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The benefits of the weekend

13 Feb 2012

The benefits of the weekend Image

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s riverside opening weekend spectacular presents a marvellous opportunity for all business in the Southbank area and should see a significant boost to our local economy.

The Yarra River Business Association (YRBA) is encouraging all businesses in the area to be prepared – even if food and wine isn’t your field.

YRBA spokesperson Tim Bracher is excited about the prospect of the weekend and the prospects it will bring.

“We will be awash with people who have money and a love of the ‘good life’,” Mr Bracher said.

He suggested that: “The short term gain is the influx of 350,000 people, who are pre-qualified as patrons who love food, wine and mingling with others.”

Mr Bracher was quick to point out that the advantages were longer and greater than simply the feature weekend.

“Longer term, it’s a huge opportunity to reinforce the precinct’s reputation for dining.”

“Since the establishment of Southgate 20 years ago, the competition among Melbourne’s dining areas has become fierce, so the presence of the Food and Wine Festival here for the next five years is an acknowledgement that this precinct still has an enviable reputation for food, ambience and great views.”

Despite the obvious bonuses for the hospitality industry, it is important that other sectors use the momentum from the huge influx of possible patrons.

Mr Bracher said the YRBA was absolutely encouraging all businesses to take advantage of this unique opportunity, saying: “Even if you are not in the hospitality business, you will still be a major contributor to the atmosphere of the weekend and part of the festival vibe.”

“If you are not directly involved, make a special effort to present your business with style and panache.”

After talking to local businesses from the YRBA, Mr Bracher said the mood was a little cautious, but certainly optimistic about the festival’s impact.

“It’s the first time, so there is an air of ‘what’s it going to be like’, but the quality of festival management over the past 20 years tells us that it is going to be a great branding exercise for the precinct,” Mr Bracher said.

“This is a world-class event, Melbourne is so lucky to have it and we are very proud to host its 20th birthday celebrations.”

The YRBA is itself hosting an event over the opening weekend, and Mr Bracher said its progressive lunch, hosted between three restaurants, which will be accessed via the river, was looking good.

“We expect to fill the vessel on both days as our event is a great opportunity to combine Melbourne’s Waterfront scenery with great food, at a very affordable price.”

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