The Sweet Service Award goes to Rick Taylor, Group Marketing and Sales Exewcutive of the Vineyard Hotel, who came to the rescue when an ordered lamb burger had not been brought to the table at the hotel’s The Square restaurant after half an hour, the waiter coming back to say that the kitchen had run out of seeded rolls, and needed to bake more, requiring another 15 minutes. I was not happy that the Restaurant Manager nor the F&B Manager understood how poor the service in the restaurant was, and therefore asked to speak to Rick, a friend of many moons ago, in our advertising industry past in Johannesburg. With his charm and chattiness, Rick made me forget my frustration, I stayed far longer than planned, and I left with a positive attitude towards the hotel.
The Sour Service Award goes to Pick â€˜n Pay Express in De Waterkant, the second Sour Award it has received for exactly the same reason â€“ the problems in taking EasyPay payments. I had brought a cheque, and wanted to pay the balance with my credit card. It took half an hour to put through the 20 payments I was making, due to the slow Pick â€˜n Pay EasyPay system. The real challenge came when it took the manager Trevor another half an hour to try and put through the cheque payment â€“ first he had to call for special permission to accept my cheque, and once he had received this, he did not know how to deal with a cheque payment on the till. Trevor called the Pick â€˜n Pay helpline, and they confirmed to me that the total amount can be paid by two payment methods. I noticed that the Manager was not answering the questions the screen was asking, i.e. the branch number and the account number, questions to which the manager kept entering the amount to be paid, and therefore was getting an “input error” message each time, at least 20 times! It took an hour to make the payments. For a 24-hour outlet, one would expect a more competent manager to be on duty when the owners have gone home.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.