AS ‘IE GROENTE EERS BEGIN WIKKEL

The controversy over cabbage is nothing new to South Africans.
Listen, we fight over our greens.
Here’s another story – of 6years ago, and this happened in the intellectual centre of Cape Town, on the doorstep of UCT.
This is how I introduced it….
How the butternut, the chips and a fatal lack of spinach led to a short, sharp intense war of words in a restaurant in the intellectual haven of Rondebosch
And this is how Chris Vick ran the story….
Spinach wars! Round 2 of Xolela Mangcu versus the Hussar Grill. #SpinachMustFall
Response to Xolela Mangcu article in the City Press, as sent to the publication on 15 September 2015.
September 17, 2015 at 10:30am
15 September 2015
Dear Mr Xolela Mangcu
The Hussar Grill, Rondebosch
We read with interest and initial concern your feedback on your experience at The Hussar Grill in Rondebosch on 10 September 2015, which column appeared in the City Press on 13 September 2015.
We take your comments very seriously and therefore investigated the issue as a matter of urgency. We set out below our findings:
Our waitron indicated that he made you aware of our lack of spinach, and that a fresh batch was being prepared, prior to you receiving your meal.
This is contrary to how you reported the incident: ‘somehow the meal was served without the spinach’. He also indicated that in order to make good on the lack of spinach, as he did not want you to have to wait for the fresh batch, he increased your butternut order to a full portion and offered you an additional side product of your choice.
You gladly accepted these offers and chose to order the side of chips, which were served accordingly.
We understand that you enjoyed the meal without any further incident.
On receipt of the bill, you were unhappy with paying the R110 and requested a discount due to the lack of spinach.
After a discussion our manager agreed to discount your bill to R68. You were not happy with the R68 price point and chose to voice your concerns as well as state that ‘this is a racist restaurant!’ to other patrons.
At this point our manager was trying to protect his business, other patrons and our waitrons from your tirade and offered you the whole meal as complementary.
You continued to vent your opinion to all, paying no heed to the manager’s continued attempts to appease the situation.
On getting no positive reaction from you, his only option was to ask you to vacate the premises; which you would not do.
He had to threaten to call security to persuade you to leave the restaurant.
We agree that not having spinach as an accompanying item to your meal was not acceptable.
We believe, however, that we made every effort to make it up to you.
We also found that our management did not treat you in a racist manner in any way whatsoever and in fact reacted professionally to your inappropriate behaviour.
We cannot condone such actions in our restaurants and believe our manager’s actions were both warranted and necessary in order to defend the business, our other patrons and our Employees.
It is unfortunate that you chose to distort the facts in the manner that you did and we see your so-called reporting of the incident as seeking sensationalism to j ustify your poor public behaviour.
The Hussar Grill was founded in 1964 and now forms part of the Spur Corporation Group of companies.
We have always been a non-racist company and we do not condone racist behaviour in any manner or form – neither from our employees nor our customers.
We expect this letter to be published either with or without an apology from you, in order to set the record straight.
With regards
PIERRE VAN TONDER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICE
SPUR CORPORATION LIMITED