Restaurant industry getting deserved recognition 

Week dedicated to B.C. restaurants includes Family Day and Valentine's Day

click to enlarge BUSY BISTRO Hard working chefs like Nick Cassettari are preparing for Family Day and Valentine’s Day during the newly created B.C. Restaurant Week.
  • BUSY BISTRO Hard working chefs like Nick Cassettari are preparing for Family Day and Valentine‚Äôs Day during the newly created B.C. Restaurant Week.

There's a week for everything. You name it and it has a week dedicated to it, including Volunteer Week, Mental Health Awareness Week, National Non-Smoking Week, Smurfs Week and now Restaurant Week in B.C. has been added to the list of things to celebrate each year.

Declaring a week dedicated to something is a good way to grab a quick bit of attention and for something like Mental Health Awareness Week there are many societal benefits to blocking off a week for special events to draw attention to a cause.

Of course, sometimes things get a bit strange, like when a group of people decide the Smurfs need some extra love for a whole week. New York City officials declared in 2011 that Smurf week would be acknowledged in the final week of July in the city. It just so happens that a movie of the same name was released worldwide that week.

While Smurfs might be important to NYC, Whistler gets to show some love to restaurant owners and workers as Restaurant Week makes its debut in B.C. The week is strategically set to coincide with the newly created Family Day.

Naomi Yamamoto, the minister of state for small business, announced the creation of the week early in January.

"Restaurant Week is a great way to celebrate B.C.'s diverse restaurant industry and the many people who work in it," said Yamamoto in a news release. "This industry is made up of passionate and creative entrepreneurs, and during Family Day, we encourage everyone to get together with their loved ones and support the many people who own and operate restaurant and food establishments in B.C."

Restaurants across the province report revenues of more than $10 billion and more than 170,000 people are employed in the province's food and beverage industry.

Family Day will be just another busy day at work for people like the Gagnon family, who specialize in serving up crêpes, or the Redondo family, who work diligently preparing Greek food night after night in Whistler. This week is a good opportunity for those who appreciate the service and great food that is produced by those who give up their statutory holidays and Friday and Saturday evenings to serve the rest of the population.

"We applaud the B.C. government in working with our industry to create the first province-wide Restaurant Week to coincide with Family Day," says Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association. Encouraging families to get out together and enjoy the diverse offerings of our industry helps to strengthen community ties and the local economy."

The celebration of the restaurant business across the province begins Feb. 11 and continues until Feb. 17.

Valentine's Day is also conveniently rolled into Restaurant Week so there is no shortage of good excuses to give home ovens a break this month and let someone else do the cooking, serving and cleaning up — as Tostenson says —to help strengthen community ties and contribute to the local economy.

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