Barbados dining out campaign tries to offset broken government promises to reduce the VAT.

Look At That View! The Naniki Restaurant

Look At That View! The Naniki Restaurant

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

If there was ever a time when the expression ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’, then it was perhaps written to present a personal challenge over the last couple of weeks, while trying to resurrect one of the most successful dine-around programmes in recent history.

Some restaurants understand and assess the merits immediately, even though it may not produce the profits that they would either like or require, on all business generated.

But in these days – guaranteed uniform profitability is not a reality. Almost all airlines use sales and other offers to fill a critical percentage of their seats just as hotels contract lower than rack rates with tour operators to achieve a minimum viable occupancy mass.

Other tourism entities are not isolated from this actuality in the way business is now conducted. 

The target was to persuade a minimum of ten restaurants to offer a fixed price 3 course dinner menu at BDS$99 per person with a half bottle of wine, VAT and service charge included.

Take away an average 10 per cent service charge and the establishment is left with $89 to provide the consumables and contribute towards the upkeep and operation of the premises. Valued Added Tax is exactly what the description implies; a tax that is offset against taxable input costs.

Local wholesale distributors have come forward with special deals having seen a supplying potential to provide an anticipated 9,000 bottles of wine representing around $144,000 in additional revenue by when the offer closes in December.

We have also tried to emphasise the desire for participants to source locally available foodstuffs which could go a long way in supporting our agricultural sector.

If a re-launched initiative even comes close to achieving the volume driven before then we are looking at adding around $2 million in sales to the economy. Those already sold on the concept use it as a tool to attain particular goals.

For instance, to introduce their hotel to regular visitors who may be contemplating alternative lodging options like fractional ownership. Others to entice early diners resulting in maximising table optimisation while increasing overall revenue and viability.

And as all diners are obliged to make a reservation, revenue and volume control remains entirely in the hands of the individual participating restaurants.

Initially, it will also not cost any partner a single cent to market or promote the initiative, so there is absolutely no risk or investment to recuperate.

There is no doubt in my mind that one of the key factors impacting on what is now concurrent years of long stay visitor decline is that we as a destination are not focusing sufficiently on what our markets are repeatedly telling us.

And one of the key issues is not delivering value-for-money – a point rarely missed by our competing neighbours, who continue to grow arrival numbers.

There are numerous reasons for this, which include unbudgeted increases in operating costs and the lack, at least partially, to implement the lower rate of VAT and waiver of duties promised by our policymakers months ago.

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

4 responses to “Barbados dining out campaign tries to offset broken government promises to reduce the VAT.

  1. Credas

    For comparison, that price (which equates to 30 GBP) would in the UK typically get you an equivalent meal off the menu in a mid-range restaurant/decent gastro-pub, or the set menu in a better restaurant. A lot of mid-market UK visitors to Barbados find it quite a surprise how expensive it is for them to eat out in Barbados compared with, for example, many southern European holiday destinations, so programmes like this one must be a good idea if you want to tempt visitors away from the all-inclusive resorts, that send so much of the profit off-shore.

  2. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 TO 2014 , MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS OF BARBADOS, BLPand DLP=Massive Fruad

    The thinking of law with VAT or Tax , as the other side of the LAW in other countries not listed .
    To collect TAXES and not report to the GOVERNMENT IS FRAUD while using a TAX ID NUMBER,
    IF YOU DONT COLLECT TAXES THEN THERE IS NOTHING TO REPORT.
    SO BILL WITHOUT THE TAXES OR THE VAT , NOTHING COLLECTED NOTHING TO REPORT NO CRIME?
    PEOPLE WILL COME IN YOUR DOORS .
    IN AMERICA PEOPLE PAY TAXES BASE ON STATUS ?
    IN BARBADOS MANY PAY OR NOT PAY BASE ON STATUS
    RIGHT TO CONTRACT IS A Right,
    Return your TAX or VAT number and bill accordingly to suit, lower prices, You may not be able to have it on both ends.
    less cost to the visitor .

  3. BARBADOSADVISOR ACTUAL

    so i guess they are still slaves, china,Russia,Pakistan,north Korea
    so i guess africans were not the last slaves.huh.

  4. Adrian Loveridge

    The re-DISCOVER Menu Dine-around programme is now available. Full details at http://www.re-discover.com