Entries tagged with “hospitality”.


 I have had the privilege of being briefed on the updated plans for the restaurant brands of the recently created Cowboys and Cooks hospitality and restaurant operations and consultancy group, to initially consist of 18 restaurants. 
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I was recently asked if I would be leaving the country on Day Zero, projected to be 16 April currently, something that had never crossed my mind! It appears that a large number of locals are making plans to leave Cape Town, and reside elsewhere in our country or internationally, where they will have access to water! Quite frankly, I wouldn’t miss Day Zero for anything, as Cape Town will be making world history in being the first city in the world to run out of water!  (more…)

The Leeu Collection is on an acquisition trail, and appears unstoppable in expanding its hospitality portfolio, in not only acquiring restaurants and accommodation establishments locally, but hotels in Europe, their U.K.-based Linthwaite House acquired last year being followed up by a new purchase in Florence, the former Collegio Alla Querce. (more…)

PassportAlmost daily we see a new report about the damage that the new Immigration Regulations are causing to our country’s Tourism industry, with drastic reductions in the number of tourist arrivals despite a very favorable exchange rate. Interesting too has been the defensive reaction of the Department of Home Affairs to the criticism raised by the Tourism industry, its Minister Malusi Gigaba not wishing to admit to ‘the unintended consequences of South Africa’s new visa regulations‘.

Now Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is to chair a meeting between the two departments, welcome news if he is able to quickly find a solution to the Tourism disaster. The meeting was due to be held today, but has been cancelled as it does not suit the Deputy President’s diary.

Earlier this week Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom admitted to the South African Association for the Conference Industry congress that the visa regulations ‘have had an impact on tourism’. He referred to the Ministerial committee which was appointed to ‘consider and review the unintended consequences‘, and requested the conference industry to commit to work together ‘and make the best of the growth opportunities emerging around us’. He added: ‘I am confident that we will approach that meeting with an intention of finding solutions. I don’t think we should downplay the impact that this has had on our industry‘.

Minister Hanekom suggested that the industry focus on Domestic Tourism, to compensate for the decline in international tourist arrivals. Conferences should be used as a marketing opportunity for promoting leisure tourism to business delegates attending conferences. He referred to the 177 association conferences which will be held in our country in the best five years, to be attended by more than 250000 delegates.

Home Affairs Minister Gigaba has denied that the visa regulations have affected tourist arrivals, as we reported last week. The Tourism industry has been disappointed that it has taken Minister Hanekom so long to publicly take a stand about the visa regulations, and their effect on Tourism, referring to the worrying drop‘ in tourism numbers. He highlighted the 40% decline in tourist from China in the first quarter of this year. The Minister has become bolder in criticising his Home Affairs colleagues, accusing them of using over-inflated numbers to dramatize the ‘child-trafficking‘ problem. He said: ‘Trafficking is a problem, it [the numbers] probably was exaggerated. Some of the figures mooted were not very accurate’.

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City of CT Racism a1 Whale CottageI had seen a news report about Mayor Patricia de Lille taking a stand against allegations of racism in Cape Town, and did not take any note of it, the R-word being a very sensitive one (increasingly so, I feel), which can potentially lead to abuse and other criticism.  I changed my mind when I saw a series of advertisements in the latest Atlantic Sun, and as I was on the receiving end of an extreme attack of racism in Green Point last week.

Mayor de Lille appears to have reacted to allegations by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa that Cape Town is ‘racist‘, obviously implying that ‘White’ residents of the city are racist towards residents of other population groups in Cape Town.  She launched the ‘Inclusive City‘ campaign and ‘Cape Town against Racism’ advertising campaign on Human Rights Day on 24 March.

The advertising campaign is visible in the Cape Town freesheets, being a series of three full- (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   A travel study conducted on behalf of Google in the USA has found that mobile Apps are less likely to be used to plan and book a trip, multiple devices now being used to book trips.  The ‘Traveler’s Road to Decision‘ is yet to be published, but report highlights have been released.  Search engines are increasingly consulted first in planning a trip, and in searching for car rental, cruises, and accommodation, at the expense of Apps, for leisure travelers, while business travelers mostly use mobile Apps to make travel bookings.

*   Telegraph Travel recommends how to spend 36 hours in Franschhoek, including staying at La Residence, eating at Pierneef à La Motte, The Kitchen at Maison,Grande Provence, and La Residence; tasting wine at Boekenhoutskloof (sneaking in Waterford in Stellenbosch); and visiting the Huguenot Monument, Babylonstoren, the Franschhoek Motor Museum, and the Holden Manz Gallery.

*   The Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) has held in Cape Town, and became a platform for the launch of a (more…)

 

Hayden Quinn 8 Potjie and mini-pizzaHayden Quinn covered a large distance in last night’s episode, travelling from Oudtshoorn to Prieska via Prince Albert, and ending off in Hertzogville in the Free State. Farmer Hennie de Bod tried to teach Hayden some Afrikaans sayings, which Hayden wasn’t too bad at repeating.

The 500 km trip in a lovely red new Mercedes-Benz GLA began outside Oudtshoorn, at the Gamkaberg Reserve, where Dr Quinton Martins, the founder and Director of the Cape Leopard Trust, showed Hayden the research camera capturing the movement of leopards, as well as of other wildlife, demonstrating the Biodiversity in the area.  Hayden was made to do a leopard crawl, to get a feel of a leopard’s movement.  Dr Martins has more than 1000 photographs of leopards,Hayden Quinn 8 Leopard Crawl and his research shows that there is an average of one leopard per 100 km².  Then it was onto the gravel road of the Swartberg Pass, which separates the Little and Great Karoo and was built in 1888 by Thomas Bain, which took Hayden to Prince Albert.  Here he only spent the night at the only hotel in town, the Swartberg Hotel and its Victoria Room Restaurant ‘from a bygone era’, Hayden said.  Hayden did not see anything else in the village, which has become famous in serving as the location for Kokkedoor Seasons 1 and 2. (more…)

The new Minimum Wage for the Hospitality industry has been announced by the Department of Labour, for  the period July 2014 to June 2015.  The increase is 7,7% for hospitality establishments with up to 10 employees, and those with more than 10 employees.

Minimum Wage !cid_ii_146f40b624f76ffc

 

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

Platter's South African Wine Guide 2014 'Aquamarine' EditionSlowly a number of changes are being introduced to the publishing and marketing of ‘Platter’s South African Wines’ since JP Rossouw took over as Publisher of the wine guide about six months ago.  Not all the changes may be to the liking of the wine estates, users, and advertisers of the Guide.

For the first time Platter’s has advertised!  Yesterday I saw an advertisement for Platter’s in the Sunday Times Food Weekly supplement, advertising the Guide, with its newish parent Diners Club benefiting from it too.   The advertisementPlatter ad Whale Cottage bears the headline ‘Platter’s Wine Guide discovers the perfect pairing’, being a self-aggrandizing accolade to the marriage between Platter’s and Diners Club!  The copy reads: ‘Platter’s Wine Guide, South Africa’s original and most authoritative guide to who’s who and what’s what in the Winelands, has the perfect partner in Diners Club, the world’s original and most prestigious charge card. Platter’s has always been  the go-to-guide to discovering, rating, pairing and sharing South African wines. Now there’s a quick and easy way to also enjoy Platter’s on your mobile device or desktop. Filled with the latest wine news, festival alerts, hot picks and competitions, Platter’s has become an even more valuable guide.  Whether you are shopping for wine, wanting to learn more, or need help planning a trip to cellars, Platter’s will enhance your journey. No App required.  Simply go to www.wineonaplatter.com to subscribe’.  The pay-off line is corny and meaningless: ‘When your thirst for knowledge coincides with the means to enjoy it, you BELONG‘!  One would hope that Rossouw was not the copywriter of this nonsensical ad, given his past copywriting career!  More likely is that the advertisement comes from the Marketing department of Diners Club, the give-away being that it contains the Facebook page address and Twitter handle of Diners Club, but not of Platter’s, a bizarre omission! (more…)

Lanique Liqueur Spirit !cid_image001_jpg@01CF9154A spirit liqueur with a more than 200 year history is set to light up trendy De Waterkant, when a bar in its name opens within Andiamo in the original Cape Quarter next month.  The history and richness of the Lanique brand will match the heritage of De Waterkant, which is one of the oldest suburbs of Cape Town.

The Lanique Bar within Andiamo is a collaboration between Nigel Price and Andiamo owner Bruce Walker, who got to know each other as Nigel’s company aqua v supplies Andiamo. Andiamo previously had a delicatessen inside the restaurant, and when Bruce did the sums as the new owner, he worked out that it was not lucrative.   Nigel had been offered the rights to distribute Lanique in South Africa, and a brainstorm between the two led to the idea that the Lanique Bar within Andiamo be established.

Nigel walked me through the previous Deli space, which is being cladded with red brick, to give the space an old world feel.  A stage for live music, a dance floor created by moving the tables out of the space into Andiamo, a door separating Andiamo restaurant and Lanique Bar within Andiamo when the restaurant closes at night, old timber ship decking, corrugated iron, floating shelves, rich opulent fabrics for the upholstery of the chairs, new tables, and chandeliers are planned to create an old world and opulent luxury feel. During the day the Lanique Bar counter will be closed off, but breakfast and lunch will be served and its coffee (more…)