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Yes that’s right it’s just 10 weeks to go until we will be open to the public!

I thought it was about time to post a little up date on the progress at our new home in Tring. The builders have been in working hard for a number of weeks now and things are starting to take shape. The destruction has stopped and now the team are in starting to re-build.

This week has seen the frames going in for the new Chef’s Table. These custom built metal bars will allow us to float the table top and take away the need for legs. We want our guests to be able to spread out and relax.

There was a moment this weekend when there were no trades on site, the sun came out and really lit up the dining room. I can’t wait to stand in this same spot looking out over our guests having a great time, basking in the sun.

Hopefully this week we’ll start seeing the walls and ceilings being finished ready for paint and tiling. It doesn’t look like much at the moment but I feel like we’re about to turn a corner and the new Crockers Tring will be emerging soon.

If you want to see more daily updates head on over to our Instagram page. I try to update with videos and pictures on the feed and also on our story. Don’t forget, bookings are now open for when we open in April. You can currently book 120 days in advance but when we open this will reduce to 90 so take advantage of the early reservations while you can. Head over to our booking page now.

Have a great week, Luke.

The taking of card details by restaurants, including mine seems to be a bit of a contraversial issue. Some people don’t want to give their card details while some are cautious. Most are happy to comply with the reservation policy. But why do we need to ask for them?

Essentially, guests card details are our insurance against any kind of loss of revenue. As horrible or greedy as that may sound that is the reason.

You see, guys like me start a restaurant out of a passion for food, dining experiences and ultimately making our guests happy. We don’t do it to get rich which generally means we’re not making any money from the business on a personal basis. If we have someone cancel last minute or even worse, not show up at all it has a huge impact. We still have to pay for the food and the staff’s time but now we don’t have any revenue to use from that one booking.

I would go as far as to say that it’s even worse for a tiny establishment like Crockers. Take this past weekend for example. We ended the previous week fully booked for lunch and dinner on Saturday. Six days out and within our current cancelation policy we lost the lunch booking. No major issue, it just meant we had more duck breast than we needed so everyone on the three course menu got breast instead of leg. Now we get to Saturday night, 7:30 rolls past and no one has arrived. 8:00pm approaches and still no sight of any guests. I call to check the guests arrival and leave a message. 8:30pm comes and we have to assume that they’re not coming.

So here we are, Scott gets in at 8:30am to prepare just for this table. All the food is ready and most of which that is slow cooked is already cooking. We had to bin a huge amount of food because we aren’t about to freeze it and then give that to someone else. I still have to pay for all that food and pay Scott but what am I supposed to use?

This ladies and gentlemen is why restaurants take card details and this is why we are now extending our cancelation policy to seven days in Tring. We are also taking deposits on bookings of 10 people or over and I am seriously considering a pre-payment for the food.

I am a huge advocate for a change in the way the hospitality industry runs mainly centred on treatment of staff and pay. This however isn’t juts down to the employers of the staff but also down to you, the guest. Guests need to start treating staff of all restaurants better. We’re not just the staff, the caterers or some sort of sub level human. We deserve as much respect as anyone and this include showing up for your reservation.

Let me finish on a little comparison. If you book a flight for a holiday and for what ever reason you can’t make it, do you get your money back? You do if you have insurance but otherwise no you don’t. So if you let down a restaurant why shouldn’t you have to pay?

Luckily we have the most amazing guests at Crockers but recently we’ve had a few people disrespecting us and querying why we take card details. I hope this post goes some way to explain the system from the perspective of the little guys.

Luke.