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The professional F&B organizations in the Philippines worth joining

If you compare the new connections you’ll make and the innovative ideas you’ll see by joining a professional organization, you’ll realize it’s worth it

Photo courtesy of James Antolin

The hospitality and food service industry is supported by dozens of organizations, each with their own way of contributing to your business. At a time when the hospitality and F&B industry is more competitive than ever, joining organizations like these is crucial to help you generate new ideas and keep up with changing consumer demands.

1. LTB PHILIPPINES CHEF ASSOCIATION

Dating back to 1979, the LTB Philippines Chef Association is a non-profit organization and member of the World Association of Chefs (WACS). Their goal is to promote collaboration among hotel and food professionals and develop their culinary knowledge.

An LTB membership comes with many privileges:

  • Invites to industry and group events such as the group’s bimonthly Chefs Table and After Hours Activities
  • LTB ID card, certificate, and shirt
  • Entrance to the Philippine Culinary Cup and World Food Expo
  • Discounts at LTB partners
  • Eligibility to apply for WACS Judging Certification
  • Networking and business-matching opportunities

LTB accepts membership applications from hotel and culinary professionals such as chefs, butchers, line cooks, and even self-employed professionals. They also grant affiliate membership for individuals in organizations that support the industry and non-voting membership for corporations and educational institutions with a vested interest in the F&B and hospitality industry.

Annual membership costs P5,000 for professional and affiliate members, and Ph20,000 for corporate and academia members.

2. HOTEL AND RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (HRAP)

Founded in 1951 by 10 executives from leading hotels and restaurants in Metro Manila, HRAP aims to improve the local industry’s overall service standards while keeping members up to date with trends abroad. As the country’s leading voice for the hotel and restaurant private sector, HRAP also has ties with Asia Hotel Industry League (AHIL), ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA), and other Asian hotel and restaurant organizations to give members as much exposure to the industry in Asia.

Members’ business interests are also protected through the group’s partnerships with Department of Tourism, Department of Labor and Employment, and other non-government associations.

HRAP member privileges:

  • Membership to various committees that tackle industry-related concerns such government, health, safety, security, education, public relations, and environment issues.
  • Discount privilege card that works in all HRAP member hotels, restaurants, and business affiliates
  • Invites to HRAP events

Membership isn’t limited to luxury hotels and chain restaurants. They accept anyone working in the hotel and F&B industry, including self-employed professionals, businesses part of the industry’s supply chain, and schools with related academic courses.

Interested members should submit an application form along with an endorsement from two association members and their membership dues. You can find the application form and payment requirements on these links.

3. PHILIPPINE COFFEE BOARD INC. (PCBI) AND PHILIPPINE COFFEE NETWORK

Formerly called National Coffee Development Board, the PCBI was established in May 2002 with the aim of developing the local coffee industry through technical training and lending programs for farmers and marketing programs for coffee producers and exporters. They also created the Philippine Coffee Network, a group of farmers, producers, roasters, café owners, and everyone else in the coffee supply chain. Members of this network will have access to the PCBI’s resources, including coffee business best practices, business opportunities, industry events, and certification programs done in partnership with Cavite State University and other government agencies.

Use this link to apply for membership.

4. PHILIPPINE SOMMELIERS INC. (PSI)

The PSI is a sister company of iPhor Trading Inc. and part of the Worldwide Sommelier Association (WSA). It was established to further the training of sommeliers in the country and educate the consumer market on the practice of drinking and food pairing of wines, liqueurs, and spirits. As an association dedicated to the sommelier profession, the PSI holds events, sponsors publications, and shares its teachings in schools across the country, all in the hopes of training a new generation of sommeliers. Members of this organization can expect top-notch training as PSI has exclusive rights to use the WSA’s training curriculum and resources in the country.

PSI is most popular, however, for their organization of the annual Philippine Sommelier Competition, which brings together wine merchants, students, and hotel and F&B professionals in a multi-day wine competition and expo. Unlike other groups on this list, PSI doesn’t have a formal membership process perhaps because becoming a professional sommelier isn’t a widely known job in the country yet.

NOT JUST TRAINING

No man is an island. That saying holds especially true in the F&B and hospitality industries where many business opportunities and marketing are done through word of mouth. You might think the membership costs too much or that you won’t have time to attend the events anyway, but if you compare the new connections you’ll make and the innovative ideas you’ll see by attending one event, you’ll realize it’s worth it.

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