The project Paths of Flavor (Caminhos do Sabor), promoted by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the Brazilian Association of Bars and Restaurants (Abrasel), is betting on the improvement of business management and on providing training to out-of-home food industry professionals.
The goal is to increase the competitiveness of Brazilian tourist destinations. So far, eight destinations have already undergone training, and another 33, in 23 different states plus the Federal District, are receiving training. The goal is to target 55 destinations and train 11,000 people by 2011.
Aside from entrepreneurial training, the project also focuses on involving the public sector, businessman and the civil society in order to establish a governance group that will increase the competitiveness of destinations and add value to typical regional foods.
To businessman José Lyra, 50 years old, who owns restaurant Canoa dos Camarões, at Manaíra beach, in the city of João Pessoa (capital of the state of Paraíba), since 2004, the project is a great opportunity to prepare for a market that is growing, and cater to increasingly demanding consumers.
"The Paths of Flavor project opened my eyes to details that I did not pay attention to, and which are important to the consumer. Among them, standardization of services, handling and freezing of foodstuffs and the collection of administrative data to enable faster decision-making," says the businessman in a press release issued by the Ministry of Tourism.
João Pessoa is one of the eight destinations in which the project has already been concluded, in addition to Gramado (state of Rio Grande do Sul), Bonito (Mato Grosso do Sul), Recife (Pernambuco), Brasília (Federal District), Petrópolis (Rio de Janeiro), Foz do Iguaçu (Paraná) and Tiradentes (Minas Gerais). In total, more than 1,500 people from approximately 320 participating companies were trained.
The Paths of Flavor project comprises five phases: involving local leaders, researching supply and demand, planning the actions for the destination, official launch and business development.
The last phase includes courses in food safety, customer service, and management. Also included are video lessons for extended education in management, English and Spanish languages, and translation of menus into English, Spanish, Italian, French or German, and marketing and promotion actions.
Micro and small businessmen in the out-of-home food segment – bars, restaurants and similar establishments – interested in participating in the project are being encouraged to seek the Abrasel branch in their municipality or region to obtain further information on the courses available.