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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:45 am 
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Lesego wrote:
Hi DavenJan

I acknowldge receipt of your post and have noted the points you have raised. I have sent an email to my colleague, Mr. Daniels and once he replies, I will come and post his response here. :thumbs_up:



Thanks Lesego,

Appreciate your efforts and await a response.

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:20 am 
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Koen wrote:
Im not speculating here then at all but Im not sure that this is a step in the right direction. Coffee cafes yes but fast food and restaurant franchises are nasty. Basically it's all convieniance fast food. I never eat in any franchise group type places if I can help it, only in absolute emergencies. If everything is closed on the road at night but there's an open Kentucky then I don't have a choice and thats that. I wouldn't want to feel that this is the case in the Kruger.

I don't think your average South African Kruger visitor does eat in franchise style restaurants. People in tune with nature tend to be more intune with their diet too. This is born out by the large number of locals who self cater rather than ever eat what has been available up to now. Apparently I was reading the majority of people who eat in the restaurant facilities in the Kruger are "foreign" visitors or people who live abroad, locals tend to self cater. They're in for a treat.


I am not sure if you are talking about fast food type franchises or restaurants? I agree that many people do not like to go to Steers, McDonalds or the like as the food isn't healthy if eaten regularly. But the purpose of these establishments are as you have said, when you are on the road and it is late, or you are lazy to cook you can conveniently and in speed obtain a meal.

Now the franchise restaurants are a different story. The fact that you have more than 250 Spur restaurants in South Africa and internationally makes me think that they have a menu and formula that works. If you can incorporate a example like Spur, and have that expertise and experience running the restaurants in Kruger the visitor, international and local alike, will benefit.

You are probably correct that most local visitors self cater, but the reasons for this is more complex than just being more health conscious. The fact that you cannot pack a grocery shopping trolley of your favourites from overseas and bring it to South Africa has more influence than anything else. I think you will find the majority of South Africans that travel overseas for holiday also probably eat out for the majority of the time.

Koen wrote:
Never mind the big M, Imagine a Kentucky or Spur in the Kruger! On the face of it it's not a nice idea at all. Though I can see how it might be an easy fix for Krugers problems but not for the visitors.


I think you underestimate your average visitor to Kruger. Whilst you might not want these establishments, the majority of those that will use the eateries would disagree. They just want value for money and a good meal. If this is from a franchise they know, all the better.

tent dweller wrote:
MacDonalds, Kentucky, Steers, Spur, Romans Pizza , does not matter at all to me, if you don't want it don't eat it, self cater or maybe you will be able to get something else from a "proper restaurant" in a few of the bigger camps.


Agreed.

Koen wrote:
No, no thats not exactly right. Most foreign visitors can't "self cater" they have to eat what's available. The same for anyone staying in a hut with no cooking facility. Even if you can throw together a braai what are you going to put on it, a squirrel? The Super Spas haven't opened yet.

On the bright side dieting for six days never hurt anyone Maybe the warm beer diet!


I am sure I can be corrected but there are cooking facilities available to all accommodation. You can use the communal kitchens when you don't have a kitchen in your unit. Getting fresh ingredients is another problem, but there should be enough in the camp shops to survive, without going on the diet...in any case beer doesn't need to be fresh... :D

Heksie wrote:
To be honest, I've had a few lunches at the camps and never had an issue with the food. Maybe because I don't expect a lot?

Trammezinis at Satara was delish as well as the toasties and pizza at Lower Sabie.
Skukuza and tshokwane have the best worsrolle


Keep it simple...toasted sandwiches, chips and some green variety can go a long way. We also should be aware that we are talking about Kruger here...we shouldn't expect a salad bar with a fresh selection every day in Shingwedzi, but good and simple options should be possible.

bert wrote:
about the food
never had a disappointing lunch/late brekkie at any of the catered picnic spots
being fried food or toasted sammies
Same with the dellies at Satara and Skukuza
btw, never do the burgers
To be honest
For burgers you go to the big M or other burger specialists


Agreed bert, the burgers are fickle to get right...hopefully the new options will include a proper burger!

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 Post subject: What would you like to see?
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:34 am 
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There has been a lot of discussions about the new restaurant franchises. I like to look forward and I like to change what needs to be changed, if at all possible.

Given the challenges of running a food outlet in an area like Kruger, what would you like to see?

My first wish would be managers that lead through example. I cannot comment too much on Kruger, but I have noted that respectful hands on management always brings rewards.

I would like to see good training of staff. I mentioned MacDonald in an earlier thread. As much as I do not particularly like MacDonalds, I always know that I will get good, clean service with a smile.

Some lighter menu choices. I find that when traveling in the hot sun, I cannot really manage heavy, fatty foods well. When we were on the Sand River trail, the food was light, tasty and beautifully served. I was always first in line at the food counter. :redface: :redface: :redface: :redface:

Local is lekker. If I think of the popularity of the venison wors rolls at Tshokwane... utterly yummy.

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 Post subject: Re: What would you like to see?
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:56 am 
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I would like to see friendly staff, staff that are knowledgeable, and food that is not "fast food" but something like toasted sandwiches, tremmazinis (spelling :doh: )and maybe a burger, all served with some salad and a few chips. Maybe these things are available somewhere in the park BUT we have had toasted sandwiches at Satara and they were disgusting, Letaba the food was mediocre but the waiter was really attentive, the best toasted sandwiches that we have had were at Lower Sabie but then again the waiter was the pits, he was more concerned about his messages on his phone. So maybe "fast food outlets" are the way to go, stand in a queue, get friendly service, pay your money, take your food on a tray, sit down, unwrap your lunch, eat it, leave the tray and all the papers on the table, get up and go..... next please :hmz: :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: What would you like to see?
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:05 am 
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Tent Dweller, I do think that the restaurants have tremendous potential. Fast food does not have to be bad food. Sandwiches in many forms remain a firm favorite. They can be quick and tasty. Woolies is an example... but one does have to pay. :hmz:

I do like simple, I also like spicy. I think with imagination, great things can happen.

I have just finished my avos bought at Hazyview from a vendor. They were nutty, delicious, not watery at all. Again, local is lekker. I would like to see local content.

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 Post subject: Re: What would you like to see?
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:06 am 
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When I travel I really like to experience local cultures, and food is a big portion of this. It would be nice to see dishes that are the embodiment of South Africa. Fresh fruits and vegetables, locally sourced, are a big draw for us, too. I enjoy a nice cold beer during a meal, so a good selection of beverages is ideal. (I really wish South Africa had more micro-brews...another "culture" item I like to sample when I travel)

Food and presentation doesn't need to be fancy, but have it be faithful to the "place" of Kruger. One of my favorite non-Kruger parks, Custer State Park in South Dakota, does a pretty good job of this in their lodges. Elk venison stew for Mrs. Stark, a buffalo steak for me, etc. Even the take-away's in CSP are decent enough - a good BLT or hamburger patty made by hand...not pre-formed and frozen.

Staff friendliness, professionalism, and customer service is also important. I don't need to be pampered, but a smile and a caring attitude go a long way. (for the record this was the norm for my family. I think a biracial American family might have been a curiosity and that never hurts in breaking the ice with staff)

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 Post subject: Re: What would you like to see?
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:18 am 
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Variety. If I am just passing through Skukuza on my way to Lake Panic, then a quick McD's is fine. Not my favorite but heck not nearly as bad as some would make you believe or imagine. Then if I just want to sit and have an exquisite dining experience, something that take s a little more prep effort. Not venison for me - I dont really enjoy the flavor and that is why I stopped hunting some years back.


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 Post subject: Re: What would you like to see?
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:42 am 
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Good service, good quality clean food and a pleasant environment that suits the Kruger landscape.

Friendly staff who has a :).

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 Post subject: Re: What would you like to see?
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:50 am 
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I do agree that it can be basic. If I want to eat a proper meal then I would braai :D

Something about the sandwiches which can work is a sort of subway which is healthy, not oily, good service and a huge variety.
We had good service at LS and great food, haven't eaten at so many camps as I mostly self cater when I'm in the Park.

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 Post subject: Re: What would you like to see?
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:44 am 
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Friendly and efficient staff, varied menu and more options for vegetarians (so I don't have to feel guilty that I'm eating well and SO is on his 13th jacket potato with cheese sauce).

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:27 am 
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Dear Forumites;

The tender process was followed to source franchised brands for most of the camps in the Kruger National Park. SANParks is of the view that the standards enforced by the franchisor will ensure that product range, quality and service of the dining product will improve vastly (in line with what is offered at similar brands outside National Parks). SANParks is currently in discussions with the current operator and the new operators to determine the handover processes and dates. Preliminary discussions showed that it might be best to do the handover in January and February 2014 as the park is least busy over this period. However, more details will be made available once the discussions are concluded.

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:41 am 
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Thank you Lesego :gflower:

Lesego wrote:
SANParks is of the view that the standards enforced by the franchisor will ensure that product range, quality and service of the dining product will improve vastly (in line with what is offered at similar brands outside National Parks).


Something to look forward to :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:42 pm 
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Thanks Lesego. So we will have to wait a bit longer.

Don't know if that is good news or bad news for our year end trip. maybe we will see the results at the cricket weekend :big_eyes:

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 Post subject: WHAT DID I MISS
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:19 pm 
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To ensure quality and consistency the franchise holders should be kept to a certain standard with spot checks (incognito) being made on a regular basis.

If the food and/or service is found to be continually below acceptable standards (Hey we all have bad days) then the franchise holder could actually lose the franchise - this would keep them on their toes and make sure that the staff is properly trained and instructed in customer service.

Prices should also be reasonable - I have been in business for many years and have always found that if you offer quality at an acceptable price you will attract a lot more customers and therefore make up for what you might lose by charging exorbitant prices. :D

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 Post subject: Re: What would you like to see?
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:04 am 
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Saraf, 100% behind you on the vegetarian option. :thumbs_up: Although I do eat meat, I often just feel like a meatless meal. There are also a lot more different cultural/religious groups visiting and they need to be considered.

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