South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that Wimpy and other franchises will soon be providing new restaurant services at the Kruger National Park (and also Addo and Tsitsikamma).
Predictably, there’s been some negative reaction from members of the public who think, for example, that ‘Wimpyfying’ Kruger is a bad idea.
SANParks claims that feedback from customers suggested the restaurants and takeaways ‘were at best “average” and in many instances “poor”’. And they’re not wrong – in my own experience, there’s serious inconsistency of quality.
SANParks believes that introducing franchise brands will ensure ‘consistency, value for money, product and pricing options, quality of offering and high service standards’. It also points out that the franchise brands are ‘happy to tone down the signage and interior décor in order to be in more in keeping with the sense of place’. So, no in-your-face bright red plastic seats, we hope.
Members of the public have also raised concern about more road kill from speeding trucks. To be fair, trucks are already provisioning existing restaurants at most of Kruger's camps, so the number of trucks on Kruger's roads shouldn't change all that much. SANParks has even said that redesigning the kitchens ‘in some cases' might ‘lead to an increase in fridge, freezer and storage space and ultimately result in fewer deliveries’.
If you want to read the full analysis on which SANParks has based its decision, you can download it here. You can also read their reply to consumer concerns, issued in the form of a press release.
What do you think of the new plans? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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