This is another one of my complaint posts about TheFork, even though they’ve been sending me what feels like endless meals as part of their Yums Scheme. Yet again, they’ve launched another 50% offer which is for groups of all sizes of 2 or more people. This is a stupid and inept decision primarily as their restaurants aren’t involved with it and, from those I’ve contacted, don’t agree with it.
Restaurants should be environments which are welcoming for all, whether that’s one or five people. In these challenging times, the hospitality industry needs all the support that it can get. And, the flip side of that is that many people are lonely, lacking in confidence and just want to get out. A signal from restaurants that their trade isn’t wanted is completely wrong and it shows just how out of touch TheFork is on this. I often eat out on my own and I’m delighted to say that every restaurant, cafe and bar I’ve gone to in tens of countries have always made me feel welcome.
There’s a new restaurant just opened in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Cork & Tile, a Portuguese restaurant which is trying to do its best for the community with numerous projects. They’re using TheFork platform for their bookings and they’ve given everyone 50% off everything as a promotional offer to get them started. Well, unless you’re a sole diner, then it looks like you’re not welcome.
The restaurant told me that they aren’t involved with this decision and that any solo diners can just book as a table for two and change the booking when they get there, with the 50% offer being applied. So this restaurant ensures that it is welcoming for all, but TheFork are merrily brand damaging restaurants and making them look like solo diners aren’t part of their community.
This happened before, I contacted ten restaurants last year about this, all of whom said TheFork did not ask them and they would all honour the 50% off as a solo diner. Some asked to leave TheFork and did, whilst their customer service told me all of these restaurants had told them they wanted to exclude solo diners. They rowed back from that position when pressed.
Anyway, I contacted the press office of TheFork and they have refused to response. I’d suggest that for restaurants wanting to join the platform, just don’t, they’re unresponsive and out of touch with the restaurant community.