Bid for better Bot Gardens eatery

2014-05-20 00:00

THE Botanical Gardens restaurant is set for a shake-up to improve its service to its loyal Pietermaritzburg customers.

At a meeting held at the gardens last week with South African National Biodiversity Institute management and members of the public, the need for improvement at the restaurant was discussed.

With the reopening of the restaurant, the Sisipho Strelitzia, under new owner Nompilo Sisipho Ngcobo, it was felt that the establishment should grow its clientele.

The meeting addressed complaints about the current state of the restaurant at the Botanical Gardens.

Regular visitors to the garden had a litany of complaints about the restaurant being “out of sync with the ethos of the Botanical Gardens” under the previous owners.

They raised the loss of the original tea garden as one of the things they wanted to be addressed.

The committee heard suggestions that the current staff members should be given training to polish their hospitality skills to ensure diners were offered excellent service.

The meeting also proposed using the restaurant as a depot for organic and free-range produce. Those present highlighted the importance of visitors to the restaurant being given great service because people in Pietermaritzburg were “unforgiving”.

Ngcobo was told that it was important to ensure that the restaurant did not attract negative publicity because it would reflect badly on the gardens.

They also wanted to ensure that the service at the restaurant would win back those whom the gardens may have lost due to previous bad experiences there.

“This was a good meeting aimed at discussing a turnaround strategy to ensure that our visitors at both the restaurant and gardens are satisfied with how we do things,” said Ngcobo, who took over the restaurant in the past six months.

She said she has been in the hospitality industry for 10 years and has studied for an International Hotel Management Diploma (obtained in 2005) at Varsity College.

“I love food and I want people to come and enjoy it while looking at the beautiful scenery at the garden,” she said.

“I want this to be one of the best, family friendly restaurants in town, which is one of the Botanical Garden’s themes,” said Ngcobo.

She said, “The taste of the pudding is in the eating and that is the only way people will know what the restaurant and the garden is all about — if they visit.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.