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An eatery with a difference

Liza Punzel serving Lenette van Wyk and Quintin Keys at  Bistro ‘d café in Lüderitz (Photograph contributed)Liza Punzel recently realised her dream after local entrepreneur, Jan Burger partnered with her and established Bistro ‘d café. The eatery recently opened its doors in Lüderitz – just in time to capture a share of the festive season business.
Offering a diverse cuisine, the eatery opens at sunrise to provide breakfast to tourists who plan an early departure to view the infamous feral horses of the Namib, or to catch the splendour of an early morning visit to the world renowned marine area and Diaz point, situated within the Sperrgebiet National Park.
Punzel and Burger are determined to usher in change, so for starters Bistro ‘d café is open for business up to 22:00. This is done intentionally to cater for mainly tourists, who complain that Lüderitz has become a sleepy town where business generally closes early.
This restricts entertainment and eating choices after sunset.
Furthermore, realising that customers’ needs extend beyond having a good culinary experience, Punzel and Burger installed a Wi-Fi service at their restaurant.
Top class cuisine, extended business hours and add-on services such as free internet, are not the only differences introduced in Lüderitz by these newcomers.
“A first for Lüderitz – it is a service that tourists find attractive as a way to stay in touch with family and friends, and for sharing photos of their visit to the historic southern port town. In a way this actually promotes the town as a tourism destination,” says Punzel.
On the issue of skills development, Punzel feels not enough is being done to develop the skills of local youngsters.
So, to develop new skills, she specifically hand-picked and trained staff members from scratch, rather than poaching employees from other local tourism establishments.
Punzel said that plans are also in place for Bistro‘d café to introduce a training facet.
“The plan is to provide youngsters with work experience that positions them favourably when it comes to applying for a job,” adds Punzel.
On a routine visit to the south last week, SME Compete’s Danny Meyer met with Punzel to explore business growth support strategies.
In addition to helping Bistro ‘d café develop a marketing strategy and with the design of marketing material, SMEs Compete will invite staff and trainees of Bistro ‘d café to business skills development programmes run in Lüderitz.

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