Should diners be required to give their credit card details when they book at a restaurant?
The answer from restaurateurs is a firm yes.
The debate has fired up on Facebook after Auckland chef Kyle Street posted about a recent evening which saw two separate groups cancel and another just not show up, accounting for 30 percent of their capacity.
Food writer Lauraine Jacobs told Andrew Dickens that when a restaurant knows that a large group is coming, they have prepped for this by getting fresh food, and they have to turn people away.
"I think it is incredibly unfair. When you ring a restaurant and say can you give me a table, you are making a contract."
She says that hospitality industry wants to be about warmth and not put people off, but the rules have changed after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jacobs says that they should take a deposit that is equal to profit when people make bookings.
The booking practice would stop people trying to book multiple restaurants and then deciding on the day.