#RestaurantRescueProject: South African restaurants need your help!
Photo Cred: Matt Manning

Grub & Vine and Radford Dale launched an initiative to help keep the industry alive, and are calling on other able wineries to do the same.


South Africa (16 July 2020) – Sunday night’s address by President Ramaphosa was yet another crippling blow to the hospitality industry, with the announcement of a new curfew only adding to the industry’s mounting woes.

This past week, the restaurant industry took to social media in a final attempt to raise awareness around their plight, through sharing powerful black and white images of their employees holding placards that displayed the number of jobs their establishments provided, under the hashtag #jobssavelives.

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#jobssavelives #eatout #helpout

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Matt Manning, Chef Patron at Grub & Vine – a family-owned bistro located on what was formerly the beating heart of Cape Town’s enviable culinary scene, Bree Street – opened up about the difficulties they are currently facing.

“Despite the limitations on alcohol sales – which are responsible for a significant portion of our revenue – we were thrilled to be able to reopen our doors last week after being closed for almost four months.

“We thought we’d finally seen a turning point and that things would start to improve, but sadly it looks like we were wrong.”

This most recent announcement is yet another obstacle faced by a once-thriving industry: the loss of revenue as a result of lockdown, insurers refusing to honour business interruption claims, lack of public sector support, the ongoing struggle to access TERS, and the ban on wine and alcohol sales are just a few of the challenges it has experienced over the past few months. The implementation of a curfew will limit sit-down dining even further and is expected to be the final nail in the coffin for many of South Africa’s most iconic and best-loved restaurants.

Grub & Vine employs 17 full-time staff members, many of whom are the sole breadwinners in their families.

“We have done everything in our power to keep the lights on, and are proud that we have thus far managed to keep every single staff member on payroll,” says Manning.

However, he doesn’t know how much longer the situation can continue. “Should this carry on for another few weeks, I am not sure if any of us will have a business to come back to.”

Radford Dale, an innovative Stellenbosch-based winery and Platter’s Red Wine Producer of the year in 2017, has stepped-in, in an attempt to help preserve the sector.

Says Alex Dale, founder and MD at Radford Dale: “Restaurants are part of the gastronomical fabric of Cape Town, and this world-class dynamism is dying a rapid death. We need to move quickly, collaboratively, and with intention, if we are to see it survive.”

Radford Dale has committed almost half a million Rand’s worth of stock to support the restaurant sector in Cape Town, following a similar contribution during the previous lockdown ban.

The wine will act as an attractive incentive by forming part of Grub & Vine’s #RestaurantRescueProject package while providing a much-needed injection of funds to the bistro.

As part of the #RestaurantRescueProject package, individuals can purchase a gift voucher or Grub & Vine’s interactive, at-home fine dining experience for two people, ‘Virtual Dining’ at the cost of R1,400, and receive a complimentary case of Radford Dale’s critically acclaimed wine when alcohol sales resume. The normal cellar door price of the case is R2,385.

“You can effectively enjoy an incredible gastronomic experience plus a case of wine for a spend of R1,400, and receive almost R4,000’s worth of value. Better yet, your support will enable Grub & Vine to ride out the worst of this storm so that they can continue to keep their lights on,” explains Dale.

Dale is urging other wineries to do the same. “Restaurants and wineries have always had a symbiotic partnership, and I would like to call on wineries who are in a position to do so to ‘adopt a restaurant’, as part of the #RestaurantRescueProject.

“Radford Dale is adopting Grub & Vine; if others can also do the same, we can safeguard an entire ecosystem and preserve the jobs and livelihoods of this sector cut adrift.

The hospitality and tourism sectors have long and vast supply chains and employ thousands of people.

“Should restaurants close, our chefs, waiters, scullers, sommeliers and managers are left out in the cold, without any hope of finding employment for the foreseeable future. It is clear that we cannot expect any government help. If our industry is to survive, we need to support each other,” Dale concludes.

For more information and to support the #RestaurantRescueProject by purchasing a Grub & Vine voucher or Virtual Dining experience, please click here.

Sources: #RestaurantRescueProject
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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