Restaurant Week to kick off with strict COVID-19 guidelines in place

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Guyana Restaurant Week will be held for the first time this year under different circumstances due to COVID-19. The highly anticipated culinary event is slated to begin on November 20 and will conclude on November 29.

This year, there are only 15 participating restaurants offering outdoor dining to a limited number of persons and for those who do not feel safe to come out, there is delivery and curbside pickup.

Restaurant Week is usually held twice per year but the first event, which was scheduled for June this year, was cancelled as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the organisers – the Tourism and Hospitality Association (THAG) – believe the event can be done safely which strict guidelines in place. The selected high-end restaurants will be offering their menus at a reduced price. For the lunch menu the price will be $3000 while for dinner the price is $5000/$6000.

The event is also being viewed as a COVID-19 relief and a chance for participating restaurants to get back on their feet.

President of THAG, Mitra Ramkumar (Photo: News Room/November 12, 2020)

President of THAG, Mitra Ramkumar says they are hoping to have the usual support this time around.

“Our protocol says that we will only do outdoor dining, tables will be six feet apart and all of those protocols will be observed and this is why we believe it can be done safely. On top of that, the tables are sanitised prior to and after dining, as well as all the utensils; this in addition to regular protocols, you would expect going into any business,” the THAG President said.

Ramkumar explained that the event will create a relief for the restaurants during this time.

“I believe the best relief you can offer people at this time is employment. When we started the discussion for restaurant week this time around we were expecting about 10 restaurants; we are pleasantly surprised for having 15 onboard and all the major ones,” Ramkumar said.

Some restaurants have implemented creative ideas to keep everyone safe. Over at Café Bellvana on Middle Street, Georgetown, a non-touch barcode scanner menu is offered. The menu also doubles as a warning when turned over to notify customers if the table was used and was not sanitised.

Barcode scanner menu at Cafe Bellvana (Photo; News Room/November 12, 2020)

At the Duke Lodge Restaurant in Kingston, Debbie Gouveia explained that the menu is offered online.

“We have our menu is going to be digital but for persons who do not have a phone we will also have printed menus but we will try to refrain from using those because every time they use the menu we will have to discard the menu or sanitize it,” Gouveia said.

The participating restaurants are also required to implement the green initiative where the use of biodegradable boxes for food takeaway is recommended, the use of paper bags instead of plastic bags for takeaway and offer limited plastic utensils.

For more information on Restaurant Week persons can visit – https://www.thag.co/grw/main

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