Jr. Minister Optimistic About Locally Owned Restaurant Franchises

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Junior Minister for Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Marlon Penn envisions that in the future Virgin Islanders will be owners of local restaurant franchises.

The Junior Minister made the comment in a government release which was aimed at promoting a free three-day ServSafe Food Safety Manager Certification Training workshop. The training which is offering certification based on the latest United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code, and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-Conference for Food Protection was referred to as a stepping stone by Hon. Penn.

In his call for participation in the Caribbean Overseas Small and Medium Enterprises (COSME) sponsored initiative Hon. Penn explained that training will provide the business owner with the skills required to not only improve their business but the industry.

ServSafe is a food and beverage safety training and certificate program administered by the United States’ National Restaurant Association. The certificate issued is required by most restaurants in the US as a basic credential for their management staff. Therefore Hon. Penn encouraged restaurant owners and other persons in the food service industry to register for the workshop, and become internationally certified as food safety managers.

He said, “I am pleased that the Government of the Virgin Islands is offering such a diverse range of training opportunities for small businesses and, in this instance, those working in the food service industry.”

The Junior Minister added that with the proper certification, planning and vision, it is very likely that British Virgin Islands’ entrepreneurs in the restaurant and catering services industries can expand into multiple franchises and help to further diversify the local economy.

The workshop which will be held from September 21 to 23 at the Marine Centre of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, will be facilitated by Ms. Julie-Ann Laudat and Mr. Lionel Michael who are certified ServSafe Instructors and proctors/examiners and have over fourteen years of combined experience.

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