Bringing Haliburton hospitality together
|By Joseph Quigley - Staff writer | Dec. 30, 2018|
Bonnie View Inn Head Chef Jay Picard is trying to unite Haliburton’s hospitality industry and help it thrive with his new Haliburton County and Area Hospitality Industry Association.
The chef pitched his idea to the Haliburton Highlands Tourism Stakeholder Group at its meeting Nov. 21, after the association held its first meeting Nov. 14.
Picard said he hopes the association can offer socializing, as well as chances to work collectively on industry-wide issues.
“All-inclusive to anyone involved in the (hospitality) industry,” Picard told the stakeholder group. “I know I like to network with like-minded people, just to get people together.”
He added the group could work together on volunteer fundraising initiatives, as well as addressing shared issues, such as staffing shortages.
“Different business owners I talk to and chefs, in general – even outside of Haliburton – there’s a shortage of people in the culinary,” Picard said in an interview. “Not as many people are going through culinary that have in the past. It’s definitely causing an impact that way.”
Nine people attended the Nov. 14 meeting and was productive, Picard said. However, he told the stakeholders group the new association had not taken off the way he expected. He later added he had plenty of people express interest in the concept, but scheduling meant more did not attend the association’s first meeting.
“With better timing of it, I think we’ll definitely have more people. I’ve had at least 30 people that I’ve spoken to think that it’s an amazing idea, wanted to come, ended up couldn’t come,” Picard said. “That’s kind of what I had in mind.”
Members of the stakeholder group encouraged Picard to keep going with the association. Sally Moore, who represents the group on the County of Haliburton Tourism Committee, said she attended the hospitality association’s first meeting.
“It was a fabulous social evening of getting to know people and the amount of laughter and humour and stuff that was going on was fabulous. So, don’t give up on it,” Moore said. “Continue in that vein. People who know each other work well together.”
Picard said it is encouraging to hear people support the association and he hopes to have the next meeting in January.
“I don’t intend to give up on it because I think it will be amazing for the community,” he said. “We’ll just keep plugging away and trying to get something else together.”