Adelaide hospitality heavyweights protest COVID restrictions

Will the government help to bail out Adelaide restaurants?

Photo by Lewis Potter

Members of Adelaide’s hospitality community gathered in solidarity today, in opposition to the stringent rules that have been put in place regarding patronage in their venues due to COVID-19.

It has been widely expressed by venue owners and staff that the measures put in place are damaging their businesses. Venues are currently allowed one person for every four square meters of space inside, and one person for every two meters outside. Patrons are required to check in using QR technology at all businesses.

Below we share, in their own words, what the hospitality community had to say:

Today we stood as one. The hospitality industry in South Australia is on the verge of collapse. We are not talking about what is going to happen next year we are talking about the next 72 hours. As an industry we stand united in our call to Steven Marshall to remove the 1 person per 4sqm density requirement in venues immediately and reinstate the 1 person per 2 square metre rule effective immediately.

The far ranging consequences to South Australian jobs and the economy will be catastrophic as operators vanish from our streets and with them the jobs they created and the suppliers they use.

“We are in the perfect storm all of us having taken on a personal debt load through the federal government guaranteed CASH BOOST loans with repayments falling due in time for Christmas, our cash reserves laid bare through the lock down we had to have and the jobkeeper we can not access thanks to two months of reasonable trade.

The human cost mentally and emotionally is unimaginable – we aren’t asking for a hand out or a hand up just a fair go so we can perhaps limp through a period which normally generates 50% of a businesses trade for the year” Publican Simone Douglas said

Despite an open letter to Premier Steven Marshal being posted by Ms Douglas on her social media channels highlighting the plight of the industry on November 30th being shared hundreds of times with multiple operators adding their voices to it Ms Douglas said she had received no response from the Premier.

We stand united in our request with over 100 operators who all took time from their businesses and lives in the hope that our desperate plea is heard before it’s too late.

Over 100 owners and staff turned out to protest, in the hopes their voices were heard. This is currently a deeply troubled industry, but you can help them. Here’s how:

  • Get takeaway where you can. With limited capacity, there may not be the opportunity to eat in, but lots of places are still offering takeaway. Have a restaurant experience at home, and feel like a real rich guy.
  • Buy merch. Loads of venues have upper their merch game since COVID hit. Restaurant t-shirts, cookbooks, collab wines — all these things make excellent Christmas gifts.
  • Be kind. If you can’t get a seat as a walk in, it’s not because restaurants don’t want to serve you. It’s in their interest to sell you a table, so if they don’t have space, don’t take it personally.
  • Buy a voucher. This is a really good way to inject some immediate cash into a restaurant you love and want to support.
  • Recommend, recommend, recommend. If you love a place, tell everyone you know about it. Tell your mum, your dad, your mates, the bus driver, whoever. Word of mouth recommendations are so valuable to small businesses, especially right now.
  • Honour your booking. If you can’t make it, just let the place know. It’s quick to make a call, and you should, because it’s a huge blow for restaurants to get no-shows and there’s probably a long queue of people who really wanted that table.
  • And finally, spend up large. No one’s going out as much as they used to, so live it up while you’re dining out. Order that spendy bottle of wine, get dessert, and always, always tip your waiter.

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