A 20% charge for not turning up.

Restaurants in Mallorca will be adopting a general practice of requiring a credit card when reservations are made in order to try and guarantee that customers show up. If they do not, restaurants will apply a 20% charge per diner and take this from the credit card.

The president of CAEB restaurants association, Alfonso Robledo, says that if customers don't cancel early enough, they will be charged an amount for not coming. "This is legal because there are labour and production costs that have to be accounted for somehow." He adds that there are customers who "make a habit of ringing restaurants to say that they are not coming, despite having made a reservation and regardless of the circumstances."

Robledo explains that restaurants are tired of seeing empty tables for people who had reserved but then haven't shown up. This was something that increased during the pandemic. "There were restaurants with 30% of tables uncovered because reservations were not fulfilled." It's continuing to happen; hence the decision to charge people's credit cards.

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"The logical thing is to act in a similar way to hotels, which always ask for a credit card when you make a reservation and only charge people when they do not show up without cancelling within the established period."