Cardiff restaurant has half of its diners ‘not showing up’ on Valentine’s Day

Cardiff restaurant has half of its diners 'not showing up' on Valentine's Day

Cardiff restaurant has half of its diners ‘not showing up’ on Valentine’s Day


The Cardiff restaurateur has expressed his desperation after half of his diners failed to show up for Valentine’s Day reservations.

Downtown’s Grand Bar and Kitchen expressed their disappointment on social media after half of their tables didn’t show up, without letting restaurant staff know.

Rob Toogood, owner of Westgate Street restaurant, said while the lack of gigs was a common theme in the hospitality industry, Valentine’s Day was especially difficult because it was usually a busy night.

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Rob said: “Your staff is ready, your chef is ready and all your inventory is ready. It’s disappointing to lose so many deals.

“It’s easy to get in touch with people now, just send a text message. Six of the 12 tables didn’t show up last night.

“I’ve seen things like that on social media, so it does look like there’s a bit of a problem. We buy stock and get staffing based on our bookings.

“When our bookings are cut in half, we double the number of staff around us. The chefs are making half the meals and all the fresh stock is wasted.”

Valentine’s Day is often one of the busiest days of the year for the hospitality industry (Image: Rob Browne)

Rob asks customers to pick up the phone and let him know if they can’t make the reservation (Image: Rob Browne)

When it comes to cancellations, Rob said he doesn’t mind how customers choose to contact or how long it’s until they make a reservation, as long as they let the restaurant know.

“It’s just polite to pick up the phone and let people know. We fully understand that plans can change and anything can happen. Just do your best to let venues know they can arrange other bookings,” he said.

The Grand Hotel was built in 1886 on the site of Cardiff’s original harbour.

Until the late 1990s, the Grand Hotel was a working hotel with the infamous Sloanes Nightclub and Green Parrot pub in its basement

The restaurant was originally known as the Grand Hotel until the 1990s (Image: Rob Browne)

Now closed, it has become The Grand Bar and Kitchen, making food using local produce and a “modern Welsh flavour”.

In the restaurant upstairs, some of the original features of the Grand Hotel can still be seen.

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