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2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup – Tourist Heaven or Local Hell

Posted by Byron (byron5a) on Mar 03 2010
FoodBlogCT | Cape Town Restaurant Reviews & Specials >> FoodBlog

Just a few more days (edit: June) until the kick-off of the first match of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. This a momentous occasion - the reality of this event is becoming tangible. There has been a lot written about the skepticism surrounding the readiness of South Africa to host this event. The Confederations Cup last year did well, from a marketing perspective, to change global perception about South Africa's readiness. Further, there has been a lot of backing from high profile figures that South Africa would be ready. Agreed, that a large number of these commentators have a vested interest in the success of this event; nonetheless a positive message has been communicated to the global community.

World Cup Cape Town Football

World Cup Cape Town

This being said, let us take a look at the effects of this major event on ordinary South African citizens. Particularly, let us consider the restaurant experience that South African citizens can expect during this month-long period. In general, my perception of service levels at most of Cape Town's eateries are sub-optimal. There are many reasons for this, but this is not the time nor the place to discuss these. The important question to ask is, “What will service levels be during the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup?” More specifically, we should ask, “Will there be a difference in service levels that locals receive compared with the service levels received by tourists?” The answers to these questions lie predominantly in the philosophy adopted by Cape Town eateries during this period.
Case 1 would be an eatery that looks at the event as a purely short-term opportunity and hence acts accordingly. This type of eatery will aim to maximise its covers and hence turnover during this time period with little thought of the long-term impact of their current actions. Tourists will generally spend more than locals due to the fact that their spending power generally outstrips that of locals. Hence, the service levels that tourists receive will be far higher than those of locals because it pays, all the way to the bottom line, to provide better service to the tourists. This means that as a local you are seen as less important to these establishments This is a dangerous business practice to follow, as you (the establishment) completely erode the pre-exisitng relationships that have been built up with customers and hence create a negative sentiment amongst a large and vocal group of customers who will not fade into darkness as the sun sets on the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Case 2 would be an eatery that looks at the event both in terms of the short-term and long-term gains. This type of eatery understands that there is the potential for large sales during this time period and to capitalise on these sales, they need to up their service levels to those comparable in first-world countries. The service levels are seen as a major point of differentiation and some establishments believe that their superior service levels give them a competitive advantage. However, to achieve this short-term gain, as well as the long-term gain of an expanding set of establishment-loyal customers, these establishments provide undifferentiated service levels to tourists and locals. Rather, their focus lies in changing the culture or notion of service within their establishment. They become customer-orientated establishments.
The underlying point is this: The 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup is a short-term event and hence establishments need to be looking at their longer-term goals and how they can ride on the 2010 wave to help them achieve these goals. Locals are as important, if not more important, than tourists to these establishments. Locals are here for the long-term, tourists are here for the short-term. Hence establishments need to remember this when deciding whether or not to spit in your Frappe Latte. 


Last changed: Jun 08 2010 at 3:59 PM



By Unknown on Mar 03 2010 at 4:30 PM
I'm all for case 2 :P

Cape Town is gonna be rocking!! WHOOoohooooO!!! Spain FTW!
3rd case? By Marvin on Mar 03 2010 at 5:27 PM
@ above: think u gonna enjoy this link. The article is called: Not Fornicating Nor Form Can Stop Spain,17033,9405_5997233,00.html - check it out!

@byron: what about restaurants who just don't give a $*#&). they offer bad service now. they ll offer bad service during the world cup...And somehow, they still survive and stay in business. = case 3!
bring it on! By Unknown on Mar 03 2010 at 7:38 PM
cant wait for the world cup. got tickets for two games! & I for one think it's good that lots of tourists leave their money here.good for the economy and good for the people.

As for the restaurants, if the World Cup promotes the country, more tourists will come to Cape Town. And if a restaurant becomes popular among tourists, if a restaurants promotes itself mainly to tourists at holiday resorts etc.; they might not even care about us locals. They are just looking for tourists. And with more and more travelers coming from overseas, that might not be such a bad strategy!

just a thought
Tourist Heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) By Unknown on Mar 04 2010 at 7:38 AM
nice read!
My Comment By Unknown on Mar 05 2010 at 7:46 PM
awesome site & nice take on the World Cup!

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