The day of love exposes a very real problem on our dining scene.

Valentine’s Day is usually a night to remember, for both couples booking that special meal out and restaurateurs who can expect one of their strongest nights business-wise. But in Bangkok this year it exposed a very real issue plaguing the city’s dining scene: no-shows.

Today, a public Facebook post by Le Du and Baan's chef Thitid "Ton" Tassanakajohn set a stream of Bangkok chefs pounding away angrily at their keyboards. In it, chef Ton called out 21 would-be customers who did not show up at his Thai restaurant Baan on the night of Feb 14, despite confirming their reservations the day before.

“We rejected more than 30 people on the phone and walk-ins to keep the tables for you. Our staffs [sic] didn’t make service charge and tips as they should have on busy Valentine’s Day,” the expletive-laden post read.

As a result of the wasted prep time, chef Ton said Baan will now be requiring credit card deposits for all groups of six or more.

In the comments, chef Ton received words of support—and other tales of despair—from the chefs and restaurateurs behind well-established Bangkok names like Bunker, Cocotte and Smokin’ Pug.

“45 cancellations yesterday at Cocotte, 35 at Pesca,” read one comment from chef Jeriko Van Der Wolf, part of the group behind the aforementioned restaurants.

The no-show problem isn’t limited to Valentine’s Day, however. Bangkok chefs and restaurateurs have been rightfully angry about it for years. We reached out to other prominent figures on the Bangkok foodie scene for comment.

“Yes, it's appalling in Bangkok,” said chef Jason Bailey, whose Thai fine-dining restaurant Paste was recently awarded a Michelin star. “[No-shows are] about 15 percent higher than other cities. The solution in the press is to understand a restaurant runs on about 15-percent profit. When those tables are empty you cut deep into the profits for the night.”

“The worst nights are Saturday and Sunday, which is usually the general public. Week nights usually have educated foodies—I hate that word—who dine. The solution is to educate, educate, educate in the press.”

Pinpointing why the issue is quite so bad in Bangkok is another matter. Some point to recent changes in dining culture.

“Five to six years ago you never needed to book anything in Bangkok and always got a table anywhere,” said Philip Weigel, managing partner at soon-to-open Aesop's Greek restaurant and the former restaurant development manager for Soho Hospitality (Above Eleven, Charcoal). “Nowadays in Bangkok for the popular places you need to book otherwise you have no chance.”

Bangkok has also been slow to adopt the global, restaurant-rather-than-customer-first trend for no-reservation restaurants, where diners are forced to simply show up and wait in line until a table becomes available—a practice now common in cities like London and New York.

“At Above Eleven we always wanted to change to no reservations, but it's tough,” says Wiegel. “We were afraid of the backlash.”

As the relative lack of success for restaurant booking apps in Bangkok can attest, getting this city’s diners to change their reservation habits may be a big ask.

Pictured: Baan