St-Henri restaurant Grumman78 came up with one way to avoid a torrent of no-shows and last-minute cancellations on Valentine’s Day this year: it didn’t open at all.
According to the CBC, the restaurant on de Courcelle (also known for its taco truck by the same name) opted not to open on the popular dining day this year, in part due to the often large numbers of reservations that either don’t show up, or cancel at the last minute.
In past years, other Montreal restaurants have logged as many as 20 no shows and 36 last-minute cancellations, likely from customers who reserve at several restaurants in order to selfishly be able to have multiple choices available on Valentine’s.
To be fair, it wasn’t that the restaurant closed for a single night mid-week — February 14 actually fell at the end of a ten-day winter break for the restaurant, so owners Gaelle Cerf and Hilary McGown opted to stretch the vacation to cover that day. Grumman would typically be open on a regular Thursday night.
McGown also said the fact that Grumman is a somewhat casual restaurant serving tacos, its no-show situation was typically worse than higher end establishments.
The no-shows weren’t the only reason for the shutter — the owners told CBC that Valentine’s is one of “the most depressing services of the year”, so the closure was a sort of gift to staff. This sentiment is not uncommon within the industry: one notable feature of Valentine’s Day dinners is always a few couples who appear as if they’re at the restaurant against their will, as if the holiday was some kind of mandatory celebration in which one half of a couple (or both) do not wish to partake.