Kempinski, an international brand, has not so far departed from its global image: the ambience is great and everything is as expensive as it gets.
The main restaurant on the third floor where I was a few days earlier and even met Ménaye Donkor, Sulley Muntari and their son having family dinner was about to close.
It was about 10pm and we were told about their gallery restaurant, stationed near the reception in the ground floor which closes at 2am.
We soon sat down there—and guided by great conversations, we treated ourselves to fine bottles and food.
It was my treat as I asked them all out in celebration of Fiifi’s day.
After about two hours of food, drinks and conversations, I asked for the bill. When it was presented, I pulled out my Credit Card to settle the financial damage caused.
To my surprise, I was told Kempinski’s POS does not work and it has not been working since morning.
My problem is not with the fact that the POS was not working because it happens everywhere in the world. However, there was no prior notice anywhere to customers including us that their POS was not working.
Before our order was taken, the waiter should have mentioned it to us. In the absence of such notice, it’s assumed all relevant payment methods are acceptable.
This is Kempinski—no reasonable person ought to assume their POS wouldn’t be working. And so here I was, after our dinner, with no cash and a bunch of international cards in my wallet and yet unable to pay the bill.
It was around 12 mid night—with the only option being one of us having to go out to look for a cash machine to withdraw some cash.
It’s my card which means I should make that trip but I cannot really drive in Ghana because of the widespread reckless drivings—let alone that late. My friend who helps with driving me around was the birthday boy and I didn’t find it prudent to ask him to take my card and drive out in search for an ATM.
What saved the near embarrassing situation was the fact that one person on our table had a bundle of cash in her bag, and she offered to pay—so we settle her later.
How we run business in Ghana, even the international brands, is somewhat unfortunate. We take everything for granted.
In other parts of the world, there will be bold notices, telling you cash only or POS is down, so cards cannot be accepted before an order is made.