ONE IN FIVE Mallorca restaurants are charging for last minute reservation cancellations and no-shows, with more businesses set to follow suit.

Alfonso Robledo, president of the CAEB restaurant association, said that penalties vary between €20 to €120 per diner, with all Michelin-starred restaurants on the island adopting the policy.

“A restaurant owner does not want to charge non-appearing customers,” said Robledo.

He said there was a growing trend of tourists making multiple and simultaneous reservations, helped by the fact that they can make a quick online booking.

“Businesses that ask customers for their credit card number when making a reservation make them value the restaurant’s work more, as well as the losses that a last-minute cancellation or no-show they incur be it economic, staffing, or planning a day,” Robledo added.

He predicted that the majority of island restaurants will adopt the charging policy within four years to protect them against losses.

Up-market restaurants have put reservation management software on their websites which request a client’s credit or bank card details without any extra charge, except for non-attendance or a last-minute cancellation.

Vanessa Pradera, owner of Palma’s Lume de Genova restaurant, said that 257 people did not show up in July and August costing her €12,850 based on each diner spending €40.

She’s been taking cancellation fees for the last two years and getting some interesting reactions from clients.

“The amount of people of reporting the sudden death of their grandmother as an excuse is common, as well as threats to write negative online reviews to harm our reputation,” said Pradera.

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