Independent Newspapers Sweet Service and Illyria Sour Service Awards

The Sweet Service Award goes to Independent Newspapers, for its educational supplement ‘Your Cape Holiday Guide’, which was inserted into the Cape Times, Cape Argus and Weekend Argus over the December holidays. The 34-page supplement contained good editorial with suggestions for tourists and locals to discover the Cape, including Cape Town (Robben Island, Atlantic Seaboard, Table Mountain, New Year entertainment,  Cape Point, Kirstenbosch, Chapman’s Peak, Simonstown, Hout Bay), Hermanus, the Winelands, Tulbagh, the Klein Karoo, the Swartland, and the Elgin valley.

The Sour Service Award goes to Illyria in the Eikestad Mall, previously a favourite Stellenbosch coffee shop for its stylish decor and good Illy coffee.  I popped in quickly recently, asking for a cappuccino to be made, as I was heading for a concert, saying that I was dashing into Woolworths next door while it was being made.  No coffee had been made when I returned, the waitress Simone saying that I had not paid for the coffee upfront, and that she would have had to pay for the coffee if I had not returned!  She did not ask for payment when I placed the order.  She was very defensive, became rude, and refused to give her name and the contact details for the owners.  Her manager rushed in out of breath, having been called by the waitress, shouting abuse at me for my ‘website’ and what I have written about them (all has been positive so far), and refused to give me her name and the number of the owners. I left to attend the concert at the Conservatorium and put my phone on silent.  A barrage of 11 calls came from one cell number in one hour, which I could not take during the concert, and I was concerned that something terrible had happened.  I called the number immediately after the concert had finished, and listened to two messages that had been left by Ramon, the owner of Manouche restaurant and the co-owner with his sister of Illyria.  Both messages were abusive and threatening.

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

5 replies on “Independent Newspapers Sweet Service and Illyria Sour Service Awards”

  1. Nick Jones says:

    Blimey Chris, you do live a dangerous existence down there. Be careful! 😉

  2. The bark is usually worse than the bite Nick. But I do look over my shoulder at times.

    Blogging honestly is not for the thin-skinned nor faint-hearted!


  3. Alton van Biljon says:

    Hi Chris,

    It seems that the Cape Town hospitality industry needs a wake up call when it comes to service delivery and the manner in which customers are treated. Personally I have never used the label of a problem customer rather rather insist that all members of any team I have ever worked with refer to people with particular needs. Our job in the hospitality sector is to listen to those needs whether they be verbal or non verbal and deliver accordingly. Time people working in this sectore put their egos aside and learn that winning an argument can sometimes mean loosing the customer/s.

    Lets hope my words dont fall on deaf ears.

  4. Wise words Alton, thank you!


  5. Pieter says:

    Alton, Chris I object! My ears are deaf and the words fell on them. I don’t take offense and pull the D card and go pointing finger . Just use another expression !
    There are many deaf people working in the Hospitality Industry so watch it 😉 and yes I was one of them.
    In any case Africa is not for sissies and yes the hospitality industry needs a wake up/ shake up call.
    *Pulls the fire alarm and leaves the building*

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