21 January 2019| 15 Jumadul Ulaa 1440| Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed

It has been a long day. After hours of data capturing and forgetting to take out the burgers for supper, you decide to stop at your favourite supermarket that also sells ready-made chicken sorting you out for supper. While you are there you remember a few items you are running low on and decide to browse the aisles to get them.

You pass the fresh produce aisle when your eyes fall on a rodent chewing at a box of fruit. You stare hard and look over to see that the fresh produce aisle is not far from the cooked meals.

So what do you do?

You could drop everything you put in your basket and run to get the manager or just video the incident and let it go viral on social media.

Recently a well known fresh produce market store has come under the spotlight after not one, but 2 videos emerged on social media showing a rodent eating produce at 2 separate stores. The chain store has indicated that it is investigating the incidents and have indicated they would temporarily close the store in question.

Quality is a promise that supermarkets and restaurants make to their customers that because you choose to shop with us or eat with us we will ensure 100% quality.

So why do we still have nasty instances of stale burger buns, rodents eating at produce and other distasteful circumstances that leaves the customer distraught?

It all comes down to interest. If you have staff who are well kept, motivated and rewarded for their effort they are more likely to go the extra mile each day to ensure your company is keeping their promise to its customers. If your staff do not believe in your vision and principles then your company will face the consequences of having poor quality.

It is the same with restaurant franchises. Not all chain stores will have the same waiter staff compromise. You might get great service, warm smiles and enthusiasm from one restaurant and go to another branch and receive terrible service.

At this point we should be grateful that there are platforms to share your experience and also review the food, service and general quality of a place. Yet this could also mean that if one person had a bad experience chances are you may not have the same fate.

Each one of us can share a story of bad service. Be it undercooked chicken from your favourite take away to mouldy buns, we can all tell a horror story. So we as consumers ask why do quality promising enterprises subject us to poor standards?

If you are taking a consumers hard earned money in return ensure you are providing them with what you promise them when they walk into you store. If you are counting the number of chips you send out in your steak and chip special then maybe don’t run specials at all.

At the same time if you are providing seating area for your patrons please ensure they are cleaned at all times. We would not want to be half way through our meal and then find chicken bones under the table dropped by one of the previous customers.

Managers are key in making the customer feel like they are king. If you have a manager who keeps the staff motivated and keeps the places in check then you are a winner. Focus on staff motivation to ensure customer satisfaction.

Running a business is not easy sometimes one bad incident tears down years of unflawed good work but ensure you don’t allow that one bad incident to rip through the years of hard work you and your team have been giving to your loyal customers.

As consumers all we want is to make sure we are getting value for money. Our humble appeal to all restaurant owners, supermarket owners and chain store owners is if you give us your word live up to it.

Also to fellow consumers before clicking upload on that damning video notify the man in charge about the poor quality you are experiencing. Perhaps the rodent just walked through the door just like you. Well atleast now we know why the rat crossed the road. Wait, was it rat or chicken?

But whatever the case, if YOU are not happy and have doubts then, simply leave it out!


Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed is a journalist currently producing and hosting the afternoon show On The Pulse. Formally from Durban and having lived in both Cape Town and now Johannesburg has given her deep insight into people. Najma uses her experience with the different communities to write up dramatic sketches. In her spare time she reads memes and cooks up a storm.



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