The so-called phenomenon of ‘Hogo’ (Hassle of Going Out) is starting to affect the hospitality sector, with restaurants as well as sporting and music events seeing levels of no-shows and last-minute cancellations hit up to 20 per cent – even when tickets and reservations were paid for.
Homebodies in the UK appear to be dreading Christmas parties and family gatherings – perhaps after getting accustomed to sitting at home in front of the television after 18 months of relatively isolated living due to the Covid pandemic.
Restaurant group Gusto Italian said it experienced 1,000 no-shows in its 12 restaurants last week, which cost its business tens of thousands in revenue.
Homebodies are dreading Christmas parties and family gatherings after getting accustomed to sitting at home in front of the television and are not showing up to restaurant bookings and nights out (stock image)
Trade body UKHospitality which represents hotels, visitor attractions, bars and restaurants, says no-shows at restaurants have reached 15-20 per cent, according to The Times.
Pre-paid sporting and music events were experiencing no-shows at around 15 per cent.
Restaurateurs say the attitude has crept in because of the pandemic and people now think they can avoid bookings at the last minute.
Co-owner of the Rathfinny Wine Estate in Alfriston, East Sussex, Sarah Driver, said her and her husband Mark have noticed a huge rise in no shows and cancellations.
The rise has affected their business hugely as they only have 36-42 covers.
It has forced them to start requesting card details during booking since October and to ask that they are given 72 hours notice of a cancellation or a charge of £20 per head.
Co-owner of the Rathfinny Wine Estate (pictured) in Alfriston, East Sussex, Sarah Driver, said her and her husband Mark have noticed a huge rise in no shows and cancellations
Mrs Driver said: ‘I wonder if, through Covid, we have become used to being able to cancel. You could say, ‘Oops, somebody is ill, I’m not going to come’.
‘There will be genuine cases of that still despite people being double vaccinated, but maybe we have got it into our heads that that was okay.’
She said her friend was going out for dinner in London on Friday night with another couple who were running late.
They were discussing cancelling but Mrs Driver said she had to urge them not to because the restaurant only had 30 covers and they were supposed to be at the restaurant in 30 minutes.
People are not turning up to restaurant and event bookings even when they are prepaid (stock image)
The chief executive of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls said: ‘We are seeing levels of no-shows still, not just in eating and drinking where people are booking and there’s no commitment, but also across music events and small-scale entertainment events where people have actually paid.’
She said she does not think people are afraid of going out but that people are changing their minds and forgetting to cancel and do not realise the impact it has on businesses.
Gusto Italian’s chief executive Matt Snell said there was 1,000 no-shows last week which meant the business lost out on £30,000.
Mr Snell said the no-shows are painful to deal with and that they are lazy and rude.
The chief executive of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls (pictured) said: ‘We are seeing levels of no-shows still, not just in eating and drinking where people are booking and there’s no commitment, but also across music events and small-scale entertainment events where people have actually paid’
The chain, which has 12 restaurants across the North, Midlands and Scotland, was impacted by the no-shows as they cost restaurants money.
He said that people seem to think it is ok to not turn up to restaurants and not let anyone know.
Psychologists have also said a rise in social anxiety means that more people are likely to be feeling panicked about parties and events this Christmas after barely socialising last year because of the pandemic.
Gusto Italian’s chief executive Matt Snell (pictured) said there was 1,000 no-shows last week which meant the business lost out on £30,000
Author of Know Your Worth and psychotherapist Anna Mathur said that people have begun to view their homes as safe spaces and fear the world beyond.
People have seen their confidence wane due to a lack of socialisation and as events begin again the muscle of socialising is strengthening.
Ms Mathur said if people are concerned about social events they can take the pressure off by saying they will pop in to see their friends and they do not have to sta for the whole time.
She said everyone has their own challenges to deal with in their personal lives and people often have mental health struggles.
It means that people are sometimes shying away from meaningful human contact and connection which is what she said humans thrive on and need most.