Food critic Jay Rayner and restaurateur Jackson Boxer have provoked a furious debate over diners who fail to show up for their bookings, prompting some to call for no-shows to be fined.
London-based chef and restaurateur Jackson of Brunswick House took to Twitter to vent his frustration after 46 confirmed guests had failed to show up for their reserved tables on Mother's Day.
This meant that out of 120 confirmed covers, more than a third failed to arrive leading Jackson to brand their actions 'Pretty f****** disgraceful'.
He was supported by food critic Jay who quoted his post, saying that people who don't call to cancel and simply fail to show up are 'utter scumbags'.
The pair were flooded with supportive tweets from diners who said that customers should be charged a deposit to offset some of the inconvenience if they don't show up.
Many suggested that restaurants ask for a credit card pre-authorisation in the same way as hotels do so they can tackle the issue.
Others said that diners should have to put down a deposit when they book to discourage them from not showing up.
Expanding on the problem, Jackson Boxer said that it was on the increase and added that the average customer who is splashing out on a meal at high end restaurant is not normally to blame.
'The maddening things is it's not the amateurs who are responsible,' he said.
'In our anecdotal experience, it tends to be the ghastly super-entitled, who make multiple synchronous bookings and then determine their choice at the last minute.'