 when he pulled out of a New Year’s Eve dinner because his father was fatally injured . Martin O’Grady wrote on Facebook about his experience with the Michelin-starred Fordwich Arms , near Canterbury. Four days before O’Grady’s reservation, his father was hurt in an accident, so a family member called to ask to move the reservation (O’Grady’s father later died on the day of the booking). They were refused, although Dan Smith , the chef-patron, says the restaurant offered to refund the tickets of O’Grady and his partner, or put the money towards drinks for the rest of the party. They also tried to fill the table from the waiting list. “As a small, independent restaurant in the current financial climate, it is vital we take steps like these to take pre-payments to protect our business,” said Smith.