Department of Home Affairs Sweet Service and Primi Piatti Sour Service Awards!

Department of Home Affairs ID bookThe Sweet Service Award goes to the Department of Home Affairs in Barrack Street, which I had to deal with to replace my ID book after my handbag was stolen at the Nap coffee shop in the Cape Quarter in January.   I had not been in the building for many years, and was impressed that they supply SARS-style metal seating, which I did not recall, one having to stand in the past.  I was fortunate to have decided to go in the afternoon, so that I only had to wait for 90 minutes to have my queue number called. Luckily one has an ID book for a lifetime, and therefore one seldom has to enter the Department’s building a second time!  I was impressed with the efficiency of the staff behind the counters, and then noticed how much faster they worked, the closer it got to closing time at 16h00, hearing them mutter that the queue number issuer was still letting in people close to their closing time.  I was told that the ID book would take about 8 weeks to arrive, and was more than delighted when I received the sms to collect it after only 3 weeks. I only arrived at 15h00 on a Friday afternoon, and it took only 20 minutes waiting time to collect the ID book!  Perhaps this efficiency had to do with the registration for the upcoming General Elections!

Primi Piatti logoThe Sour Service Award goes to Primi Piatti in Table View, and is nominated by Neiel Pudney.  He wrote to the restaurant:  ‘Last night we decided to visit your Table View branch to celebrate my sons 11th birthday. When we walked into the restaurant I informed the manager on duty it was my son’s birthday and we wanted to make the evening special for him. We were assigned a table and after a lengthy wait ordered our drinks. After another lengthy wait and complaints from my son as to where his milkshake was the waiter returned to CONFIRM our drinks order, finally the drinks arrived excluding my wife’s drink, I called the waiter and advised him we required better service as it was my son’s birthday and we wanted it to be a treat for him. Finally my wife’s drink arrived; we then decided to WRITE the order down for the waiter to speed up the process. When the meals arrived mine was served first, after another 3 minutes son’s meal arrived, after another 5 minutes my mother’s meal arrived and again my wife was left without food while the rest of the table sat and waited. My impression of service it to have the food coming out of the kitchen at the same time, serving ladies first?  At his stage I decided to confront the manager on duty, I have a stutter so when I went to speak to the young gentleman, he told me I was getting excited and should calm down. This upset me further as I inquired as to why I must remain calm when our table has received all their food excluding my wife, I advised him this was unacceptable and wanted it resolved immediately. Was this an unreasonable request?  Unfortunately this was not the end of the evening, the OWNER then came over to our table and in a very aggressive way told me he did not appreciate the way I spoke to his staff, when I tried to convey the events that led to this calamity, he got more aggressive and told me he would THROW me out of HIS restaurant. I advised him to try and even after informing him it was my son’s birthday he would hear nothing and even started arguing with my mother, telling her to teach her son manners. Suffice to say we left the restaurant without food, my son had to leave hungry on a night that was supposed to be a special event for him. I have been to many restaurants in my life and NEVER have I been treated this way by any OWNER of a restaurant, in fact the owners generally go out of their way to ensure one has a pleasant dining experience.  I share this to highlight the abusive treatment I received from your franchisee, the absolute disregard for service and the little boy who had to go home without food because of a man whose ego is bigger than his intellect.  Lastly I must add this unfortunate event will be posted on all social media, to prevent other potential customers from experiencing the same abuse we had to ensure at the hands of a person who clearly is in the wrong industry. I thank you for your time‘.

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   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 website.

Chris von Ulmenstein. Whale Cottage Portfolio:  Twitter: @WhaleCottage

6 replies on “Department of Home Affairs Sweet Service and Primi Piatti Sour Service Awards!”

  1. Jenni says:

    Neiel, I’m sure that your son will now forever remember his 11th birthday as the night that his dad threw a fit in a restaurant! Strangely, kids tend to remember the worst bits of their parents’ behaviour from their younger years … well done you tosser!

    • What an odd response to Neiel’s Sour Service Award Jenni!

      You are implying that Neiel had no right to express his demand for reasonable service. As an 11 year old, no doubt Neiel’s son knows his dad, and his service standards.

      Would you have accepted this service mediocrity?

  2. Nigel says:

    Jenni, everyone has the right to expect a modicum of service that a restaurant is expected to offer, when they cock up they should then go the extra mile for the customer not take service to an even lower level and even worse argue with the patron….

  3. Sarel Joubert says:

    There’s a 2 words in the Sour Award that really actually says it all without anything further having to be said – 1. Primi 2. Piatti. You are looking for trouble if you go to a chain restaurant and Primi is as bad as it gets with their disgusting portion sizes, idiotic decor, sub par quality food and unattentive service. I feel sorry for the people in Table View – there really isn’t anything out there for them in terms of restaurants.

    • I suppose one knows what one will get if one goes there, but that does not preclude one from expecting a reasonable level of service and food quality. They were funky initially, but now are standing still, not even opening new branches.

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