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STAR GRADING CRITERIA (article first published : 2003-04-15)

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa is currently working with representatives of the food and beverage industry (coffee shops, restaurants, taverns, pubs, bars and fast-food/take-away outlets) in developing customer-orientated, practical and relevant star grading criteria for the sector.

Dr Salifou Siddo, the Executive Director of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, says, "This is the first time that a formal star grading system will be implemented in the food and beverage sector. The new star grading system will assist the consumer in making an informed buying decision. Although voluntary, the star grading system will assist in setting, maintaining and improving the standards of operation in the industry".

Grant Thornton Kessel Feinstein was appointed by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa to assist and guide the sector in the development of these criteria. Numerous meetings with sector representatives/operators have been held to discuss the star grading of food and beverage outlets. Further workshops/meetings with sector representatives/operators are anticipated to develop and finalise the relevant grading criteria for the sector.

"The food and beverage sector is an extremely complex and fragmented sector with a largely informal, institutional and representative structure, incorporating a diverse range of establishments, service standards and concepts. This is why we decided to work with a variety of industry associations and industry representatives/operators in developing the relevant grading criteria for the sector. The input and support from the industry thus far has been very encouraging," continues Dr Siddo.

"Throughout the process, the working group has been committed to developing world-class and flexible grading criteria. In developing the criteria we have researched similar systems around the world and will be adapting these based on the needs of the consumer and on industry trends in South Africa," he adds.




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