#RestaurantRescueProject: The Cape’s restaurants need your help


GRUB & VINE and Radford Dale have launched an initiative to help keep the restaurant industry alive, and are calling on other able wineries to do the same.

President Ramaphosa’s address on July 12, 2020 was another crippling blow to the hospitality industry, with the announcement of a new curfew only adding to the industry’s mounting woes. 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.

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 – says: “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 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 (Temporary Employer/Employee Relief), 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 the 9pm 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.”

Bradford Dale (pictured below), 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 Rands’ worth of stock to supporting 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 this 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 R1400, 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 R2385.

Matt Manning

“You can effectively enjoy an incredible gastronomic experience plus a case of wine for a spend of R1400, and receive almost R4000’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, who 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 eco-system and preserve the jobs and livelihoods of this sector cut adrift.”

The hospitality and tourism sectors have a 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, click here.


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