Western Cape Restaurants - bad service





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  1. #1
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    Default Western Cape Restaurants - bad service

    I do not know whether this is the right spot for this but here goes. I do not know how the restaurants in the Western Cape survive. Well actually I do. There are enough suckers like me wanting to have a decent meal and good service but getting squad, so if you are not satisfied another somebody will just take your place. Here is a list of places visited during our stay in the Strand and eat outs with remarks.
    1. Actually, it started earlier than that. Beaufort West: Steers Breakfast. It is only a self service or rather self order. The place look run down and the lady behind the counter was realy not very friendly.
    2. Gordons Bay Spur on beach front. Service was terrible. The order was not completed as requested. Food not good. At least the price was not too bad.
    3. Volkskombuis Stellenbosch. I have to say, we did not make reservations, but we were accommodated nonetheless. Very expensive. Service was not great. We were seated outside and had to request an umbrella when it started raining. When we ordered our food greens were included, but we had to enquire about it, when after 5 minutes it did not arrive and still it was only served after we had finished our meal.
    4. 4th Quay at Waterfront. Expensive, but the food was excellent. It was the first time I thought that the money spent was worth what we received. The service however was terrible. It really struck us that it seems that the waiters are doing you, the paying customer, a huge favour.
    5. Mugg and Bean Sommerset Mall. Nothing to complain about. Left a huge tip.
    6. Mugg and Bean Hermanus. Terrile Service. We waited 5 minutes to attract the attention of a waiter after which another waiter was told to help us. Took our order, brought our food, never saw her again. Had to request the bill. Food was ok. Left without giving a tip.
    7. Restaurant Kirstenbosch. Terrible service, hugely expensive. We had to combine breakfast and lunch even if it was already after half past 12. You could for all the world not only enjoy lunch. No tip.
    8. Restaurant on top of Table Mountain. Friendly efficient service althoug it is a self service. Food was excellent and worth the money spent.
    9. And last but not least, the restaurant at the strawberry farm between Sommerset West and Stellenbosch. Good service and food. Well woth the price.
    David

  2. #2
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    There are plenty of excellent restaurants with good food and great service in the Western Cape - you can't paint the entire province with the same brush.

    The same applies to restaurant service in Joburg, Durban and elsewhere - you get excellent service and you get bad service, and all in between.
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    SimonB,
    I agree with you, but I dare to say that the percentage of restaurants giving bad service in the Western Cape, tends to be higher that anywhere else. I think it might be because they are much more laid back in general. That is a bad thing when you are serving people but we can't have it all can we?
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  4. #4
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    I have to agree with Reinier, unfortunately the % of bad service in the Western Cape, is too high. I just don't tip anymore, unless I have had good service. I also try and be fair, sometimes it's not the waiters fault, but it's there attitude in rectifying problems that matters.

  5. #5
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    Mmmm. I know one of the owners of one of those restuarants.
    Should I bother cutting and pasting this and sending it to him?

    I have a lot of sympathy for waiters by the way and tip generously when deserved. They are in an unenviable position most of the time.
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    I was in Cape Town, many moons ago and I also had similar experiences. Multiple retaurants and the food and service was bad.

    I ended up only paying half bills and daring me to sue me. Left a business card for contact detail.

    Nobody phoned to ask what the problem was. Nobody tried to sue me either.
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    Ek het al so jaar of wat gelede besluit dat ek die franchise restaurante sover moontlik gaan vermei, en eerder ondernemings waar die eienaar self betrokke is, ondersteun.

    Sover werk dit goed, en ek is nie meer spyt elke keer as ek die rekening moet betaal nie, dit moet tog lekker wees om uit te eet of hoe!
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    My 2cw its not only CT its South Africa in general I have my reservations why but cannot say it here.

    Me and the family went to a few different resurants over the festive season and yes you do get the occasional good service and tasty food for a reasonble price but in general I think they all suck.

    I also will not tip if the service is poor sorry for the waiter, but what really tick me off is if you complain they take it with a pinch of salt. Where are the days that the manager will attend to your complain kick the out of the chef and do something constructive about it.
    Either they have enough customers or the profit margins are so high that they dont have to care.

    From now on we are back to the old tradition of eating at home going out will be to selective resturants only and once in a blue moon.

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    SWAMBO is an excellent cook. That is why I have picked up to much weight.

    Things like
    oxtail with dumplings
    crumpets with mielies
    steak
    shepards pie
    lasagne
    spagetti bolonaise
    lamb chops
    mutton curry; etc
    (This is not even mentioning the puddings)

    Who wants to go to a restaurant?
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  10. #10
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    My job entails several business trips to Johannesburg and I can certainly agree that the problem is not unique to Cape Town. I have eaten out at some really top class resturants in Cape Town, including some franchise resturants such as CTFM and Ocean Basket and have found them to generally be of a high caliber. Maybe these issues are because of the time of year and the places are busy and all the regular staff have gone on leave and students are filling in? Having said that, I went to several resturants in CT over the festive season and had no significant issues.

    In general, however, the South African service industry is not on a par with international standards and we need to pull up our socks if we dont want to have another reason to become the laughing stock of the entire world.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henris View Post
    SWAMBO is an excellent cook. That is why I have picked up to much weight.

    ....


    Who wants to go to a restaurant?
    When last did you ask swambo if she wanted a night off
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonR View Post
    My job entails several business trips to Johannesburg and I can certainly agree that the problem is not unique to Cape Town. I have eaten out at some really top class resturants in Cape Town, including some franchise resturants such as CTFM and Ocean Basket and have found them to generally be of a high caliber. Maybe these issues are because of the time of year and the places are busy and all the regular staff have gone on leave and students are filling in? Having said that, I went to several resturants in CT over the festive season and had no significant issues.

    In general, however, the South African service industry is not on a par with international standards and we need to pull up our socks if we dont want to have another reason to become the laughing stock of the entire world.
    I must say when I was in England, the restaurants I visited were lots worse than in SA so it's not just unique to us
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  13. #13
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    Service is bad everywhere, yes even at owner-run places. But you guys should let the waiter know why you don't tip. I write 'em little love letters: "Make eye contact"; "Smile a bit more, please"; "Tips greatly increase when customers have a pen to write with".

    But even that, I'm sure, doesn't help.

    Once, I wanted to give the waitress a R5 tip on a R9 bill -- espresso. So I gave hand her the bill folder. She runs through the R14 but gave me R5 change. What the hell was she thinking, I wonder.

    Dunno.

    </rant>

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    I have worked in the industry a bit, and have come to realise something as well.
    Its not always the waiters fault.
    Remember, they have to put up with rude and arrogant customers and by the time you arrive, they just might have had enough.
    Also, sometimes the manager is arrogant or rude towards them, and that spoils the mood and atmosphere of the staff.
    Go look at places where they have excellent management, chances are that the staff are also good and most importantly.. happy.
    Happy staff = happy customers.
    Every thing has to sides. Just as its not nice to have to put up with bad service, so it is not nice to put up with bad customers. (not pointing to anyone in here.
    I always try and give to waiter the benefit of the doubt first.

    If the service was bad, talk to the manager, if he/she does not care, then you can probably accept why the service is bad. If they dont care, why should the staff?

    And I just worked in the kitchen! But had to listen to staff moan and groan the whole day long!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonB View Post
    When last did you ask swambo if she wanted a night off
    We go out about once in 2 weeks.

    This could be lunch, breakfast or supper.
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  16. #16
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    David et all,

    When you next come to Cape Town, post a warning and we'll give you a list of restaurants to go to - our rule of thumb is to avoid most of the restaurants on the touristy routes (Waterfront etc) and stick to the local favourites. The local ones rely almost completely on local customers and not tourists, so they have to be jacked up.

    In no particular order, some of our favourites are:

    Brass Bell and Live Bait (both Kalk Bay)
    Chai Yo, Fat Cactus, Greek and Brueghels (all Little Mowbray)
    Sushi Zone (Observatory)
    Chef Pon's Asian Kitchen, Saigon (Gardens)
    Five Flies, 95 Keerom, Haiku, Riboville, Mesopotamia (all CBD)

    And if you insist on the Spur, try the Golden Spur in Newlands - always friendly, and because it is the original, first Spur in SA, the food is better than most. The good news in Beaufort West is that Spur have opened there (kitchen closes at 10) and where the Saddles used to be, I see that a new restaurant, not yet open, is advertising "fine dining".

    The Ocean Basket in Kloof Street, Gardens, is also excellent.

    Tony
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  17. #17
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    Won't touch Ocean Basket in any form - the seafood is just plain horrid... And their "chefs" don't know their fish. As franchise's go CTFM is excellent.

    Blowfish Is good
    Beluga's is awesome - good food, good wine and excellent service
    Driftwood Cafe - good food well priced, good service
    Jakes

    Can mention a few others
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  18. #18
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    Simon, while I agree the majority of Ocean Baskets are cruddy, the one in Kloof Street is the original, and is still run by family members of the original owner. They do all sorts of specials that you don't get elsewhere.

    Last time we ate at the CTFM in the Waterfront we swore never to return - the fish wasn't fresh, the steak was tasteless, the place smelt of old fish and oil, and the white wine wasn't chilled. But maybe they were having a bad night ....
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  19. #19
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    Not all CTFM's are the same. Some are franchises and some owned by the main oke. Waterfront is supposed to be the flagship!
    Last edited by Spike; 2009/01/06 at 06:04 PM.
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    Default Try smiling yourself a bit?

    Strange ... I tried thinking of a bad service experience at restaurants I've been to, but couldn't ...

    I was at Aan de Oewer / Volkskombuis on the 26th of December. It is pricey, but I will always remember the lamb I had - fantastic! I can still remember the waiter's name - Benedict - we had a wonderful evening next to the Eerste River, with the frogs chatting merrily!

    I must be extremely lucky it seems?!?
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