Last night I experienced the best and the worst of franchise restaurants. Ordinarily, I avoid them like the plague but when one gets a late craving for sea-food and one is in the city bowl, you have few options at 10pm.
Ocean Basket in Kloof street has the lousiest, most unprofessional staff I’ve ever had the misfortune of encountering. For nearly 5 minutes, my party and I stood waiting to be seated. Neither the chef (who was busy chatting on his cellphone) nor the 2 waiters who walked past us saw fit to alert the host/manager or seat us. It wasn’t as if the restaurant was busy. In fact, it wasn’t packed at all. This was clearly their way of trying to put on a consummate display of their complete and utter lack of professionalism and their absolute failure to live up to their brand promise.
In stark contrast, Ocean Basket at the Waterfront welcomed us warmly and attended to us promptly and efficiently. Our waiter (a chap named Dawie – do ask for him by name) was attentive without being intrusive and helpful when it came to making suggestions to one of my party who was here on an overseas visit. We were greeted by the manager and all the staff and our dining experience was damned near perfect.
The Ocean Basket in Kloof has seen the last of me. I will not return there and I would advise everyone to give it a miss. But if you’re looking for a really good, late night seafood meal (hey, you can’t fight a saganaki craving), your best bet is Ocean Basket in the Waterfront. What really bothers me is that in a world where sustainable success relies on ensuring that your client’s brand experience always matches the brand promise, there are still people who just couldn’t be bothered, who believe that “good enough” is “good enough”. I’ve got news for those people: you won’t be missed.