If you haven't made sufficient meal plans at home, where does one eat out when load shedding occurs in your area? It seems like the perfect opportunity to go out and enjoy a candlelit dinner, however I think there is room for improvement for all concerned here.
The other day I got a notification from my nifty GridWatch app (now available on IOS), that our area was to expect load shedding from 6pm until 8.30pm. I made arrangements to meet friends at a well-known restaurant and be seated by 6pm ready to have a candlelit dinner. Said restaurant was contacted beforehand to make sure that they still operated during load shedding hours. I was confident.
We sat down at 5.50 and got ready to place our orders. At 6pm the lights went out we were plunged into darkness. After about 10 minutes of fumbling around, the restaurant staff began bringing each table what must be the worst excuse for candles I have ever seen. They were not real candles but those plastic things you buy in The Crazy Store that emit zero light. There was also zero service and the first 4 items we ordered were not available. Needless to say we got up and left.
My point is the whole experience could have been a lot better. The manager on duty could have ensured that the staff were more prepared, and I should have done more research into which restaurants were open for business, and if they had an amended menu.
The Taste Detectives in Durban (my go-to food blog for Durban) actually have a ‘Power List’ of restaurants that are open during load shedding.
I think we need get a similar list in other SA cities and also a Twitter and Instagram # going forward for just this problem.
Welcome to #GridWatchRestaurants – if all restaurants and people who are out and about use the #GridWatchRestaurants - together we can share and manage this problem and streamline dining out wile load shedding takes place.
If you are a restaurant manager and you are equipped for load shedding then please tweet us @food24 or Instagram us @food24_sa with the #GridWatchRestaurants and we WILL Retweet you to all our followers. Also let us know what is available on your menu – or if you offer a load shedding special.
You can also Tweet or Instagram us during load shedding using #GridWatchRestaurants - that is when people will be looking for restaurants to go to and if you post a picture of what's on the menu it will be all the more enticing!
If you are a restaurant and you are not on social media (you should be), then email your load shedding menu/special to us firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know of any great restaurants open and operating during load shedding then also please comment below.
This way we can get the whole of South Africa involved. No one needs to be left in the dark.
- Cathrine Shone