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A Taste of Hospitality

A Taste of Hospitality
Two local women serve the region's restaurants with a plethora of resources, but discover how these ladies also give you a chance to take a bite out of the Queen City's culinary offerings.

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In their 90th year, the Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Association (GCRA) still provides education and programming for local restaurants and trade companies in the hospitality industry. But this week marks the culmination of GCRA Office Manager Connie Benjamin's hard work, as the GCRA gives local food-lovers something to savor.

 

Benjamin spearheads Dine Out Often Week, which includes several restaurants around town that all offer a week-long special. All of the more than 20 participating restaurants either offer a three-course meal or a dinner for two for $27.10, and the event runs till April 30. While this event occurs on a national level, Benjamin keeps it running in Cincinnati to give people a chance to try something new and revisit their favorite restaurants, she says.

 

And the GCRA has hands in more than just the restaurant week. In fact, Benjamin and GCRA Director Shari Einsel select the judges for the nation's longest running culinary arts festival, the Taste of Cincinnati USA. After selecting the judges, Benjamin and Einsel set up a blind taste-testing so that each dish can speak for itself, without any bias of a restaurant or chef's name. Once the votes have been tallied, the women award the respective winners for the "Best of Taste Awards."

 

Beyond the exposure at events like Dine Out Often Week and Taste of Cincinnati, the GCRA offers member restaurants virtually everything they need besides advertising, though the association offers advice and connections to help them get the word out about themselves. "Much of what we do is listen," Einsel says.

 

Einsel turns her listening skills into action as she works to make sure that government and board of health issues speak to the individual restaurants and allow them to thrive. Einsel and Benjamin ultimately "do things to make everyday work easier if possible," Einsel says.

 

And it is in making others' lives easier that Einsel finds her true passion. "It's a service. I've always been in service. I like to take care of people," she says.

 

For more information about the GCRA, Dine Out Often Week or other events, check out the GCRA's Web site at DineoutOften.com. To learn more about Taste of Cincinnati, head to the event's Web site at TasteofCincinnati.com.

 

 

PHOTO CREDITS
Photo courtesy of Shari Einsel

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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