Earlier this month, Grub & Vine’s Chef Matt Manning and winemaker Alex Dale of Radford Dale Winery conceptualised and kicked off the #RestaurantRescueProject. The collaborative effort is an industry-driven initiative borne as a response to the second alcohol ban and curfew adding even more unbearable pressure on SA’s restaurant trade.

The launch saw Radford Dale donate almost half a million Rands worth of wine to Grub & Vine to use as an incentive for customers. Manning created a Restaurant Rescue package where food lovers could purchase a gift voucher for a dining experience at Grub & Vine and receive a complimentary case of 6 Radford Dale wines when the alcohol ban is lifted. The package sold out in just a few days, providing much-needed cash for the restaurant.

Says Dale, who is leading the Restaurant Rescue Project campaign, “our objective is to achieve a significant and rapid injection of cash for each participating restaurant to allow it to face two or three more months of the current lockdown regulations. Through the support of the public our mission is to garner sales of 200 vouchers per restaurant and hence raise between R250,000 – R300,000 per participant.”

The key to the project’s success is the support of wineries to donate a significant amount of premium wine inventory to the cause. While the South African wine industry faces a collective R1 Billion revenue loss this year, there are several established wine producers that are able to weather the crisis thanks to significant export markets and the resulting financial buffer. However, this isn’t the case for restaurants.

Following Grub & Vine’s success, more restaurants and wine estates are now joining the project; including Aubergine with Lismore Wine (sold out), SeaBreeze Fish & Shell with De Grendel Wines, and Cheyne’s with Journey’s End, the Pot Luck Club with Warwick Wines and Upper Bloem with Villiera; to name a few.

For more information, visit the Restaurant Rescue Project website to find out which businesses are participating. The website is hoping to encourage more diners to purchase a dinner voucher to save a restaurant.

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