The Restaurant Collective (TRC), newly registered as a NPC that represents all sit-down restaurants and taverns in South Africa, is working with restaurant owners to make eating out as safe as possible. Its launch project is to educate and assist restaurant owners in vaccinating their staff to make restaurants as safe as possible and get feet back through their doors.
TRC was born in May 2020, during one of the hardest months of lockdown. Their aim was to pull together and start to tackle the common challenges that restaurants face. Within a few weeks, many of the sit-down restaurant brands joined forces to speak with one voice to the government, landlords and the general public and to support all restaurant owners by providing free resources for implementing protocols to keep employees and customers safe.
Who is the sit-down industry and why do they need a voice?
The sit-down restaurant industry of South Africa comprises more than 30 000 restaurants and over 35 000 taverns and employs more than 600 000 people – quality food establishments that form the heart of SA’s tourism sector.
The majority of these businesses are small entrepreneurial successes. The industry also supports an entire ecosystem of suppliers from small farmers, wholesalers and shop fitters to pest control, plumbers and electricians. Not to be overlooked is the value of these establishments to the mall environment and their contribution to the success of these venues.
Get back to living, get vaccinated
The Restaurant Collective is inviting all sit-down restaurants and taverns to register on the TRC website to take a short 10-minute course on COVID protocols and how to explain to employees that vaccinations are safe, dispel myths and encourage vaccine awareness and uptake.
Once completed, restaurants will receive a certificate from TRC endorsed by Discovery Health and the Department of Health to display in-store so customers can see restaurants are safe places where they can get back to living…and help bring the restaurant industry back to life. All of this is offered to restaurant and tavern owners at no cost.
The TRC board is chaired by Ocean Basket CEO Grace Harding who says: “We wanted to put together a diverse board that included not only restaurant industry players, but also media and supplier representation. It is a great privilege to have the head of the liquor traders on the board as Lucky Ntimane brings with him an in-depth understanding of the tavern industry. This will ensure that we understand the broader sit-down industry.”
Ntimane adds: “As the National Liquor Traders we are excited to be partnering with The Restaurant Collective as we believe that it is through collaborative efforts that the lives and livelihoods of those that are dependent on the restaurant sector could be protected and preserved. The new normal which has been brought about by COVID-19 has meant that we need to do things differently to bring about positive change not just for our country but also for our workers who are looking to us for leadership in this challenging environment in which we find ourselves.”
A cross-section of industry champions form the board:
– Colleen Francis, Mccain Marketing and Category Executive
– Lucky Ntimane, National Liquor Traders Convenor
– Andrew Mundell, Famous Brands Group Executive Business Development
– Tessa Purdon, Eat Out and Food24 Head of Content
– Desmond Mabuza, Signature Restaurant Group founder and CEO
– Grace Harding, Ocean Basket CEO
Strategic direction is provided by Jean Sloane, Ocean Basket group strategic head, and managed by Tracey Turner, whose background includes sponsorship, events management and marketing.
The TRC will be focused on four key objectives:
Restaurant owners can visit therestaurantcollective.co.za for a range of free resources and assistance.