22nd December –
The article below was based on information gleaned from posts made on Facebook and in the press as well as comments made to St Francis Today and was published before receiving a response to an e-Mail requesting clarification sent to Quayside Restaurant. We have now received a response which certainly does clarify that there is indeed NO COVER CHARGE but rather “corkage fee” which is R100 PER COUPLE and not per person and is certainly in line with any other unlicensed establishment and quite reasonable considering the restaurant provides glasses, ice and all the related services.
Here is and extract from Nevil Hulett in response to our e-Mail ….
“Our first ‘Champagne’ opening night was for our supporters. We charged a high cover charge which included no alcohol. Once seated we gave complimentary bottles of Krone champagne to thank everyone for their support (while stocks lasted). The petition is not compulsory.
We now charge R100 per couple corkage.
Reason for this is that we can’t allow large groups of teenagers to bring their own alcohol, trash the place and leave without spending a cent. This is exactly what the management of Quaysyde Family Barbeque Restaurant and the neighbouring property owners do not want.”
Thank you for the clarification for we are sure you will attract more than your share of diners over the coming weeks and months
The new Quayside Restaurant opened its doors on Saturday and one wonders how the R200 cover charge went down with would-be diners. Word is out that the food is good and the setting is certainly appealing. Not having a liquor license should not be the end of the world, in fact many diners would prefer to bring their own and would be happy to pay a corkage fee. But to ask patrons to basically donate R200 to cash flow irrespective of whether they enjoy their meal or not, does seem somewhat pretentious. Being presented with a bill of several hundred Rand before tasting even a morsel of food, simply for the privilege of dining, surely is a first for a new and untested eatery.
For those readers who also read news of the opening on Facebook, the R200 cover charge would have been enough for them to scratch Quayside off their list of restaurants to visit. Facebook is notorious for passing on misinformation for it seems contrary to the press report which indicates the R200 was for opening night only. Going forward it appears, also from the press report, that there will be a R100 per person charge until a liquor license is granted. The press report goes on to state that patrons will be asked to sign a petition to support granting of a liquor license. Will they be barred entry for refusing to sign for it could prove unconstitutional if their refusal is based on religious or health grounds?
Whilst there will be a few with flush wallets more than prepared to pay this exorbitant cover charge, there are many, many more who will not and one would think that ‘Bums on Seats’ is a far better way to generate turnover and get a new restaurant on the map. It would certainly be a different story if a world renowned chef was invited to create some magical cuisine or those paying the cover charge were invited to dine at a ‘Chef’s Table’, but just to enter a restaurant? Restaurants build clientele on good food, good service and good value and will always attract re-visits where these three components are present. Few people like dining in empty restaurants for some would rather queue than sit alone in an empty room. so one would think a full restaurant in the early days would be preferable to a couple of occupied tables.
Lastly, what about the waiters and waitresses? A handful of tables leave a handful of tips so let’s hope that Quayside is full every night or that they get a share of the cover charge so these youngsters don’t become disillusioned with working long hours without reasonable compensation.
No doubt many, especially those who live in the area permanently, would love to try out the Quayside but will have to wait for a liquor license to be granted before they are able to savour even a light meal.
NOTE: Information pertaining to the cover charge was obtained from a press report and Facebook. An e-Mail was sent to the restaurant to confirm whether this was in fact a requirement but at time of sending out this newsletter we had not yet received a reply.