Food & Wine News South Africa

Dineplan reveals SA's 100 highest-rated restaurants

Dineplan has released the first-ever Reviewer's Choice Awards for restaurants for 2022.

Topping this year’s list of restaurants on the Dineplan platform is Reverie Social Table in Cape Town. Rounding out the rest of the top five are Good to Gather, The Table at De Meye, Belly of the Beast and Homespun by Matt.

Reverie Social Table, based in Observatory, Cape Town, is run by chef and owner Julia Hattingh. This intimate, 18-seater restaurant specialises in a bespoke dining experience and has been using the Dineplan platform since August 2016. Reverie Social Table came out tops for ambience, service and value, while Good to Gather placed first in the country for food.

“We are so thrilled to receive such a wonderful accolade. I have always said that we get the absolute best guests at Reverie! It’s not just another meal, you’re having actual conversations in person while breaking bread. Add fabulous local wine and food made with lots of love – and you get a dinner party! I get so much happiness from these dinners and from being able to showcase the very best produce Cape Town and South Africa have to offer,” said Hattingh.

While Dineplan has more longstanding Western Cape-based restaurants on its portfolio, 45% of its newcomers are outside the Cape. A few honourable mentions go to:

  • In the Eastern Cape, The Hussar Grill in Walmer, Gqeberha is highly rated across ambience, service and value.
  • In Gauteng, the Morning and Afternoon Tea at Saxon Hotel is in the top three for ambience and service, while the 16th by KOI in Pretoria placed in the regional top three for ambience and service.
  • Although not in the top 100, a special mention goes to La Casa Nostra, in Durban, for placing in the regional top three for food and service.

Other notable standouts from this inaugural list include some new restaurants which joined Dineplan during the review period and are already making waves across the country.

In the Western Cape, Stettyn Family Vineyards, Rykaart’s Stellenbosch and One Park are just a few of Dineplan's newer clients to be getting rave reviews. Dineplan also welcomes top-performing newcomers Lupa Osteria in Little Falls, Insights at Sanctuary Mandela and Alēia, all in Gauteng. Representing KZN and beyond are The Black Rabbit, Skyfall Fine Dining Restaurant, and The Beach House. While new to the platform, these restaurants received over 1,000 reviews collectively.

Dineplan’s Reviewers’ Choice list is the result of over 200,000 reviews for over 1,000 local restaurants submitted between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2022. During this 12-month period, there were over 3.6 million reservations made using Dineplan, equating to 16 million guests seated at Dineplan venues around the country. Only restaurants that had been on the Dineplan platform for the full review period were eligible for inclusion.

These reviews are 100% diner-generated. Following a reservation, diners are asked to provide a review based on their experience – rating the food, value, service and ambience each out of five, with the option to comment.

Diners must have booked and honoured their reservation in order to leave a review – eliminating fake reviews. These ratings are intended to help other diners on the Dineplan website or app to find restaurants which best suit their needs and dining requirements. The ratings and reviews also help restaurant owners and managers gain valuable feedback from their diners and understand whether their offerings and service meet their guests’ expectations.

Dineplan collates all the rating and review data to give restaurateurs actionable insights into their business.

“The results were close, but it’s great to see some smaller names making the top of the list! From the reviews, we see that fine dining establishments get a lot of hype in the media and diners arrive with much higher expectations. It’s been interesting to see how everyday eateries tend to receive higher guest ratings compared to the top-tier fine dining restaurants. There’s also the discussion around perceived value. While these businesses have higher running costs and are arguably less expensive than international restaurants of the same class, diners appear to rate them more strictly on the ‘value’ criteria, ” said Paige Errera, marketing manager at Dineplan.

The full top 100 list can be found here.

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