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TOURISM MATTERS: A win-win for diners and restaurateurs

Adrian Loveridge, [email protected]

TOURISM MATTERS: A win-win for diners and restaurateurs

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OFFICIALLY, RESTAURANT WEEK BARBADOS was rolled out by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, recently. It runs from October 22 until November 5, leading up to this year’s rebranded Food And Rum Festival.

It gives us, as a destination, a wonderful opportunity to highlight our incredible range of restaurant choices and for farmers and producers the chance to step up to ensure that all necessary supplies, that could be featured, are available.

The offering is based on the current 27 participating restaurants in the re-DISCOVER programme, in which a three-course dinner, a bottle of wine per couple, value added tax (VAT) and service are included for $99 per person. One simple price with so many great choices.

It offers prospective diners, whether local or visitor, a no-price-surprise option and all we ask is those selecting one of the participating restaurants that customers reserve in advance. This allows each partner to revenue control bookings and to help maximise table utilisation.

Even by accommodating only ten Restaurant Week Barbados customers, based on a six-night opening each week, it could drive another almost $12 000 in revenue per partner and somewhere between $27 000 and $63 000 collectively in additional VAT revenue, plus the taxes and duties levied on the included wine element for Government.

For the individual restaurant partners, that $6 000 a week in increased revenue goes a long way to pay utility, insurance and land taxes at absolutely no cost involved to participate while benefiting from the massive promotion and exposure associated with the initiative.

So simply put, it’s a win-win scenario, which is risk-free and has no expenditure involved for the individual participating restaurants with the added benefit that could well introduce new clientele, who may return sometime in the future.

For Barbados, the destination it gives our tourism planners and marketers a powerful promotion tool to get out in all our source markets and shout that we have a product which is virtually incomparable in the Caribbean.

Faced with a multitude of island choices, it could well make the difference of where the final holiday is taken. Of course, for the co-ordinators of this initiative, there are substantial costs involved, but we have been incredibly fortunate in the past, and currently, to have limited corporate sponsorship and a handful of invaluable persons assisting, especially in the web and social media side who see a bigger picture and have donated their time.

Without this support, it would have been virtually financially impossible and the entire tourism industry, owe these unsung heroes a great debt of gratitude.

As someone who entered their commercial working life 50 years ago, it has always been a rule of thumb that any promotion or investment in marketing is proven to be cost-effective, so I feel realistic objectives and goals should always accompany any particular project.

If, on average, each establishment participating in this year’s Restaurant Week Barbados serves ten extra dinners per night over a 12-day period, that equates to 3 600 more meals, generating more than one-third of a million dollars in additional revenue.

Email: [email protected]