The Sweet Service Award goes to Café Benedict in Franschhoek. Last week the internet did not work at our guest house, and therefore I went to the restaurant to download e-mails, as they offer a free wireless internet service. I arrived just as chef and manager Llewellyn Lambert locked the doors, an hour earlier than usual, as the alarm at his house had gone off. He suggested that I sit outside the new Pick ‘n Pay, and pick up the restaurant’s wireless signal there, and gave me the security password. It did not work from there, and therefore I stood outside a neighbouring shop to pick up the signal. Ten minutes later he arrived back, opened his doors, put out a table and opened an umbrella, and made me a cappuccino, to ensure that I could do my e-mails, thereby demonstrating his commendable customer-orientation, putting my need ahead of his own.
The Sour Service Award goes to The Village Beanery in the Constantia Village shopping centre. I ordered a foamy cappuccino and a slice of apple tart, both of which were disappointing. I could not drink the cappuccino, it being scalding hot, as if microwaved. By the time I had finished the tart, the coffee still was too hot to drink. I called the waitress, told her that I could not wait any longer for the coffee to be drinkable, and that I wanted her to only charge me for the tart. She sent another waitress, who in turn sent the owner to my table. Mr Zervas, the owner, became abusive and threatened to have me arrested by the centre security if I did not pay for the cappuccino – I had only had two sips of it, due to its heat. He then went from table to table in his restaurant, disparaging me, because I had not paid for the undrinkable coffee. I lodged a complaint with the centre information counter, and was then called by the centre manager. She promised that Mr Zervas’ wife would call me to apologise, but I have not heard from her in three weeks.
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.