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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:22 pm 
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DavenJan wrote:
I read a response to a letter in the Saturday Star Travel section on 5 october from Sanparks to the effect that , new franchises will be taking over the Restaurants from 1 December 2013. It said that a notice will be going out shortly.

Well it is only 8 weeks to 1 December so the sooner the better.

How will this effect the restaurants over the Christmas period? Will there be referbishments? Will restaurants be closed over this time? Which restaurants will be affected?
.....and most importantly, will there be a dramatic improvement in food, menu and service?


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:

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:23 pm 
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The new system is going to be a step forward I believe.

It will be well known brands most South Africans regularly visit and which all have a reputation to uphold and proven systems to do so.

They will all be part of a franchise group which has its own checks and balances. To have been able to bid for the opportunity they had to belong to a franchise group.

They will on top of that have to conform to SANParks' set of rules. This includes a rule that they have to conform their external look to suite the character of the parks. I.e. no big neon signs!

The restaurants in the various camps have all been individually awarded. This means that there will be different restaurants in different camps and not only one franchise chain in all the camps. Menus will differ! What you find in i.e. Satara won't be identical to what you find in Lower Sabie.

In Skukuza there will be more than one group running the various restaurants.

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:51 pm 
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Different restaurants in different camps will be nice. :)

I grew a bit weary of the same options after 2 weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:37 am 
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MacDonalds, Kentucky, Steers, Spur, Romans Pizza :hmz: :hmz: , 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.

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:16 am 
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Mellory wrote:
This will definitely not be taking place in Dec it is still at the deciding and finalising stages and the contenters are difinitely worthwhile and would be adapting menus to suit the needs within the park talks around all this are still taking place. But hey picture this......the Big M at Lower Sabie entrance :lol: :lol: :twisted:


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I can see the blazing lights.

I am pretty sure that Sanparks would have done their homework on this one and made sure that the bidders have to adapt to certain conditions.

I am looking forward to the outcome. This is such a special place to us all and the issue around food has been disappointing us all for far too long.

I would love to support the restaurants. They have the potential to give training and employment to a sector of the community where this is scarce.

I am not much of a MacDonalds fan, but when they entered the market, they brought good training, customer care and cleanliness. This is the attitude needed by who ever steps into the position.

I'll pass on the Big Mac at Lower Sabie though. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:41 am 
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saraf wrote:
Hopefully they've gone the way of Mopani. We had a fantastic meal there last year


I agree, to us Mopani is currently the best restaurant in Kruger :thumbs_up:

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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 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 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: 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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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:10 am 
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Porridge wrote:
The restaurant at Mopani is run by a crowd called Ndlovu (sp?) and the food is absolutely brilliant :)


:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Thanks for that Porridge :dance: . We've booked Christmas lunch at Mopani as suggested by friends, and now I am looking forward to it even more :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: New Franchises for Restaurants from 1 December.
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:03 pm 
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From what the current manager said when we spoke earlier this year, this restaurant will remain as it is for the foreseeable future, as it had recently gone under new management, and was not part of "Compass" anymore. :dance:

The changes will happen at the other restaurants, throughout the park.

However, maybe I got it wrong. :hmz:

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