Restaurnt Complaints CRO_Page11_GripeOMeter_08-14An American survey conducted amongst 1000 diners has revealed that dirty cutlery and table tops (76%) is the most off-putting aspect of eating out in a restaurant.

Complaints relating to food are too much nutritional information provided (16%) or too little (14%), water not being brought to the table spontaneously (27%), the food not look or taste as described in the menu (54%), the food or beverages served at the wrong temperature (66%), and not being served what one ordered (62%).

Gripes abound about waiters: the wrong dish being given to the wrong person at the table (17%), service being slow (51%), feeling rushed to eat (61%), errors on the bill (48%), a tip of 18%+ added automatically (50%), called ‘dear’ or ‘honey‘ (24%), sloppy dress and poor hygiene (67%), impolite or condescending waiters (72%), and removing the plate or glass before one has finished eating or drinking (59%).

The restaurant design and facilities can also annoy diners: tables too close together (39%), being too close to the door or kitchen (38%), and poor cloakrooms (73%).

Two further annoying aspects about restaurants is other customers sending text messages or talking on their phones (38%), and tables not being available within 15 minutes of the reservation time (50%).

While the survey was conducted in America, it is likely that similar results would be generated were the survey to have been conducted in South Africa.   (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Norwegian Air is planning to introduce low-cost flights between Gatwick and Cape Town.   The airline has recently introduced low-cost flights Los Angeles, New York, and Fort Lauderdale from Gatwick.

*   Edelweiss and Lufthansa airlines have announced that they will increase capacity to their flights to Cape Town.   From October Lufthansa will be putting larger A340-600 aircraft on the route, adding 30% more capacity.  Similarly Edelweiss will add 30% more capacity between Cape Town and Zürich from December to March, by flying three times a week.

*   Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient has received an Award of Excellence in the Wine Spectator Restaurant Wine List Awards, one of only three recipients of the Award in Africa. The minimum requirement is to stock 400 wines – Restaurant Mosaic stocks 40000 ‘fine and rare wines‘. (received via e-mail from Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient).  Rust en Vrede and five hundred are the other two recipients of the Award, Chantel Dartnall has informed.

*   Two Oceans wines have new redesigned labels for its Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and  Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blend, to (more…)

Hayden Quinn 2 Fritz and Hayden MosbolletjiesPoor Hayden Quinn!  Trying to be clever, the promo for last night’s episode 2, which was flighted on SABC3 on Sunday evening, had Hayden proudly sharing that he was going behind the ‘Boerewors Curtain‘ in Stellenbosch, to meet artisanal baker Fritz Schoon of Schoon de Companje.  The Tweet left Hayden with dough on his face, in making what he called a ‘joke‘, in poor cultural taste!

In reaction to a Tweet about his incorrect information (the ‘Boerewors Curtain‘ is a less than complimentary name for the residents of the suburbs of Parow/Bellville/Durbanville, to describe their love for braai-ing, in preference to most other activities, which means that they rarely leave their area, and that the area smells of braais from Friday evenings to Sunday lunch times on weekends),  Hayden replied: ‘I guess the little joke was lost haha just referencing stellies (sic) as a (sic) Africaans (sic) town‘.  His producer Riaan Badenhorst quickly jumped to his defence, explaining that Boerewors is ‘proudly heritage food‘, which was not the point of the Twitter exchange!

Hayden Quinn : South Africa‘ was first flighted on SABC3 last Monday,  doing a great job in making Capetonians proud of their beautiful city and its fresh produce bounty.  Hayden was a MasterChef Australia finalist in 2011, but did not win the series, and has managed to sign up the series about our country’s sustainable food production.  The programme is sponsored by (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   In honour of Mandela Day last Friday, and the launch of the new DVD of the ‘Lego‘ movie, a collection of limited edition Lego figurines of local presenters, including Gareth Cliff,  Bonang Matheba (ex Metro FM), Lee-Roy Wright (SABC3 presenter), DJ Fresh (5FM), and Casper Lee (actor Spud 3) has been created.  A set of three Nelson Mandela mini Lego figurines has also been launched.

*   The few women honoured in Cape Town by means of statues is soon to become something of the past, when steel cut-outs  of such women luminaries and outspoken leaders as the late Albertina Sisulu, Miriam Makeba, Adelaide Tambo, and Nadine Gordimer are erected along the Fan Walk leading to the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point, a World Design Capital 2014 project called ‘Wonder Women’.   Architect Mokena Makeka will make up the steel statues of the women, with a positive and negative image.

*   This coming weekend the focus in Cape Town will be on Street Food, with talks at Sidestreet Studios on Saturday 27 July by Andy (more…)

Foliage Chef Chris Erasmus at table Whale CottageFor the first time in many years Cape Town has seen barely any restaurant closures this winter. There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers! An unusually high number of new restaurants have opened or will do so in the next month or two.

This list of restaurant openings and closings, restaurant staff movements, and winter holiday closures, is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*     Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.

*    Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has opened Street Food below the neighbouring hotel, offering Deluxe coffee, pastries, and Asian-inspired lunch take-outs. Operates from 7h00 – 15h00 Monday – Friday.

*   Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.

*   The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.

*   Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*    Cape Town will host the 14th World Summit of the Noble Peace Prize Laureates from 13 – 15 October, the first time that it will be held in Africa, report the Cape Times and Weekend Argus.  A total of 1500 delegates is expected to meet at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, with the topic ‘Peace: living it’.  Previous Noble Peace Prize recipients such as Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa will join FW de Klerk and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

*   The largest number of international visitors to Cape Town in the third quarter of last year, ranked by figures just released by Wesgro, were from Germany, the USA, the UK, and Italy.  Gauteng was the largest source of local visitors, followed by those from other parts of the Western Cape.

*   Rio de Janeiro received close to 900000 visitors during the Soccer World Cup, spending $4,4 million, with more than half of the visitors planning to return in two years to attend the 2016 Olympic Games.  The city hosted the closing Final, which was viewed by 3 billion TV viewers, and its iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer against a sunset was shown during the broadcast, as (more…)

Hard cheesesRecently I have read about a European campaign whereby the ‘Best Before’ dates of foods are being more critically evaluated, seen to having been a ploy by manufacturers to get more of their products sold.  Now the European Union is getting involved in standardising ‘Best Before’ dates for food types, to reduce the 89 million tons of food thrown away in Europe annually, of which at least 10% is still edible. A third of all food produced in Europe is thrown away.

Most food products have two dates, the one being the sell-by date, being the date which the manufacturer feels is the ideal to give the product perfect consistency, taste, and nutritional value; and the other being the ‘Best Before’ date until when it is safe to eat the product.   The longer the time period between date of manufacture and sell-by date, the longer the product is edible after the ‘Best Before’ date.

The European Union has decreed that pasta, rice,coffee, jams, pickles, and hard (more…)

MasterChef SA Season 3Multichoice has been very low key to date about its MasterChef SA Season 3, other than announcing earlier this week via Facebook that the new season commences on 21 August.

The Facebook post strangely showed a photograph of only judge Chef Benny Masekwameng and new judge Reuben Robertsons Pop-Up and Pop-In Riffel, excluding judge Chef Pete Goffe-Wood.  Interesting is that so few MasterChef SA Facebook fans liked the post, and that many are so negative about the outcome of the previous Season 2, and express the hope that the winner of Season 3 will not be rigged and pre-selected as they feel it was in Season 2.World Class Pete Goffe-Wood Whale Cottage

At the recent World Class Diageo Reserve mixologist national finals, I chatted to Chef Pete, and he told me that the filming for MasterChef SA Season 3 has been completed.  The series will be shown on Thursday evenings, going back to one program per week, based on feedback from extensive market research conducted.  He said that the quality of contestants has improved dramatically, being somewhat older and more mature cooks. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Reserve Bank has increased the repo rate by 25 basis points, giving a new interest rate of 5,75%. Governor Gill Marcus blamed inflation for the rate increase.

*   Brazil welcomed more than 1 million visitors during the Soccer World Cup, almost double the estimated 600000 travelers.  Most tourists had never been to Brazil before, visiting from more than 200 countries.  The infrastructure and tourism services generally, and the hospitality and cuisine specifically, were praised by the visitors.  The soccer matches were seen by 3,4 million soccer fans in the stadia over the month-long event.  Visitors stayed in Brazil for 13 days on average.   Brazilians were good soccer fans too, more than 3 million travelling around their own country during the soccer tournament.

*   Melanie Verwoerd has compiled a book ‘Our Madiba: Stories and Reflections from those who met Nelson Mandela, containing short stories of numerous persons that met the late Nelson Mandela, including Pieter-Dirk Uys/Evita Bezuidenhout, Adam Small, Francois Pienaar, Amanda Strydom, Sir Richard Attenborough, and many by Mrs Verwoerd herself.

*   The Drinks Business and Intangible Business in the UK evaluated the world’s most powerful Champagne and (more…)

Uber ice creamThe Sweet Service Award goes to Uber, for its innovative international launch (in 130 countries) of #UberIceCream 2014 tomorrow, to ‘turn the other cheek to the winter chill’ in South Africa, and to position Uber as much more than an alternative taxi service.  Packages of tubs of frozen yoghurt, toppings, Uber swag scarves, and delivery tomorrow between  11h00 – 17h00 are available to order on the Uber app at R120 in Cape Town, and R165 in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Johannesburg.  To launch the campaign in South Africa, it is linked locally to Nelson Mandela Day today.  Sick children at the Johannesburg General Hospital will be spoilt with an ice cream delivery this weekend.  The company will also bring children from the Alex AIDS Project in Johannesburg to a Filo Yoghurt outlet, and to Myög for children from the Uluntu Centre in Cape Town, so that they can make up their favourite frozen yoghurt treats. (more…)

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