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19.10.2007 General News

Restaurant operators urged to raise standards of service

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Mr Steven Asamoah-Boateng, Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, on Thursday urged restaurant and nightclub operators to utilise opportunities on the ground to raise standards of service delivery of their staff before and after the Ghana CAN 2008 tournament.
'As businessmen you must see the whole tournament as a tourism event, which would put you at the forefront . to meet the required standards,' he said. He was speaking at a meeting with Restaurant and Nightclub operators within Accra to educate them on the need to raise and maintain a higher standard of service delivery and to promote Ghanaian dishes in attractive ways during and after the Ghana Can 2008 tournament.
The meeting, which was organised by the ministry, was also to discuss how to create excellent environment at those spots, maintain healthy standards and adapt strategies to deal with changes in the industry.
Mr Asamaoh-Boateng said as part of the preparation towards the tournament, the ministry would organise series of training workshops for restaurant operators and their staffs in the regional capitals to equip them with the necessary tools to meet the international standard.
He said the ministry would also consult the health sector, the security and the transport operators to see how prepared they were to take care of the tournament and the safety of the people. He said the services of restaurants should be packaged in a way to play a dual role - feed the clients with good food and entertainment at the same time.
'It is very important for every manager of such places to pay special attention to the visitors to entice them to the place another time. Those who lack these initiatives ended up collapsing their businesses and thereby losing their investments.'
The Minister also urged the operators to utilise the brains of their staff by involving them in meetings and matters concerning the business.
Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, urged the operators to form cooperatives to enable them organise their activities effectively as their counterparts in the hotel business.

'When you are able to organise yourselves this way, build up your business and products it would encourage government to hold some of its functions at these restaurants instead of giving everything to the hotels,' he said.
Mrs Ivy Gyampo, Director of Edvy Restaurant appealed to the government to create fair playing grounds for both the bigger and smaller restaurants during and after the tournament to boost the industry. She said on occasions like that, only the hotels and so called big restaurants that were catered for in terms of receiving and serving visitors.
'For a long time now, it was like there was nobody to talk on our behalf. I would like to appealed to the ministry to intervene so that on such occasions some of the visitors would be sent to us,' she added. Some of the operators also complained about high licence fees being charged by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, which, they said had forced most of them out of business and urged the ministry to intervene.
They claimed they were currently paying seven million cedis as a licence fee as compared to one million and ninety thousand cedis as at last year and urged the government to do something about that or else most of them would be out of business.

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