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  1. #1
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    Default Sosua Gourmet Festival Sept 26-28

    From today's Sosua News:


    Friday 26 September and Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 September in Sosúa, this time for the fourth year, the Multicultural Gourmet Festival takes place. The festival is organized by TURISOPP (organization for the development of tourism) and will take place in the park 'Las Flores' next to the Sosúa Bay Casino in the resort town. Lovers of good food can then enjoy a varied menu consisting of the best dishes from 40 different countries. Several restaurants in Sosúa and immediate surroundings will provide these dishes. During the Gourmet festival, musicians and artists will do performances.

    The festival closes on Sunday night with a nationally known merengue band. Last year it was the nationally famous and well known band of Ruby Pérez.

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    I have said this before about the restaurants that are participating....YOU ARE THERE TO PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT, NOT TO MAKE A PROFIT OVER A 3 DAY EVENT!!! The festival is great, and I will always support it, but the prices are too high for what they are offering. They should be concentrating on small samples of select items from their menu. They should also have their menus printed out on flyers so that everyone can take the menus home with them. Believe me, I have participate in dozens of Food Festivals in Canada and they work extremely well providing the businesses understand what the festival is really about, promoting their product. I remember one restaurant participating, and they were selling their 'samples' for 200 pesos, the food was standard and after looking at their menu prices I said to the group of people that I was with, "I will give them 6 months until they close"...I was wrong, they lasted 8 months.
    If anyone out there is either involved with the festival, or you are participating, please do it correctly...the festival is fantastic and I encourage all that live in the area to attend.
    When we did the festivals there were rules set, we had to produce a sample for a dollar and 2 dollars. The currency were tokens that could be purchased at numerous booths around the festival, nobody could purchase directly at the food stands. This was everything was strictly controlled. 80 cents from each token was paid to the restaurant owner, the remaining 20 cents went to the organizers for the stands, advertising and other small expenses. At the end of each night the restaurant owner would exchange the tokens collected and be paid. There was also a prize for the restaurant that collected the most tokens which made the competition fierce, meaning the food samples were excellent. Nobody made profit from these events, but our business certainly profited after the festival had long finished. I just wish the Sosua festival would do the same...

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tee View Post
    I have said this before about the restaurants that are participating....YOU ARE THERE TO PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT, NOT TO MAKE A PROFIT OVER A 3 DAY EVENT!!! The festival is great, and I will always support it, but the prices are too high for what they are offering. They should be concentrating on small samples of select items from their menu. They should also have their menus printed out on flyers so that everyone can take the menus home with them. Believe me, I have participate in dozens of Food Festivals in Canada and they work extremely well providing the businesses understand what the festival is really about, promoting their product. I remember one restaurant participating, and they were selling their 'samples' for 200 pesos, the food was standard and after looking at their menu prices I said to the group of people that I was with, "I will give them 6 months until they close"...I was wrong, they lasted 8 months.
    If anyone out there is either involved with the festival, or you are participating, please do it correctly...the festival is fantastic and I encourage all that live in the area to attend.
    When we did the festivals there were rules set, we had to produce a sample for a dollar and 2 dollars. The currency were tokens that could be purchased at numerous booths around the festival, nobody could purchase directly at the food stands. This was everything was strictly controlled. 80 cents from each token was paid to the restaurant owner, the remaining 20 cents went to the organizers for the stands, advertising and other small expenses. At the end of each night the restaurant owner would exchange the tokens collected and be paid. There was also a prize for the restaurant that collected the most tokens which made the competition fierce, meaning the food samples were excellent. Nobody made profit from these events, but our business certainly profited after the festival had long finished. I just wish the Sosua festival would do the same...
    excellent appraisal!! i went once, and never went back since. when i saw nitwits selling 300 dollar offerings, i knew i was in the wrong place. i thought guys would have little samples for like 50 pesos, so i could try 6 or 8 things that caught my eye. if i had wanted to spend 300 pesos on a full house meal, i would have gone to a restaurant

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    i went to the first festival, few years ago and it was ok, i was happy. then i believe they started charging for the privilege of having a stand, maybe that was the reason for higher prices later on?

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    Tee-excellent post. But remember, in the DR their business model is different. The last thing they are thinking of at an event like this would be obvious to others-sell small samples to get potential customers interested in going to their restaurants. That would mean engaging in long-term planning, which usually is not in their intellectual repertoire.

    I was discussing the subject of food quality in the DR with a friend. I was telling him "don't go there for their food. The country is not known for their fine dining establishments". Of course, there was a Dominican within listening distance and she got highly offended, as if what I was saying wasn't the truth.

    The bottom line to any restaurant business is, if you aren't willing to dedicate yourself to putting out quality food on a consistent basis (consistency being another issue that flies over the heads of way too many Dominican establishments) then you are going to fail.

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  11. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzin View Post
    Tee-excellent post. But remember, in the DR their business model is different. The last thing they are thinking of at an event like this would be obvious to others-sell small samples to get potential customers interested in going to their restaurants. That would mean engaging in long-term planning, which usually is not in their intellectual repertoire.

    I was discussing the subject of food quality in the DR with a friend. I was telling him "don't go there for their food. The country is not known for their fine dining establishments". Of course, there was a Dominican within listening distance and she got highly offended, as if what I was saying wasn't the truth.

    The bottom line to any restaurant business is, if you aren't willing to dedicate yourself to putting out quality food on a consistent basis (consistency being another issue that flies over the heads of way too many Dominican establishments) then you are going to fail.
    funny you should mention consistency. a few weeks ago my buddy bought some pan de leche. it was really good. we went back together a few days later to get some more, and it was atrocious. we made it known to the owner that we could not understand how this could be. after all, it is just a simple bread.

    his reply was that the guy who bakes in the morning uses a different yeast from the evening guy. i kid you not.

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  13. #7
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    Maybe these festivals will bring better food into Sosua.

    It is such a shame there are so few good restaurants in Sosua.

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    I had one restaurant owner in the capital tell me that when his cook was on her period, she'd get angry and serve crap. I told him that was no excuse for seling food that is old and should have been thrown out. He said "then how am I going to make money?"

    I attempted to explain to him that the world may seem primitive from HIS vantage point, but all you need are two or three bad reviews on the internet and you will lose customers. New customers won't even drive past, much less come in and have a meal.

    He was out of business soon afterwards. His surly, uninterested, unmotivated waitresses were also out of work. I ran into one of them on a later trip and she was upset because she wanted to work there long enough to find a gringo to either get her a visa or put her on a stipend. Some dreams die hard, I guess.

    Of course I was blamed because he told his staff I had written a bad review of his place on the internet and it kept people away when I did no such thing. Of course selling food so old you couldn't get a starving wildebeest to eat it was besides the point.

  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dv8 View Post
    i went to the first festival, few years ago and it was ok, i was happy. then i believe they started charging for the privilege of having a stand, maybe that was the reason for higher prices later on?
    That is the exact reason we didn't participate after the first year. The cost of the booths are too expensive....they were free the first year.

  17. #10
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    Sounds like the festival needs better organization. Seamonkey, your restaurant is one of the most established and popular in town, why not talk to other restaurant owners about doing the event properly? Believe me, the system that I mentioned above really works.

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