By RICHARD DRASIMAKU
ARUA: Saturday April 10, 2021
“Good afternoon, Sir, what can I serve you?” she inquired, forcing a dizzy smile from the ever mean looking Maj. Daniel Kavuma, Uganda People’s Defence Forces legal officer in West Nile.
Miriam Kapisa, the waitress in action, is a staff of Oasis 24-7 however she was attending to Kavuma at Bamboo Village where he is a regular client but this time on invitation to witness a pass-out of trained staff.
After serving him a plate of delectable oven grilled goat meat, Kapisa quipped: ” bye enjoy your lunch!” drawing a Stern gaze from the surprised military officer.
Kapisa’s rehearsal was a demonstration of some of the manners learnt from a three weeks training of 25 staff of Oasis 24-7 and Bamboo Village plus three local tour guides that was sponsored by the private sector foundation.
Bamboo Village is a down-town hangout of Arua designed to give high-end restaurant experience to customers in a natural rural copy-cut setting.
Opened in 2018, it is an expansion of Oasis 24-7, a middle-town Oasis intended to serve visitors that want to enjoy restaurant services while flicking through the city centre from the top of a storied building that has been in operation since 2013.
But in reality the services are priced at the same rate and in some cases the Bamboo Village has some items priced higher than at it’s Oasis counterpart.
For instance a bottle of beer is sold at sh4,000 at Oasis 24-7 while at Bamboo Village, it sells at sh5,000 but other top tier sips like wine have uniform price at both places.
First foods and takeaways are priced at the convenience of all categories of people ranging from sh1,000 snacks like mandazi and pies, to sh12,000 hot-dog and chips.
Burger sandwiches set you back by at least sh15,000 for vegetable burger, sh18,000 for beef burger, sh20,000 for chicken burger and sh21,000 for humberger.
Other high-end bites are sausage rolex at sh7,000, chicken quesadilla at sh20,000, plain fried goat at sh20,000 and boiled whole fish at sh33,000 for those whose pockets are a lot deeper.
Kapisa says when a person’s choice is not available at Bamboo, especially for wines and spirits that range from sh20,000 to sh250,000, then the staff order for it to be brought in from Oasis 24-7.
Both places have pool table and several TV screens spread out showing European soccer, movies and news.
However the real difference is in the ambiance. Where as Oasis 24-7 is all concrete in the centre of built-up town, Bamboo Village with the exception of the kitchen known as Mr Yummy, is all wood stashed in natural trees and ornamental plants.
With such potential to attract customers of all categories, Samuel Bamubwoine, the team leader of the trainers from the Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute in Jinja apealled to the trainees to reflect the skills and knowledge taught to them in serving clients.
These include respect, humility and courteousness to clients, non segregation, endurance and professionalism.
Joseph Wambuzi, the Chief executive officer for both hotels said when they resume full capacity operations, the 25 trained staff will train those who were temporarily laid off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both hotels had cumulatively more than 50 employees majority of whom were semi-illiterate and illiterate.