Hoax bookings at two pubs in East Cambridgeshire are 'crippling' business
PUBLISHED: 15:12 10 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:12 10 December 2019
Two pubs in East Cambridgeshire have been targeted by hoax bookings leading to more than 30 cancellations in a few weeks.
Calvin Holland, owner of The White Pheasant in Fordham and The Anchor in Burwell, says the "false bookings" have been "crippling" their restaurant.
Parties of eight, six and five have been numerous table cancellations at the last minute in recent weeks.
It usually happens at peak times on Saturday night or Sunday lunch, meaning extra staff are not needed and extra food prepared unnecessary.
"It is really starting to depress me - we have had enough and feel like we should just give up on this," Mr Holland said.
"We are not sure if its false bookings or people changing their minds last minute.
"It is not acceptable to be leaving restaurants in the lurch as this has been crippling us.
"It will end up just sinking the business."
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Mr Holland has worked at The White Pheasant for just over six years, while only taking on The Anchor with his team three months ago. They have around 30 members of staff.
He said: "It just makes no sense because how can you not know that a table of eight can't make it until the last minute.
"I just feel disheartened and like I want to quit, but this is my passion and what I've always wanted to do since I was a child.
"People were saying that we should take deposits but we tried that online and we had a huge drop in bookings.
"It's not that easy to be able to implement a scheme like that because it takes up a lot of time in processing card details and we're all really busy."
The pubs also posted a statement on their Facebook pages - which have had more than 400 shares - to get the message out there.
Dozens of comments were left offering support, with one person adding: "People seem to think that the small businesses don't matter and don't see the time and effort you go through for them to not show up.
"It is just so sad - but you should keep up the good work."