An unhappy restaurant experience

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Nov 10th, 2002, 06:07 AM
  #1
Carl Smith
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An unhappy restaurant experience

Although I have found Cape Town in general and Simonstown and False Bay in particular to be a wonderful holiday destination, I thought that I might share an unhappy incident suffered recently by my family and myself at one of the local restaurants in the hope that others might be spared a similar experience.

We had heard that Dixies restaurant in Glencairn offered a carvery on a Sunday afternoon and on the 10th November we decided to try it out. I visited the restaurant that morning and asked to book a table for the 2.00 pm sitting, and being a pleasant day asked to be seated outside on the covered patio, the owner personally assured me that this was in order and that our table was secured. We visited the local flea market and some other attractions before heading (very hungry by now) to Dixies for lunch.

On arrival we were directed to a table inside the restaurant (noisy and overcrowded) and were told by the owner that since he had in the interim received a reservation for an entire coach load of patrons he was no longer able to offer us the outside table. The main reason that we had planned to eat at this restaurant was in order to be able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and the view, if I wished to sit in a stuffy, noisy overcrowded eatery I could have chosen any one of many alternatives. This was mentioned to the owner who assured me that although he was sorry, the coach load of customers were far more important to him and if I was not happy with the small table that was all that remained then it was just too bad.

My family by now, hungry and disappointed chose rather to take our business to the local Spur restaurant which was also noisy and crowded but provided us with an excellent meal and at a most reasonable price.

The owner of Dixies, a most arrogant and unpleasant fellow, assured me that he has been in the restaurant business for 25 years and that this was of very little concern to him (maybe he does this on a regular basis, who knows?). So fellow travellers, if you wish to enjoy a decent meal in or around Simonstown my advice is to avoid Dixies restaurant, although the view may be wonderful and the setting spectacular, the attitude of the owner is not one that should be expected by one involved in the restaurant trade. Take note that a reservation at this establishment is worthless and your business is only appreciated until something better comes along.
 
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Nov 10th, 2002, 06:25 AM
  #2
Lisa
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I don't blame you for being upset. It sounds as though the owner weighed his options, knows he gets repeat business from the tour company against one unhappy tourist from whom he would not get any repeat business anyway.
I would take the time to either write him or e-mail him with this website address and say that you have posted it on a website where travelers go for information and recommendations.

This way, he will know that if you treat customers inappropriately, word will get around.
 
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Nov 10th, 2002, 06:33 AM
  #3
lisa
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I wnet on to the this restaurant's website by looking it up in google. At the bottom of the page is a link "to contact us". This takes you to the eating out page and there is a guestbook where you can write comments on the restaurant. I would send it there. You have written about your experience calmly and rationally and I think you have a vaid complaint.
 
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Nov 10th, 2002, 09:18 AM
  #4
asdf
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You can also post a review at Netscape's restaurant review site: http://www.chefmoz.org
 
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Nov 10th, 2002, 11:55 AM
  #5
Selwyn Davidowitz
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Hi Carl,

Being a Capetonian as well as tourguide/operator in my wonderful city I was MOST DISTRESSED to hear of your experience. We do NOT need this type of event happening in our city and I can at this stage only but apologise for the actions of what I now know (see later) is a very arrogant Capetonian.

Firstly I agree wholeheartedly that this event be published in every spot that is available on the internet inclusive of the Netscape site that Lisa has referred to. Amongst others also write it up at Aardvark travel (http://www.aardvarktravel.net/chat/v...155f60969220a0)

Secondly definitely send your letter that Lisa has spoke about to the address on the website as the email address is NOT that of Dixies but an excellent magazine called "Eating Out". They certainly will take up the cudgels with Dixies too.

Now let me relate what has happened to me and Dixies within the last hour. Being very aggravated by the content of your mail I phoned the restaurant and spoke to the owner. I can assure you that at all times I remained very decent and cordial in my conversation which believe me was minimalistic. I asked him if he had an internet link to which he said "no". I then asked him if I could read your letter to the Fodors page to him and he told me to go ahead. He stopped me at a point which was very close to the end of your mail and started to relate his side of the story which involved the fact that you made the reservation originally for 12h30 and then contacted his restaurant to change the reservation to 14h00. He then very limply said that he did not know of the change as you had spoken to one of his staff and that normally outside patio bookings were not taken or reserved. (I don’t really believe this however I am unsure of whether it can or cannot be done) He also mentioned to me that a tourgroup did take over the booking. Throughout his speaking to me he was extremely arrogant and may I once again remind you that I never ever lost my cool at any stage of our conversation. Even though I had introduced myself as a tourguide/ operator in our city he then proceeded to tell me that he did not know me and used expletives and language that I cannot repeat be it verbally or on this page. He was unbelievably rude and simply slammed the phone on me. ARROGNACE LIKE THIS SHOULD NEVER BE TOLERATED. May I just add that all that I had an opportunity to say in the whole conversation was a short introduction as to who I was and then the reading of 80% your letter. I did not have another chance to say anymore.

The owner was in simple language disgraceful in his conduct and it would not surprise me if you were treated you in a similar fashion making be believe your version 100%.

I will be reporting this incident first thing tomorrow morning to the CTGA (Cape Tourguide Association) as well as TOACT (Tour Operator association of Cape Town) as this incident needs to be looked into by these groupings and if they experience what I experienced tonight as well as what you experienced today then they should do something about advising their members as to this event and warning them about the Dixies owner and his attitude to clientele. Even though I will also be contacting Cape Town Tourism in this regard it would truly help if you would call them too as I suspect that you are still in my wonderful city. Their number is 021 426 4260

Once again I was very sorry to hear what happened to you at Dixies and can but only hope that you will not let this incident blur your vision in terms of all the other wonderful experiences that Cape Town offers. With that said heres hoping that you and your family enjoy the rest of your stay in our city in a huge manner

Selwyn Davidowitz


 
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Nov 10th, 2002, 12:58 PM
  #6
Lisa
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Selwyn, I am so impressed by and proud of your actions. I was hoping that you would see this post and follow up on it. But you certainly have gone above and beyond my expectations.Well done. You are a great ambassador for Cape Town.
 
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Nov 10th, 2002, 01:17 PM
  #7
Louise
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I agree wholeheartedly!!!!
 
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Nov 10th, 2002, 01:37 PM
  #8
asdf
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Unforunately there is no listing on Chef Moz for Dixies, but I'm willing to bet that if someone supplieds the address and phone number, it will appear quite soon.

Also, there are only 3 restaurants in the Guide ... and the Guide is maintained by vlunteer editors. Thus, a volunteer editor for CapeTown is required . . . any volunteers?
 
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Nov 12th, 2002, 01:14 AM
  #9
jen
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Selwyn, how is it possible that this oaf has never heard of you? The whole world knows you!!!
 
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