The Sweet Service Award goes to Donovan Dreyer, the new Food & Beverage Manager of Grand Provence in Franschhoek, who came over to introduce himself when a colleague and I popped in to see the latest exhibition at the art gallery and had a cappuccino and a dessert each. We were served the most beautiful desserts I have ever seen, and they matched their visual attractiveness with exquisite taste as well. My colleague had an apple and mango tart with a tiny toffee apple on top, as well as the greenest scoop of apple ice cream on a chocolate biscuit base. My dessert was a mini chocolate-filled croissant-like pastry, served with a thick vodka cream. Executive Chef Darren Roberts is a talent to be watched. Donovan refused to let us pay, and we left Grand Provence impressed with their friendliness and professionalism.
The Sour Service Award goes to Lime Media Marketing/Media Mountain, a company that has changed its name a number of times since calling in the past six months or so. In heavy recognisable (almost trademark) Manchester accents the staff introduce themselves as a “Google certified company” and promise immediately to put one at number one position “on the first page of Google”. I was offered a special for the Plettenberg Bay accommodation page, at a discounted rate of R 1 300 per month, down from R 4 600. When I asked where it would be located on the Google page – as an ad on the right hand side, as an ad at the top, or as a normal Google listing, tele-sales caller Matthew could not reply, passing me on to Ben. Normally Google ads are charged on a pay-per-click basis. It is obvious that the company is a call centre, as one hears the buzz of numerous other callers (I heard the same salescall go out to an accommodation establishment in Hout Bay whilst speaking to Matthew). No written communication is sent, the transaction being done electronically, so that one cannot see the paperwork at all, which makes one suspicious already. A guest house colleague in Camps Bay, Sally from Atlantic Suites, has also experienced the pushy nature of the company, having been intimidated by them when she did not pay immediately on what the company had felt had been a done deal.
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at email@example.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.