A top restaurant has called out a cheeky customer who left a brutal review after they were charged a hefty fee for forgetting their booking.

The Laundrette restaurant in Chorlton, Manchester, left a scathing response to the woman when she complained about the £60 no-show fee despite failing to turn up during one of the busiest periods of the year.

The woman, named "laurenbH5350XX" on TripAdvisor, said she was unable to host her family dinner after several of them had fallen sick with Covid-19.

She went on to admit that she "may have forgotten to cancel" due to the "chaos" of looking after her family members who were suffering from the virus, reports Manchester Evening News.

But the venue said there were no excuses for her to not have cancelled the booking and said: "Your table sat completely empty for two hours on a day we were fully booked. This is why you were charged."

The woman's review read: "I’ve eaten here a few times, and brought many friends when they’ve been visiting Chorlton.

"So when my family wanted to get together around Christmas I booked in advance a family meal on December 30, my only day off that week.

"Unfortunately, on the day a couple of my family members were taken ill with Covid, one of them being an 82-year-old.

"Not only was I worried for her health but also was being told to go into work to cover for my head chef who had tested positive too.

"I thought I had cancelled the booking on the email link, but I was later charged £60 on my card by Launderette."

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She went on to mention that she understood the procedure the restaurant had to follow as she also works in a local restaurant, but had tried to explain the circumstances and asked for a refund.

She added: "I completely understand the annoyance of having a table no-show, we’ve had it constantly throughout Covid and understand the inconvenience caused.

"But at my restaurant, we wouldn’t just bill the card payer and not display any sympathy to the circumstances.

"I would like to think that despite these uncertain times, local businesses still appreciate human error and genuine mistakes."

In a public response to the one-star review, the venue said that the table, one of the largest at the restaurant, had sat empty for two hours.

Currently, it is the top-rated restaurant in Manchester on TripAdvisor and has received more than 2,000 'excellent' reviews.

It read: "Regrettably you didn’t cancel your booking and your table sat completely empty for two hours on a day we were fully booked.

"We are a tiny restaurant and you booked one of our largest tables.

"As you mentioned, you work in the industry so you should know way more than most how detrimental tables not showing up is for a small business.

"And on top of that, you then seem to think it’s acceptable to leave a bad review on TripAdvisor despite knowing you are 100%in the wrong.

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"We make it extremely easy to cancel bookings. You can do it online yourself, you can message us on any platform, you can call us.

"As you live on the road you could have easily just mentioned it to any of our staff while walking past.

"Unfortunately you didn’t bother doing any of these. Even just five minutes' notice would have been enough for us to try and resell your table.

"Normally we are absolutely demoralised by negative reviews but I’m more than happy for this to stay up and be public so everyone can see.

"Not showing up for restaurant bookings is an extremely rude and disgusting practice. It’s the only reason we have put our charging system in place

"We hate charging no-shows but it’s the only way to protect ourselves."

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