Some restaurateurs and salon owners in Derry have been left frustrated this Christmas by people booking tables and appointments but then failing to turn up.
That's according to SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack who has asked people to let businesses know in advance if they cannot make appointments as 'no shows' can have a major impact on turnover at this critical time of year for small enterprises.
"These few weeks are one of the busiest and most profitable times of the year for many small local business. It is the time they can capitalise on the festive season which may keep many afloat during quieter, leaner times. It can be crucial for the long term survival of a business and the security of the staff they employ," she said.
Colr. Cusack said that she understood from a number of traders that non-cancellations have already taken their toll at this crucial time for local employers.
"Having spoken to some friends and constituents in the restaurant and beauty business they have voiced their frustration at customers or clients who simply don’t turn up.
"Many have had a series of ‘no shows’ which costs them hundreds of pounds in real terms. This also denies them the opportunity of either reselling the slot or the table so as not to make a loss. When people are finding it impossible to get appointments due to long term bookings, a little consideration with a two minute call means everyone wins.
"At a time when we all need to be supporting our local small businesses who are vital for jobs and the economy, I would ask people to please have consideration and simply call if you need to cancel," she said.