Entries tagged with “hospitality establishments”.


The City of Cape Town has reminded hospitality establishments that its new Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-law will change on 1 April, and will impact on restaurants, bars, clubs, and accommodation establishments, and all categories of liquor licences that they hold.  The sale of alcoholic beverages has been restricted to 18h00.

A media release issued on behalf of the City of Cape Town quotes Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning: ‘As part of our commitment to building both a Caring and an Opportunity City, the by-law has sought to consider the needs of all stakeholders in the city and to strike a balance between the social effects of alcohol abuse, potential disruption (especially in residential areas), and the reasonable sale of alcohol for the hospitality sector‘.

Describing the hospitality sector as an ‘important economic multiplier’, the City amended its draft regulations to allow currently licensed establishments, which are now obliged to stop selling alcohol at 2h00, to apply for an extension to trade until 4h00, on condition that the establishment is zoned for business or industrial use.

The By-law allows the sale of alcohol on all days of the week, within the following hours:

*   ‘Guest accommodation establishments’, business premises, places of entertainment, and sport and community clubs

#   11h00 – 23h00 in residential and neighbourhood business areas (sport and community clubs an exception, until 24h00 in local or neighbourhood business areas)

#   11h00 – 2h00 in general business, industrial and ‘agricultural‘ areas

*   Hotels and casinos

#    11h00 – 2h00 in all areas

*   Wineries

#   11h00 – 24h00 in small holding or rural areas

#   11h00 – 2h00 in agricultural areas

*   Ad hoc mobile entertainment vehicles for tourists: 11h00 – 24h00.

The difference between ‘agricultural’ and ‘small holding or rural area‘ is not defined in the media statement.

The following additional exceptions have been written into the By-law:

*   special event permits will have the trading hours specified

*   licensed hotels and guest establishments may sell liquor via room service 24 hours of the day

*   sparkling wine may be served between 8h00 – 11h00 for ‘champagne breakfasts’, if access is controlled to functions.

The City has urged the hospitality industry to apply for licence extension until 4h00 as soon as possible, so that they are covered from 1 April onwards.  Should they not have applied by then, they will have to stop selling liquor by 2h00 until they receive permission for the time extension.

Compared to the original By-law outline made public a year ago, the City has shown great understanding and flexibility in accepting feedback from its publics, and making suitable changes to the benefit of the hospitality industry.

POSTSCRIPT 13/3: Food24 provided further details about the new liquor legislation, highlighting that each municipality in the country may now set its own regulations, which no longer are uniform per province.  The City of Cape Town has banned the sale of alcoholic beverages in retail outlets on Sundays (and these outlets must close at 18h00 on the other days, as above), Caroline’s in the V&A Waterfront motivating these changes as the reason for closing down its branch in the V&A.  Wine estates may sell wines on Sundays. In Hermanus retail outlets may sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays. Further restrictions are:

1.  One may not buy more than 150 litres of alcohol at a time, even if it is for a function, if one does not have a liquor licence.

2.   One may not stock more than 150 litres (200 750 ml bottles) of alcohol in one’s home without a liquor licence.

3.   One may not drink alcohol in a moving vehicle, even if one is not the driver!

4.  No school function may serve alcohol, whether the function is at the school or at a different (even licensed) location.

Asking Anton Groenewald, Executive Director of TEAM in the City of Cape Town, at the CAP40 talk about the complaints on Twitter today about the Sunday sales ban in retail outlets, he replied that they may relook the regulation, giving the overwhelming criticism, and the negative effect this may have on tourism.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Cape Town has made it to the top of the TripAdvisor 2011 Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards, beating world cities and destinations Sydney, Machu Picchu, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Rome, London, Barcelona and Hong Kong.  It is a fantastic accolade for our wonderful city, and could lead to millions of visitors to Cape Town, if the TripAdvisor numbers are to be believed!

“With beautiful scenery, great wine and gorgeous weather, it’s easy to see why Cape Town, which also played host to last year’s World Cup, has topped this year’s list” said Emma Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson.

I am extremely sceptical of TripAdvisor, a love-hate site for hospitality establishments, that allows users to rate hotels and restaurants around the world.  Boldly they claim to have “over 45 million trusted travel reviews and opinions”, which Cape Town Tourism promptly misinterpreted on its blog as being the number of voters for Cape Town.

 

While I am delighted at the visibility for Cape Town as a result of the top ranking of our Mother City, the market researcher in me was disappointed in TripAdvisor’s announcement not answering two key questions:

*   who participated and voted for the top destinations?

*   what methodology was used, including sample size, vote methodology, time period of vote, etc, or was it purely based on the number of Google-type searches recorded on the TripAdvisor site? 

A vague sentence in the TripAdvisor announcement stated: “honor top travel spots in the world based on millions of real and unbiased opinions from TripAdvisor travelers.  Award winners were determined based on a combination of travelers’ favourite places and overall destination popularity”.  “Millions of TripAdvisor travelers around the globe have helped identify the world’s top travel spots,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “The Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards not only recognize some of the most beloved travel destinations worldwide, but serve as inspiration for millions of travelers looking to plan their next trip.”

As a registered TripAdvisor owner for my four establishments, each with their own e-mail address, I received four e-mail announcements of the winning destinations, which means that all TripAdvisor users and product owners will have received the e-mail on Thursday, clearly a potential benefit for our city in terms of future enquiries and bookings.  Yet I was not requested to participate in a poll to choose my favourite travel destinations on any of the e-mail addresses.

When one clicks onto ‘Cape Town’ on TripAdvisor, a top ranking of B&B’s, hotels, restaurants and things to do appears.  Here the rankings are explained, in that they are based on a ranking derived from an average user score out of 5.  The number of reviewers having stayed/eaten at an establishment is also mentioned.

Once again the TripAdvisor sceptic that I am, and knowing that reviews can be written by establishments themselves (a severe criticism TripAdvisor faces continuously), by competitors wishing to disparage fellow establishments via false reviews (another severe criticism TripAdvisor faces), and by vindictive anonymous past guests, with a difficult procedure for owners/managers to respond to these, I was particularly interested in the Restaurant top 10 listing for Cape Town, as judged by TripAdvisor reviewers:

1.   La Colombe – on the 2010 Eat Out Top 20 shortlist

2.  The Opal Lounge 

3.   Caffe Hausbrandt – this is where it gets to be odd – this is a coffee shop on Green Market Square that I have never heard of

4.   Miller’s Thumb in Gardens

5.   Constantia Uitsig

6.   Savoy Cabbage

7.   Fork

8.   Willoughby’s

9.   Brio

10.  Carne

Only La Colombe made the Eat Out Top 20 shortlist, but did not make its Top 10 list in 2010, as its chef Luke Dale-Roberts left and opened his own restaurant The Test Kitchen.

The Top 10 Hotels list for Cape Town, as rated by TripAdvisor users, is as follows, ranked from 1st onwards: 2Inn1 Kensington, Derwent House Boutique Hotel (which was rated by an astounding 598 reviewers), Blackheath Lodge, Four Rosmead, An African Villa, Steenberg Hotel, dysART, Kensington Place, Villa Zest Boutique Hotel, and Table Bay Hotel.  Only two hotels are on this list, the rest being guest houses or small boutique hotels. 

The Top 10 things to do in Cape Town is an odd collection, and appears to include companies who offer tourism services: Table Mountain Walks with a guide, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Hiking and Cycling Tours, Langa Township (a strange inclusion), Lion’s Head, Boulder’s Beach, Cape of Good Hope, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, and Abseil Africa from Table Mountain.

Time will tell whether the TripAdisor 2011 Travelers’ Choice Destination Award for Cape Town will make itself felt in terms of the benefit of ‘millions’ of TripAdvisor reviewers visiting our country and our city, something every accommodation establishment and restaurant sorely needs and hopes for for the bleak winter lying ahead.  There has been no sign of any increase in enquiries since the TripAdvisor 2011 Travelers’ Choice Awards were announced last week.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  www.whalecottage.com   Twitter: @WhaleCottage

The City of Cape Town has lost face with its planned introduction of the new Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law today, in that it has had to backtrack twice in the past few days, demonstrating the lack of professionalism of the City’s Liquor Policy Task Team, which worked on the by-law for the past two years, and thereby one questions if they can be taken seriously going forward.

The long-awaited City of Cape Town Liquor by-law was meant to become effective today, and many outlets selling alcohol are unhappy about what is perceived to be draconian legislation to curb liquor sales, in the interest of reducing accidents due to drunk driving, a problem particularly prevalent in the Western Cape – however the City’s by-law ads do not mention this reason for the city’s new Liquor by-law! 

A UCT student in Social Development, Policy and Management, Rowan Dunne, discovered earlier this week that the by-law has not been fully gazetted, in that three amendments made since it was gazetted in September 2010 have not yet been gazetted, and will only be so on 14 January, making any attempt by the City to apply the liquor regulations illegal until then, reports the Cape Times.

In addition, the new by-law would have meant that all pubs, hotels and restaurants selling alcohol would have had to close their sales at 2h00 this morning, the new time limit meant to have been introduced by the by-law.  But given that it has not been gazetted, outlets could stay open as late as they liked on this longest party night of the year.

From today, the by-law was meant to have prohibited the selling or drinking of alcohol in hospitality establishments before 11h00, and after 23h00 in residential areas, and after 2h00 in CBD areas.   The City already had to amend the 11h00 morning deadline, to accommodate champagne breakfasts.   Sparkling wine may be used for such breakfasts, on condition that it is served with food.

Ironically, the number of deaths due to accidents has fallen dramatically this festive season, compared to the previous two years, due to stricter roadside controls by the traffic authorities, and strict new laws regarding fines/imprisonment due to excessive speeding, and driving drunk.   In addition, the Cape Argus has commenced a “Name and Shame” campaign, publishing on its first page names of persons who have been convicted of drunk driving.

Strangely too Mayor Dan Plato said in an interview on Kfm earlier this week that the City did not have enough law enforcement officers, and that these would initially be visiting establishments to educate them about the new by-law.   The City has also advertised the by-law regulations in the local Cape Times and Cape Argus newspapers.

The times at which alcohol may be served and drunk are as follows:

Residential areas:  B&B’s, guest houses, backpackers, pubs, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, places of entertainment, sports clubs –  11h00 – 23h00  (Hotels until 2h00)

“Local or neighbourhood business centres”:   B&B’s, guest houses, hotels, backpackers, pubs, bars, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, sports clubs, places of entertainment – 11h00 – 23h00    (Sports clubs until midnight, rezoned Hotels until 2h00.  Liquor stores and specialised wine shops may sell alcohol from 9h00 – 18h00 Mondays – Saturdays)

“General Business centres” : B&B’s, guest houses, hotels, backpackers, pubs, bars, taverns and restaurants – 11h00 – 2h00 (Supermarkets, specialised wine shops and liquor stores may sell alcohol from 9h00 – 18h00 Mondays – Saturdays) 

Industrial areas: Pubs, bars, taverns, restaurants, night clubs, theatres, places of entertainment, sports clubs – 11h00 – 2h00 (Liquor stores and specialised wine stores 9h00 – 18h00 Mondays – Saturdays)

Agricultural areas (i.e. wine farms): Guest accommodation, pubs, bars, restaurants, ‘tourist facilities’ and sport clubs – 11h00 – 2h00.  Wineries may sell and serve wine from 11h00 – 24h00 every day of the week, and may sell it for off-consumption from 9h00 – 18h00 every day of the week.

Small Holdings:  Guest accommodation, pubs, bars, restaurants, ‘tourist facilities’, sports clubs – 11h00 – 24h00 (Wineries as for agricultural areas above).

On Tuesday this week, Councillor Taki Amira had announced that the City was going ahead with the introduction of the by-law, and that it applies from today.  Outlets with liquor licences were threatened that they could lose their licences.  On Thursday, he did an about-turn, after a meeting with city club and bar owners, as well as with Dunne.   “The City would like to allay fears of club and restaurant owners with regards to the enforcement of the City’s new Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law.   The by-law will be phased in over the next few months and will not be stringently endorsed until all role players have been extensively informed about the new legislation.”  Club owners are uncertain of their zoning, and which time limit therefore applies to them in respect of the closing time.  

The City’s by-law is likely to become a benchmark for other municipalities in the Western Cape.   The City’s by-law advertisement already warns that “the new Western Cape Liquor Act takes away the automatic right of renewal for an annual licence”.   The ‘policing’ of the by-law by the public is encouraged in the City’s by-law advertisement, and could lead to misuse for ‘political’ or ‘points-scoring’ purposes, and lead to bad neighbourliness. 

The City’s Clubs, Bars and Restaurant Association is planning legal action, and plans to approach the Cape High Court on Monday, to fight the by-law.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage