One of these days from my early meeting at Ramsgate lower south coast of KZN I had to stop by Shelly Beach for a light meal. My first meal of the day I’m always fussy about it as it has to be perfect and delicious at the same time. I had a choice of going to normal franchise restaurant or to the boutique restaurant. The normal assumption with the franchise restaurants is that they try by all means to look identical and they all conform to the standards and requirements of the franchise. Maybe for a person who believe that he must eat what he knows these franchise restaurants might be the way to go.
However I always look something unique about the area every time, I’m also from South Coast. I have seen business people or families investing in small or medium size boutique restaurants within the area. I personally think that it’s something that should be encourage, because if a tourist is in the area would like to have a different taste that can be offered in that area only. These kinds of restaurants offer that to the public.
For local economy I personally think restaurants that are owner or family driven are better stimulants of the local economy as opposed to others. I say this simply because there is no money that leaks back to the franchise principals for marketing, percentage of the turnover, franchises fees, etc.
Most of the things in franchise restaurants are centralized, quality control, menu and so on. So if as customer you are not satisfied about something that is beyond them, it’s too tough you must find another venue for yourself to eat. This makes it difficult for effect change in these restaurants, because it’s a long process that need to be followed.
The choice is yours though as a consumer and the recipient of the service. We always like to go to where we are treated with respect, enjoy nice food and good environment at the same time. However the question will be what unique you can take out from that particular restaurant? It is always highly possible to get unique setup and taste from proprietor orientated business.
By: Musa Gumede