Nearly 50 per cent of the money spent by a tourist in Goa is incurred on food and beverages, which underlines the significance of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs to the State economy, according to a recent study.
According to Prahlad Sukhtankar, who runs Black Sheep Bistro and Blackmarket, for every rupee spent in Goa, 50 paise is directly spent on food and beverage. "People either go to restaurants and bars or will go to nightclubs and there again will eat and drink beverages," he said.
Sukhtankar will now head the National Restaurant Association of India (Goa Chapter), which saw its formal launch in a glittering function at a starred resort on the outskirts of Panjim late Thursday evening.
The who's who of the Goan restaurant industry was present at the launch.
Sukhtankar, who spoke to Gomantak Times digital, before the start of the launch, said, "Goa, which is one of the top culinary destinations in the country, is besieged with several issues pertaining to its restaurants. The launch of the NRAI Goa Chapter will help us to resolve issues at the central level."
In a statement issued earlier, Sukhtankar maintained he was committed to working closely with other members of the chapter to ensure that the interests of the restaurant industry are well-represented and protected.
He claimed in the statement that nearly 45 per cent of the State's population is directly or indirectly employed by the restaurant industry in Goa.
Rough estimates suggest that there are around 8,000 registered restaurants in the State.
Co-chapter head of the NRAI Goa Chapter, Akshay Quenim said, "Issues like input tax credit, service charge, etc, will be addressed because now we have a voice at the national level."
Besides, Sukhtankar and Quenim, the other members of the core committee of NRAI Goa Chapter are Pranav Dhuri (Secretary), Amey Naik (Joint Secretary), Rajesh Salaonkar (Treasurer and Sponsorship), Girish Desai (Joint Treasurer) and Gaurish Dhond, Vincent Ramos (both Advisory Committee members).
The NRAI Goa Chapter has vowed it will work with the objective of serving as a platform for advocating fair business policies, providing education and training to restaurant employees and promoters, facilitating networking and collaboration, maintaining industry standards and supporting local businesses and cuisines.