GNBS to launch updated code of practice for local restaurant industry

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

With the aim of improving the level of services offered by restaurants throughout the country, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) has launched a draft Code of Practice for Quality Management in the Restaurant Service.

The Code of Practice for Quality Management in the Restaurant Service was first developed in 2003 to guide efficient managerial skills, personnel skills, and contractual arrangements that should be made on a daily basis in a restaurant establishment.

Over the years, the GNBS has recognised the need to update this document, in keeping with the country’s rapidly evolving landscape.

In an interview with this publication, Communications Officer at the Bureau, Bibi Khatoon explained that the end goal is to ensure restaurants provide quality food and customer service.

“Over the past 10 years, the Guyana Tourism Authority noticed that there have been more restaurants and the standards seem to be updated to match the facilities now. In addition, there is more need for quality now with the oil and gas industry and more persons coming to Guyana. It is expected that the standard will be completed by August, and it will be used to upgrade restaurant services in Guyana,” she said.

“This standard does not apply to institutional food services which include like, the school feeding programmes, and the food caravans that can be seen on the roadside,” she added.

The GNBS is currently calling on all stakeholders to participate in the Public Consultations regarding the Draft National Standard, which can be found on its website. An in-person consultation session will be held on May 9 at the GNBS’ Head Office at Sophia Exhibition Centre in Georgetown while a virtual platform will be hosted on the following day.

Meanwhile, the deadline for submission of comments on the draft standard is May 24.

Khatoon has emphasised the importance of public feedback and as such, is encouraging persons to participate.

“It Is important to get feedback from all stakeholders including customers, because when we develop a standard, the intention is for it to capture every aspect of that industry or that business that is going to govern… we are asking persons to attend the consultation sessions. If you can’t do so, visit the website and obtain a copy of the comments sheet so you can go through the draft standard so that we consider that, and ensure that the final document is close to perfect,” she said.

According to Khatoon, when the official code is launched, all restaurants operating in the country would be encouraged to sign onto it. Currently, over 90 restaurants are operating in the country.

Meanwhile, this code of practice was developed by members of a technical committee comprising representatives from the GNBS, Guyana Tourism Authority, the Competition, and Consumer Affairs Commission, the University of Guyana, private sector officials, and other associated governmental organisations.

In adhering to the Code of Practice for Quality Management in the Restaurant Service, several comprehensive measures are instituted to ensure consistent excellence throughout all facets of restaurant operations.

The code places paramount importance on the meticulous selection of sub-contractors and suppliers, emphasising criteria such as their ability to consistently provide high-quality products, willingness to accommodate specific restaurant requirements, and reliability in ensuring a steady supply. Once chosen, clear specifications are communicated to these partners, outlining the restaurant’s quality standards, and each item is assigned a unique order number for streamlined procurement processes.

Upon receipt of products from external sources, rigorous inspection and testing protocols are implemented to verify their adherence to defined quality standards. Only after passing these checks are the products approved for use or distribution, safeguarding against the introduction of substandard items into the supply chain.

Comprehensive records are to be meticulously maintained to document all inspection and testing activities, providing tangible evidence of compliance with quality requirements. This systematic approach to record-keeping ensures traceability and facilitates informed decision-making.

All personnel involved in restaurant operations should be thoroughly briefed on the restaurant’s food safety policy. Effective communication practices are to be established to ensure the seamless dissemination of information relevant to the restaurant’s quality management system. This will help to foster transparency, collaboration, and a shared commitment to maintaining quality standards across the organisation.

Stringent controls are also to be instituted for handling, storing, packaging, and delivering purchased items and customer possessions.

Among other things, innovation will have to be pursued with rigor and foresight, as top management oversees the planning and execution of new product and service offerings. By adhering to meticulous developmental procedures, restaurants can uphold their commitment to innovation while maintaining the highest standards of quality.

Through these comprehensive measures, restaurants can ensure that every aspect of their operations is conducted with precision, integrity, and a steadfast dedication to delivering unparalleled quality and service excellence to their customers.