Booze ban and curfew have been killing us, says La Colombe head chef
James Gaag, the executive chef at La Colombe in Constantia, says the restaurant has been struggling to fill its tables under the current level 3 lockdown regulations.
Gaag says that their sit-down service has been very slow and their takeaway service has been inconsistent.
He says guests can't comfortably enjoy their 10-course dinner meal while constantly keeping an eye on the time.
Without any patrons to serve or dinner reservations to look forward to, Gaag says the restaurant often closes its doors early in the evenings.
The evenings are quite dismal and I think it has a lot to do with the booze ban and the curfew. That's really what's killing us, the curfew... We can't get around that time crunch and, coupled that, we can't serve any wine.James Gaag, Executive Chef - La Colombe
La Colombe is one of the hundreds of restaurants that have been brought to their knees because of the ban on alcohol sales and the 10 pm curfew.
Gaag believes that the resumption of on-site alcohol consumption will be a gamechanger for the floundering sector.
In fine dining restaurants, alcohol and wine-pairing play quite a large part of the experience that we offer the guest... If we're able to offer that again, it will be a huge drawcard and hopefully, numbers will go up again.James Gaag, Executive Chef - La Colombe
La Colombe was named South Africa's top restaurant at the 2019 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards.
This month, they've been crowned the number 1 fine dining restaurant in Africa and number 13 in the world by the Tripadvisor 2020 Travelers' Choice Awards.
Listen to James Gaag in conversation with John Maytham:
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