Bhimsen Bhujel is the newly elected chairman of Restauran and Bar Association Nepal (REBAN) Pokhara. Bhujel who has been in tourism sector for more than 4 decades is also a proprietor of Queen Forest Restro-Bar Pokhara. Here has been presented a short chitchat with chairman Bhujel about his future plans. Excerpts:
What kind of programs are you going to carry out during your tenure?
I will work for the well-being of the REBAN members and will also safeguard their interests. At the same time holding of various training to restaurant workers and their owners also are in my chart. As we are in hospitality sector, restaurant workers like cooks, waiters, waitress and their manager should be well trained and skillful.
REBAN Pokhara has been organizing Pokhara Street Festival every year for 19 years; are you going to give something new in upcoming festival?
Every year we try to host this festival with new tastes. We certainly will add something new in 20th Pokhara Street Festival too. More than that, Gandaki Province Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung has already promised the support to make this festival a grand success. At the same time, we will try to cash the festival as thousands of domestic including foreign tourists visit this festival.
How serious are REBAN’s member-restaurants in maintaining the hygiene?
We are very much serious and sincere in this issue however I couldn’t claim we are 100 percent right. We always try to give our best but sometimes there might be some lapses as only 50 to 60 percent of our restaurants are international and tourist standard. So, we will launch hygiene related training to the concern workers to maintain the sanitation.
As per international practice, hotels and restaurants unite within the same organization; is there any plan of merger between REBAN Pokhara and Paschimanchal Hotel Association Pokhara (PHAP)?
Merger between REBAN and PHAP might be a good idea but there is not such any plan of merger outright as we have just elected a new executive body. It may take a long for the merger as we should have to go through the statutes of both the organizations carefully. We should not take the issue lightly.
What is your take on the part of opening restaurant round the clock?
I think restaurant opening time should be extended in Pokhara as this is a tourist city. At the same it is not also a hospitality sector but also a sector of entertainment. So, it will be better if the restaurants are allowed to open 24-hour however they should be allowed at least till 2 am. If authority seem positive, it is beneficial for both the restaurant owners and tourists.