Some restaurants in the UK charge customers nearly £200 (approx Dh1,000) per person for cancelling their bookings. There could be numerous reasons for the no-show, whether a cancelled train, a family emergency, or an unforeseen illness.

However, many of the UK's top restaurants will still impose charges on customers who cancel their reservations. These fees can range from a flat cancellation fee of £20 to as high as £195 per diner at the most luxurious establishments.

British expats in the UAE travelling home for the long summer holidays or some residents visiting the country seeking cooler climes should be aware of the emergence of the relatively new trend among UK restaurants.

If you plan to dine out at one of the UK's finest dining establishments, ensure that you can definitely make the reservation. Or else be ready to face a hefty cancellation fee.

An analysis by the Observer found that 90 of the UK's top 100 restaurants - named in the National Restaurant Awards - charge for cancellations and no-shows, with some charging a fee for up to two weeks in advance.

While this practice is not entirely new, restaurant owners have expressed their frustration with customers increasingly dropping out at the last moment, according to a Mirror report.

Restaurants owners point out that diners who cancel at the last minute leave them with empty tables and a significant loss of revenue. Charging fees for late cancellations and no-shows are a way for restaurants to recover some of the lost income.

Claire Cleave was forced to cancel a table of five at a popular London restaurant because her train was running late on the weekend of King Charles' Coronation, the Observer reported.

She only gave five hours' notice that she wouldn't be able to make the 7pm booking, but was still hit with a £125 bill.

Claire was charged £25 charge per head and didn't even notice until she looked at her bank statement a few days later.

She told the Observer: "I did cancel on the same day, but I would never not turn up. I figured I would be giving them some time to fill the space."


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