‘Make yourselves marketable to attract customers’
• Resource persons and the caterers.
A one-day stakeholder engagement and customer service training for the informal caterers also called traditional caterers has taken place at Takoradi in the Western Region.
The workshop is to sensitise the caterers on how to prepare their locations, the servers and the food to meet the demands of foreign tourists who will travel to Ghana during the Christmas and New Year and will like to taste Ghanaian dishes.
Addressing the caterers, the Deputy Chief Executive of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Ekow Sampson said that in 2019 over one million tourists visited Ghana and also in the year of Beyond the Return celebration.
He said these tourists spent GH¢3.3 billion in the Ghanaian drinking and chop bars and some attractive areas like the forts, castles, beaches and places of interest among others.
He told them that Christmas was fast approaching and the tourists would visit Ghana and other African countries to dodge the cold in their countries.
He said all informal caterers must adequately renovate their bars, customise uniforms for their workers and brand their locations to attract the tourists who would be visiting Ghana.
Mr Sampson said these tourists would visit places of interest but would also like to taste the Ghanaian foods by coming to the local bars instead.
A resource person, Yvonne Ohui MacCharthy said five basic services were needed to make their places attractive for the tourists to call on them for their services.
She said the tourists must look and feel the caterers, attitude of the caterers must be accommodating, their knowledge in the business must be current without any doubts, processing and procedures must be up to date and lastly sales techniques.
She told the caterers to clean cobwebs hanging in the windows, ceiling fans and the walls because these marks would be a minus for them.
The Western Regional Director of GTA, Mr Henry Yeleduor said that a series of programmes and activities had been organised by the “Beyond the Return” Secretariat under GTA to prepare them and sharpen their knowledge and skills in the hospitality industry.
He said the main objective was to prepare caterers to receive visitors, guests and revellers to their facilities as part of the “December-in-GH” activities organised by the GTA.
He said these programmes were to give them some skills on how to attract, satisfy, maintain and keep their guests as they come into their facilities and to return during the next visit looking for the same bar because the services were so nicely delivered.
He said there was absolutely no way that one could divorce successful business practices from quality services adding “it is common cause that good customer service surely builds enduring customer loyalty which is an important element for sustainable development and success in business”.
He asked the caterers to become ambassadors of excellent service in their areas of operation through skills transfer and mentoring other similar establishments especially the emerging businesses.
From Peter Gbambila-Takoradi