Montreal restaurants use Twitter to shame no-shows

A new Twitter account has been set up to publicly shame no-shows for restaurant reservations after 28 people did not up for their reservations at a popular Montreal restaurant last weekend.

28 no-shows at popular establishment Tapeo incites online ire of diners, restaurant owners

Victor Afonso, co-owner of Montreal restaurant Tapeo, said he had 28 no-shows on a recent Saturday night. (Tapeo)

A new Twitter account has been set up to publicly shame no-shows for restaurant reservations after 28 people did not show up after making reservations at a popular Montreal restaurant last weekend.

On Saturday, 28 people did not show up for their reservations at Tapeo, a popular restaurant in Montreal's Villeray district — no calls, no texts, no apologies.

Tapeo's co-owner Victor Afonso doesn’t think it’s anything other than forgotten reservations, but he said whatever the reason, no-shows can seriously hurt business.

The Twitter account is not affiliated with Afonso nor his restaurant, although it may have been inspired by what happened last weekend.

Afonso said thanks to his restaurant’s popularity, Tapeo was able to fill the empty tables when parties of 18, six and four failed to show. However, he says less busy restaurants’ bottom lines could be seriously affected by customers not showing up for their reservations.

“The phone stops ringing after a while. People, they made other plans, they’re going somewhere else, and obviously they’re not coming into your establishment,” Afonso told Daybreak host Mike Finnerty.

David Ferguson, owner and chef of Little Italy’s Restaurant Gus — a small establishment with a 28-person capacity — said just one group of four failing to show up for a reservation could erase his profits for the night.

He added it ruins the atmosphere to have an empty table on an otherwise busy night.

Ferguson said Gus has a wall of shame near the telephone his staff uses to take reservations.

And the person behind a new Twitter account called No-Shows Montréal says it will publish the names of the offending no-shows online.

Afonso of Tapeo doesn’t like that approach.

Another option would be to take a credit card number at the time of reservation, however he said he would rather not do that because it’s just an invitation to start a war of words with would-be clients.

Instead, he said getting a call to cancel just an hour or half an hour before the time reserved is better than nothing at all.