HOSPITALITY sector personnel have been devising innovative ways to keep their businesses afloat in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
The latest initiative involves Cap Maison teaming up with two independent restaurants on island to present a feature event, dubbed: “Three Chefs Dinner Experience”.
The event is due for May 24 at The Cliff @ Cap. And guests will get to savour the culinary delights from three respective chefs.
Cap Maison general manager, Ross Stevenson is excited about the event. He said the concept is intended to give hotel guests an option of dining out at these respective restaurants; while it would also help bring in some much needed income to these ‘hard hit’ restaurants and provide some economic relief to its staffers.
“There is no secret as to how it has been with all the COVID and protocols implementation on the hotel sector. This has been one of the most affected sector on the island,” said Wadi Zakhour, Chairman of the Independent Restaurants grouping.
“Through initiatives like this one and other initiatives that we’re working on, we are mainly trying to help our staff so the business can stay afloat and they can bring some bread to the table,” he told reporters, at a press brief this week.
“Our main objective would be to give a little awareness to the tourists of what our culinary experience on the island could be,” he added.
The owner of the Lazy Lagoon restaurant said it is rather unfortunate that guests cannot leave their hotels at this time to go out, due to the protocols, but this initiative “through the collaboration with Cap Maison …we bring in the chefs to them, so they can at least experience a little bit of our culinary exposure on the island.”
Cognizant of the health authorities efforts to have persons adhere to the protocols, Zakhour explained that the hospitality sector has been able to implement a ‘Bubble Restaurant concept’. “It’s where some of the restaurants with special certification can receive only tourists …where the booking comes from the hotel itself, and a certified taxi takes them over and brings them back,” he said.
Though meticulous measures have to be employed to adequately deal with the situation, the restaurateur is nonetheless optimistic , since “ we understand the challenges that the CMO and her team have and we’re working closely with them to try to slowly lift up the protocols that we’re living with.”
Zakhour adds that the initiative is directed “mainly to help the businesses that have been suffering over a year now, and to try to get more staff on board.”
The Lazy Lagoon owner said they have been doing as much as they can to rotate staff and to provide “a fair share for everyone and we have also arranged transportation for them so they can reach home safely and keep with the protocols.”
Zakhour noted that the St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association [SLHTA] has been helpful in providing guidance and support during this crisis. He added that, “Being the liaison with government, they provide us with passes …and allow for the designing of the protocols that can meet both ends.”
Chef Craig Jones of Cap Maison will team up with two chefs from the popular Rodney Bay hub, who are all eager to cater to their guests. The participants will include Jacques from Jacques Waterfront Dining and Miguel from Amici, Italian restaurant to afford guests an exciting “Three Chefs Dinner Experience”.
What expectations do the chefs have for this upcoming feature event?
“Just to get chefs together, have a good time and give something a little different to the guests,” Jones explained. “Also, it’s a good opportunity for these two gentlemen (…and I) to showcase to the guests what we’re doing and to bring about some excitement.”
Stevenson explained that the event will cater for at least 66 guests on that evening.