Entries tagged with “service”.


On Friday 15,September the Robben Island ferry Thandi close to sank in rough seas between the V&A Waterfront and Robben Island, with 64 passengers, most of them tourists, and five members of staff on board! It is the final straw of continuous problems linked to the Robben Island ferry service.

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The Sweet Service Award goes to Auto & General, and its Claims Consultant Heidi, who dealt with my claim in a most friendly and efficient manner, Heidi telling me that they don’t believe in paperwork. The details were taken down in less than half an hour, hence the service exceeding the defined time period. I had spoken to a colleague, but the call cut off, and because I could not understand that consultant well, I was delighted that Heidi was the next (more…)

Pick 'n Pay logo 2The Sweet Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay Gardens Centre and its staff member Annie Hendricks.  Annie has been praised on numerous occasions on this Blog for her wonderful service in packing our weekly grocery order and delivering it to our guest house.  Before my trip I sent her an sms to notify her that I had sent her an order.  She replied that she was ill, and that her colleague who does the orders when she is off had been moved to another branch.  As it was a busy weekend, we could not do without the order.  Annie smsd that she would get someone else to do the order for us.  When Pick ‘n Pay arrived, there was Annie, who had got out of her sickbed to assist ourselves and two other clients with their orders, offering service beyond the call of duty. (more…)

Metered Taxis Cape TownGood news in a City of Cape Town weekly newsletter is the development of a by-law intended to regulate the metered taxi industry in Cape Town, which has got out of hand in the operation of its service.

The City’s by-law is intended to regulate fares, ‘pick-up conditions’, safety, vehicle standards, and to set minimum service standards, intended to be implemented over the next three years.  In developing the new strategy, the City of Cape Town consulted with the Western Cape Metered Taxi Council, and did a comparative study of international best practice in cities such as New York, Dublin, Sydney, and Nairobi.

The City had set a moratorium on issuing new taxi licences until yesterday, and now all new applications will be evaluated against the new metered taxi strategy.   Included in the strategy is addressing the following concerns regarding the industry: (more…)

Pierneef a La MotteThe Sweet Service Award goes to Pierneef à La Motte and its Manager Pierre Theron, who is an angel in always making a plan to find  a table for our Whale Cottage Franschhoek guests, who often request us to book restaurants for the weekend in the last minute.  Usually the reservations staff at the restaurant tell me that they are fully booked, but when I ask for Pierre he always makes a plan to organise a table, making our guests delighted with the excellent service. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Retailers’ service sucks – we may have thought so – but now it’s official, according to the ‘Retail Shopper Survey 2014′, conducted by Why 5 amongst households with a total income of R10000 or more.  More than half of respondents said service is bad; they want shops close by; shopping is a grudge purchase; the majority research offers online;  payment by mobile phone would be supported by one-third of shoppers; loyalty programs are highly popular, 96% of shoppers using them; sales do attract shoppers; shoppers want information via catalogues, newsletters, and e-mails, but in-store radio broadcasts are a waste of time; shoppers feel that shopping malls all look the same.

*   TripAdvisor has launched a new ‘Just for You‘ service, offering ‘tailor-made’ accommodation recommendations based on past searches on their website as well as preferences.  It links with Facebook to gain a better understanding of its customers, to enable better recommendations to be made.

*   The Vineyard Hotel has been recognised by the 2014 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Awards for its promotion of (more…)

Restaurnt Complaints CRO_Page11_GripeOMeter_08-14An American survey conducted amongst 1000 diners has revealed that dirty cutlery and table tops (76%) is the most off-putting aspect of eating out in a restaurant.

Complaints relating to food are too much nutritional information provided (16%) or too little (14%), water not being brought to the table spontaneously (27%), the food not look or taste as described in the menu (54%), the food or beverages served at the wrong temperature (66%), and not being served what one ordered (62%).

Gripes abound about waiters: the wrong dish being given to the wrong person at the table (17%), service being slow (51%), feeling rushed to eat (61%), errors on the bill (48%), a tip of 18%+ added automatically (50%), called ‘dear’ or ‘honey‘ (24%), sloppy dress and poor hygiene (67%), impolite or condescending waiters (72%), and removing the plate or glass before one has finished eating or drinking (59%).

The restaurant design and facilities can also annoy diners: tables too close together (39%), being too close to the door or kitchen (38%), and poor cloakrooms (73%).

Two further annoying aspects about restaurants is other customers sending text messages or talking on their phones (38%), and tables not being available within 15 minutes of the reservation time (50%).

While the survey was conducted in America, it is likely that similar results would be generated were the survey to have been conducted in South Africa.   (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Former World’s 50 Best Restaurant number 1 chef in the world, Ferran Àdria of elBulli, says that the standard of cheffing is at its highest level ever, being ‘the best in history‘, and that the gap between a 3 star Michelin restaurant and a casual dining restaurant is the smallest ever!  Àdria advised top restaurants to differentiate themselves on aspects other than the food, to justify their higher prices, suggesting their wine list, service, and decor.  Cocktails also are a point of differentiation,with bartenders seeking inspiration for new recipes from chefs.

*   Wine writer Joe Roberts says that a very small percentage of the 8000 wineries (with 16000 brands) in the USA is embracing digital marketing.  While 44% of consumers are connecting with digital, only an estimated 1% of American wine marketing spend is on digital advertising.  No more than 80 of the wineries have dedicated digital practitioners.  In a week, winery brands receive 2 – 20 mentions on digital platforms, of which 80% go unanswered.  One wonders if the South African stats are any better for our local wine estates’ usage of digital marketing?

*   For the third year running vineyards in Burgundy have been hit by a hail storm, causing damage to 40 – 90% of the (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Top 5 restaurants based on service in the UK are: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, The Fat Duck in Bray,
Carters in Birmingham. HKK in London, and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London.  Perhaps Eat Out could add such an evaluation to its Restaurant Awards?!

*  McGrath Collection Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff is opening Mondiall as a Brasserie in the former Green Dolphin Restaurant in the V&A Waterfront on 29 November with Patrick Symington, and Chef Oliver Cattermole as Head Chef. (received via media release from FIVESTAR PR)

*   Uma Thurman is the star chosen for the cover picture (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  It’s World Tourism Day, with a theme focused on water!

*   Klein Constantia has received excellent in-depth coverage on Nederburg Auction 2013 American key-note speaker Joe Roberts’ 1 Wine Dude Blog.

*   The American State Department has issued a world wide travel warning about potential terror attacks.

*   The first ProWein China will be held in Shanghai on 13 November, and all its 500 stands have been sold.

*   Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille is placing pressure on SAA to reinstate a direct route between Cape Town and the USA. and she is routing for Miami, just having returned from a trade visit to that city.  Such a direct route would be beneficial for tourism.

*   Noise is the most common complaint of hotel guests in 19 tourist destinations, but Cape Town hotels are an exception in not receiving complaints about noise.  Modernity, location, and service speed are the most common compliments.  Cape Town hotels also ranked top on GRI (Global Review Index), the average online reputation of hotels, followed by Melbourne, St Petersburg, Sydney, and Dublin.

*   Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be paired with a 5 course dinner at Nobu at the One&Only Cape Town on 2 October, at a cost of R595. (received via newsletter from One&Only Cape Town)

*   Author E.L. James has launched a Fifty Shades of Grey wine (more…)