Minister calls on public to support Restaurant Week

-COVID-19 safety measures in place 

With COVID-19 preventative measures firmly in place, the annual Guyana Restaurant Week has been launched as part of the Tourism Awareness Month activities.

Restaurant Week was launched on Friday at the Guyana Marriott. All participating restaurants will be observing the COVID-19 measures and other regulations the sector has crafted as it emerges from the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Ms. Oneidge Walrond is urging the public to participate in Guyana Restaurant Week, a hallmark initiative for Tourism Awareness Month.

In her address at the launch, Minister Walrond says it is important that Guyanese start to participate in dining out again as the country shifts into a new normal.

“The success of the Restaurant Week will speak to the resilience, the dedication that we have as Guyanese to our local product.  We see foreigners coming to enjoy what we have, to see what we have; everyone is curious about what Guyana has to offer.  So, let us as Guyanese take the first step to show confidence in what we have, to put our monies, our efforts into supporting what we are doing,” she said.

In addition to being a boon to the sector, Restaurant Week will also boost the economy.

“It just shows you that as our tourism sector … starts to engage back into activity that there are other trickle-down financial benefits for everyone else and so the delivery services that will be used brings back employment,” the Minister said.

In addition, Ms. Carla James, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority said Restaurant Week will employ sustainable practices in keeping with Guyana being a ‘green’ destination.

“For example, they will be using LED lights and even the service they provide as simple as providing water only when asked…little efforts like that, changing the packages that we use to go;  boxes [are] biodegradable, compostable, no Styrofoam, no service with straws and even our take-away bags are going to be paper bags. So, all of those things are some of the commitments that have been made by the restaurants,” Ms. James said.

Meanwhile, President of the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana, Mr. Mitra Ramkumar said Restaurant Week will be a “culinary adventure.” He is encouraging the public to visit the Restaurant Week website to select their places to dine and view the available menus.  While dining will take place outdoors, he assures the public that the ambiance will be in keeping with a fine dining experience.   

“COVID has taught us many lessons and one of those lessons is bringing families closer and I believe Guyana Restaurant Week amplifies this.  We want persons to come out as a family unit, and if you are unable to come out then you can have pick-up and delivery,” he explained.

The GTA has said safety remains priority and it has provided guidance to the tourism stakeholders, including the participating restaurants, to comply with the guidelines to operate in a safe environment.

Guyana Restaurant Week is usually hosted twice yearly, in June and November. However, it was not held in June as a result of the pandemic.