The coronavirus impact on bars, cafés and restaurants and how you can help

This week, the Australian hospitality industry was hit hard by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced new restrictions to contain the spread. 

On Sunday night it was announced that restaurants and cafés will be restricted to takeaway and delivery only. Bottle shops were allowed to stay open however pubs and licensed clubs will be forced to close, along with cinemas, casinos, fitness centres and places of worship.

The new restrictions were deemed necessary in order to carry out the level of social distancing required to flatten the curve and minimise the spread of the virus. By Tuesday evening, Covid-19 restrictions moved up to stage two however the rules for restaurants and bars remained the same. 

The new restrictions have put many local businesses under strain with concerns about how they will continue to keep staff or pay rent. Sadly some favourites like Sydney’s Bondi Icebergs, Melbourne’s Vue de Monde and many others have been left with no choice but to close temporarily. 

However some businesses have been able to adapt by implementing new ways of operating and offering new delivery options. Even high-end restaurants have got on board with new take away meals and delivery options including Queensland’s Labart, Melbourne’s Attica, Byron Bay’s Three Blue Ducks, Adelaide’s Africola and Chin Chin in both Melbourne and Sydney. 

Other restaurants are getting creative, for instance, popular Italian restaurants like Bathers’ Pavilion and Stella Blu, are offering take-away ingredients such as fresh pasta pizza dough, and their specialty pasta sauces. While Sixpenny is planning to host a good old-fashioned bake sale this weekend on Saturday, March 28. The Stanmore restaurant is offering cookies, cakes and slices, along with hot cross buns and house-baked sourdough bread with mascarpone butter. And don’t worry, social distancing rules will be followed.

Here’s what you can do

The coronavirus pandemic has left the hospitality industry in unprecedented times and local businesses will need as much help as possible to get by. 

Our best advice: don’t automatically assume that all restaurants have closed, there are many that have launched new take-away menus and delivery options for you and they will be relying on the income from these services. Be sure to order from these restaurants even if it’s just on occasion, as any bit of business will help.

Image: Instagram/Buffalo Dining Club

Follow recently launched Instagram account Saving Plates Australia which is shining a spotlight on how restaurants around the country have responded and are finding creative ways to stay open. 

Purchase gift vouchers for your favourite restaurants to us at a later date. These are usually available on their websites and are a great way to give businesses immediate funds. Once the current situation calms down and restaurants reopen, you have a beautiful meal to enjoy that you’ve paid for in advance.

Show them support on social media or write a review. Restaurants love receiving positive reviews and some kind words of support during these tough times might provide a little bit of light in a fairly grim situation. 

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