Restaurants to provide chauffeur services?

By , 12 April 2011



With a more responsible attitude to drink-driving finally starting to take hold in South Africa, restaurateurs report a significant decrease in turnover as diners order less wine in order to stay under the blood alcohol content legal limit (0.05g/100ml of blood).

One way for restaurateurs to encourage their customers to be less abstemious is surely to provide a chauffeur service, and I note that Peddlars restaurant and bar in Constantia, Cape Town in association with Smart Guyz is doing precisely this: they will take you and your vehicle home at the cost of R150 for the first 10km travelled (minimum charge) and R10 per kilometer thereafter, a support driver collecting your chauffeur once you’ve reached your destination.

Even better would be for restaurants to offer the chauffeur service on a complimentary basis. Markups on wine of 200% are not uncommon and somewhere in there must be the means to get their customers home safely.

Note: My preferred alternative to drinking and driving is Good Fellas. Click here for more details.


4 comment(s)

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    Firaz Khan | 26 April 2011

    I agree to certain extent that as a society we should not promote drinking. However we do face challenges when it comes to drinking and driving and I would personaly rather see people using services Smart Guyz and taxis than risking their lives and lives of others. To set the record straight, I do not believe that restuarants should pay for patrons to go home but should allow chauffeur services and taxi operators to service their patrons without wanting commissions or retainers.I mentioned that certain restuarants have in the past paid for patrons to go home as the original article suggested that resturants should pay for their patrons.

    Stephen J of the family Serva Dei | 25 April 2011

    As the service of alcohol is an inherited part of our culture, the solution to ‘drinking and driving’ is not going to be straight forward – but the fact remains that each person is responsible for their own head – that’s why it is on his or her own shoulders!

    I cannot agree with Firaz or his complaining that restaurants are not prepared to pay for their customer’s safe passage home. It is each restauranteur’s responsibility to not oversell – but there certainly is no margin in the sales of food or beverages for the average restaurant to lay aside R150.00 per head (plus extras) for a ride home.

    It is simple logic that one person in every car need not drink at all and that would solve the problem – as many people do now… but even thinking that restauranteurs are responsible for their customer’s decisions stinks of overtones of ‘big brother’ and ‘thought control’ – next people will be saying it is the restaurant’s responsibility and someone will be looking to ‘legislate’ a ‘solution!’

    When people go out, each is responsible for themselves and while chauffeur services may sometimes be needed, I see no benefit over the traditional taxi system that is presently used. Let the drunk person have the inconvenience of collecting their car the next morning – it will make them think twice about drinking too much the next time they are out.

    By ‘chauffeurs’ making it ‘convenient’ to get drunk – so that their car is safe in the garage when the person who overindulged awakens, they are encouraging alcoholism to a greater degree – just so they can get more business!!!!  Not good in the long term…

    As more people awaken up to the real dangers of drinking and driving they will stop – restaurants will adapt and so will people and we will all be much happier and healthier – it is a sign of really badly designed social system that encourages people to get drunk in the first place.

    Josephine Bestic | 14 April 2011

    As I mentioned in my tweet, people should just get over it and subscribe themselves. It is not the restaurant’s responsibiity, other than maybe not to sell wine to a clearly inebriated person (who is not subscribed to a chauffeur service). I am looking forward to my first Goodfellas callout, probably this weekend 🙂

    Firaz Khan | 14 April 2011

    Hi my name is Firaz Khan and I am one of the owners of Smart Guyz.I agree that restaurants should offer all their patrons a safe and affordable way home.Unfortunatley through my dealings with restaurants not many of them are prepared to offer services such as Smart Guyz without wanting some form of retainer or financial gain.This makes it difficult for companies like ours to offer an affordable rate to the client.With this said there are restaurants such as peddlars,Lookout and Bandiris in Westlake that have on more than one occasion paid for patrons to be escorted home safely.It is up to management and owners of restaurants to look for alternatives to drinking and driving for their patrons and hopefuly assist in speeding up South Africans change in attitude toward drinking and driving.

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