The Sweet Service Award goes to Murnier and his team at Value Car Hire.  Earlier this week a Whale Cottage Camps Bay guest inadvertently took the room keys with him when he checked out, and called the guest house from the airport.   He tried to find a way to get them back to Camps Bay.   Value Car Hire, with whom Whale Cottage has a long-standing relationship, had staff at the airport, and they kindly met the Whale Cottage guest at the check-in counter, and then delivered the keys back to the guest house.  A whale of a thanks to Value Car Hire!

The Sour Service Award goes to ‘Blonde’ Oscar Kotze of Beluga restaurant, for asking this writer to leave the restaurant when invited for lunch as a member and Chairman of the Camps Bay Accommodation association.    Kotze is a director of the Caviar Group of restaurants, which also owns Sevruga and the Caviar deli, as well as Blonde restaurant, which is to open in February.    The reason for the eviction appears to be that Beluga sister restaurant Sevruga received a Sour Service Award from the WhaleTales blog more than 2 months ago in regard to the poor handling of the Penny Vincenzi launch lunch (see here).      The Marketing Manager Sam Obery was in a state, repeatedly being instructed by Kotze by phone to ask the writer to leave.  The staff ignored the writer, even though she sat at the table with her guest house colleagues, not taking her food order, and not serving her drinks other than water.   Kotze was asked to call the writer, but he refused, and also refused to take the call from the writer.  He instructed his staff to call the police, so that the writer could be evicted by them!   Kotze is short-sighted, as he had a fantastic opportunity to make good the writer’s perception of the Caviar Group of restaurants, which unfortunately has worsened as a result of this incident.   Ms Obery was severely embarrassed, understanding that in marketing one tries to turn things around to the positive, and that her marketing effort to attract business from guest houses in Camps Bay had become a PR flop. A smart restaurant owner would have called the writer, and thanked her for the Sevruga feedback, and asked her to retry the food and service that she had critiqued.   The marketing documentation presented to the guest house owners at the lunch was not adapted to be relevant to the guest house group, it thanking the guest houses for “coming to our fabulous cocktail party… this evening”, when it was a lunch they attended!

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.

POSTSCRIPT 25/1/12: Blogger Shaun Oakes caused a huge furore today, when he blogged that he has been banned from Beluga, due to feedback his girlfriend passed on to Beluga owner Oskar Kotze.  They have been banned from the restaurant as a result, and Kotze has threatened to lay criminal charges against the couple for allegedly swearing at the staff.  Kotze’s reaction reflects the treatment we received from him, and for which we awarded a Sour Service Award.  A link provided to this Sour Service Award, in the Comments section on Oakes’ blog, has led to over 1000 unique views today.