Pick ‘n Pay Sweet and Societi Bistro/Food24 Sour Service Awards

The Sweet Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay, for its use of Twitter to communicate with and provide a service to its customers. While not always able to resolve issues satisfactorily, the recent withdrawal of its Greek yoghurt due its packaging not meeting the new pack labelling legislation taking longer than predicted by the stores, led to us asking via Twitter when it would be re-introduced.  We were asked to e-mail the head office with the name of the closest Pick ‘n Pay branch. Two days later a manager of the Camps Bay branch called to say that the yoghurt had arrived, and that he would keep us some for collection.

The Sour Service Award goes to Societi Bistro and Food24, and was nominated by Butch Rice: I have a very definite snarl at Food24 and Stefan Marais of Societi Bistro. I posted a negative review on Food24, got a phone call from Stefan, and had what I thought was a constructive chat. Until I saw his response on Food24 in which he lied blatantly, claiming I had expressed a preference for frozen chips, which I do not have, and which was never discussed. He also claimed his manager had approached every table during the evening to ensure people were happy. This after I told him that the major problem he had was that nobody had checked with us about what we thought of the meal or anything else. I also see that Food24 gave him a lot more space for his response than usually allowed. It does not do him or Food24 any credit. He had no need to lie, other than to make it appear that his restaurant was beyond reproach in any way. Most disappointing. A postscript to this affair. I tweeted Stefan pointing out that I had never expressed a preference for frozen chips. He replied that I had said I preferred the chips at another restaurant, and that  he knew they used frozen chips, hence his conclusion. I have pointed out to him that I had only referred to the other restaurant as an example of thicker sauces, not their chips.  I have also attempted to comment on the story on  Food24, twice, but they have not used my reply. I wonder why?”

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 info@whalecottage.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

4 replies on “Pick ‘n Pay Sweet and Societi Bistro/Food24 Sour Service Awards”

  1. Cath Shone says:

    Hi there Butch,

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner but I am only just back from leave. With regards to the article above I am confused by this comment: “ I have also attempted to comment on the story on Food24, twice, but they have not used my reply. I wonder why?”

    I have searched everywhere for your comments but they are nowhere in the system. Even if they had been deleted by someone other than myself they would still show up on our back end system. If you would like to try and comment again we will most certainly publish whatever response you wish to make.

    With regards to the length of Stefan’s response – he certainly wasn’t given any “more space” to make his comments. You may make as long a comment as you wish. On the site it states 400 characters as the maximum as a guideline.

    I hope this clears things up a bit.

    Kind regards,

    Cath Shone
    Food24 Restaurant Editor

  2. Thanks for your reply to Butch Cath.

    I have the link to your newsletter article about Restaurant Complaints, for our readers to have a look at: http://www.food24.com/News-and-Guides/Features/5-things-you-shouldnt-complain-about-in-a-restaurant-20120412


  3. Hugh von Zahn says:

    Having read the complaint and the subsequent reply by Stefan Marais, I feel that Societi Bistro has been unfairly handed a Sour Award. Butch should have complained on the night. That way the restaurant management could have taken steps to rectify the situation. Stefan was courteous enough to listen and respond without havng the offending articles in front of him. He went a step further by removing the sirloin steaks from his menu until he could age them further. The fact that Butch did not care for the fries is obviously because he has a penchant for the thin-cut frozen variety – no harm in that, they are an excellent product, but the taste differs from the hand-cut fresh variety. As for the watery sauces, well how do we know that they were really ‘watery'(diluted) or just light? If Butch wanted the thickened glop that passes for sauces at chain restaurants then he would be better off eating there instead of complaining on a blog. Societi Bistro might not be perfect but their cooking is above reproach. Like all professional restaurateurs they will always attempt to set things right – on the night. Retroactive complaints always smack of mischievious intent. Besides which, what does Butch want them to do now – fall on their carving knives?

  4. Butch Rice says:

    The point Hugh misses entirely is that I was not given the opportunity to complain. Our waiter was rushed off his feet, and we were not approached by anybody else to enquire how things were going. Even when leaving, nobody asked whether everything was okay. In my telephonic conversation with Stephan I suggested that the main learning point for his establishment was to ensure that customers were given the opportunity to voice their opinion. So, no Hugh, I don’t want them to fall on their carving knives, just jack up their communication with diners on the night. Got it Hugh? Simple enough.

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