Cape Town - Visitors to the iconic Kruger National Park will have to find their bottomless coffee elsewhere, as the Mugg & Bean restaurant outlets at Satara, Olifants and Letaba Camps are currently in the process of being terminated.
Although the food service operations will continue as best possible, the franchise Famous Brands, who manages Mugg & Bean, told The Lowvelder that the outlets will be de-branded because the managing franchisee did not uphold the standards of the brand.
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Famous Brands confirmed that the now ex-franchisee has indicated that the outlets will be run as independent operations that is non-franchised. This means that branded items - like Mugg & Bean's 'famous bottomless coffee' among other items, will not be available for purchase in future.
According to an official statement from SANParks acting head of communications William Mabasa, "SANParks will endeavour to put temporary substitutes in place, particularly during peak times,” to improve service standards guests booked at the affected rest camps.
Mabasa confirmed that the park is currently in dispute with the operator of former Mugg & Bean outlets at the above-mentioned rest camps.
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He says, "SANParks is currently embarking on an arbitration process with the operator in question and is unable to confirm how long will the process take. Arbitration proceedings are underway,” however.
The statement follows a host of complaints by guests on various social media platforms in relation to the quality of service experienced by guests at the restaurants.
This is not the first time SANParks has had to intervene to ensure visitor satisfaction with the Mugg & Beans at Satara, Olifants and Letaba. In December last year, looming strikes at the three restaurants also prompted SANParks to open several pop-up restaurants at the camps of concern.
This emergency measure came as a precautionary measure after business disruptions experienced at the three Mugg & Bean restaurants in early December. The service disruptions were due to a dispute between the operator and their employees.
The pop-up shops operated for the duration of the festive season.
SANParks has apologized to guests for the inconvenience, saying their will do their utmost to ensure good service.
NOTE: The Mugg & Bean Lower Sabie are not affected by the dispute, as they are operated by another franchise manager.
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