Bindia Toronto

Toronto restaurant hurt by a hundred cancelled reservations on opening weekend

Along with hair salons, small businesses and gyms, the food service industry has taken a hit during the pandemic so why people would choose to cause further suffering is a mystery.

But that is just what happened last weekend, the first weekend patios were allowed to open for table service in Toronto.

The manager of Bindia, Jyoti Kapil, tells blogTO, that while the weekend started off good on Friday, on Saturday 44 people cancelled, and on Sunday 57 people cancelled patio reservations.

"They cancelled like five minutes before," Kapil says. "Sunday was really bad."

The restaurant ended up seating 70 people on Saturday, and on Sunday they only seated 55 people.

The no-shows upset the staff counting on tips.

"Servers are coming hoping to make money and we have more staff so that we are prepared," Kapil.

With lockdown restrictions the restaurant has to limit the number of people, making it tougher to make enough money.

"It is only half the capacity of the patio too."

Kapil believes groups of friends are making reservations at several different places to ensure they will have a table.

"Whichever one they decide upon, they just show up at that place and cancel other ones."

The restaurant normally has about three or four cancellations on any given day.

On special days such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas Day, people will do the same thing and for those days Bindia uses a feature on the reservation site OpenTable, that allows them to take a fee for cancellations.

After Sunday, Kapil decided to add the cancellation feature on OpenTable so if people cancel within 24 hours, they will be charged $20 per person.

"So if somebody is really serious about coming, they will come."

Kapil has heard from other restaurants that had similar experiences and OpenTable told her many restaurants were requesting the cancellation fee.

"People need to understand that everyone went through a lot and finally they are open and not to do this."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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