LIFE Grand Cafés still offering laidback moments and indulgence

LIFE Grand Café has spent 15 years building their brand, becoming “an eatery where style meets culinary excellence” only for Covid-19 to force them to retrench 70% of their 480 staff across four branches in two cities.

“Because of stories such as these, Diageo South Africa stepped in to help stem financial losses by assisting 400 hospitality industry businesses around the country,” said Diageo SA’s Marketing Director, Zizwe Vundla.  Diageo’s #WeChoose campaign provided a cash and stock injection, marketing support, as well as a movement to ensure the promotion of responsible drinking.

#WeChoose, launched in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban in March, aims to help rebuild the liquor industry, which was hit by months of not being able to trade either at all, or only during restricted hours.

“Our Johannesburg stores recovered more quickly than the Cape Town branch and are on their way to recovery.  Business in Cape Town is 30-50% down from two years ago,” said Jeanel Pieterse, Chef at LIFE Grand Café.

“We think of ourselves as more than just an eatery – LIFE Grand Café has created
years of fantastic food, delicious drinks, superior service across a national footprint of four beautifully designed stores – from the ocean facing harbour location of V&A Waterfront; the Mall of Africa’s position in the continent’s best mall; Mall of the South’s grand open volumes; and Waterfall Corner surrounded by views of the Magaliesberg mountains.”

Diageo’s cash injection to LIFE Grand Café was used to create the Tanqueray garden in Waterfall Corner, and the Upper Deck Lounge in V&A Waterfront, for the purposes of additional, socially distanced seating.

“We have focused on keeping a message of positivity and an uncompromised dining experience.  Creating experiences within the Covid-19 protocols is the biggest challenge, but we would like to thank all of those who have come and continued to celebrate LIFE with us, and ask our customers that they choose to drink responsibly, as #WeChoose to trade responsibly.”

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