What Do Victoria’s Relaxing Restrictions Mean for The Hospitality Industry?

What Do Victoria’s Relaxing Restrictions Mean for The Hospitality Industry?

Currently, people in Victoria only have five valid reasons for leaving their home: to shop for necessities, to access health care services or caregiving, to attend to work or education that can’t be done from home, to engage in exercise or other types of recreational/physical activities, and to visit family and friends.

And while most people are happy just to be able to get out of their homes, the hospitality industry — one of the hardest-hit sectors in the Australian economy — remains closed for the most part as only cafes and restaurants are allowed to operate, and only for takeaway orders.

Hospitality industry in Victoria easing in stages

The Victoria tourism and hospitality industry is one of the biggest and most in-demand in Australia. Restaurants, cafes, hotel services, bars, pubs, clubs, and furnished apartments in Victoria were among the flourishing businesses in the state — that is until COVID-19 entered the picture.

Although only cafes and restaurants are currently open for takeaways, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said that come June 1, restaurants, cafes, and pubs (no bar service) would be allowed to provide dining services. The easing of restrictions in the hospitality industry would be done in stages as well:

  • A maximum of 20 customers will be allowed to dine in restaurants, cafes, and pubs.
  • Tables should be spaced 1.5 metres apart, and each person should be allocated four square metres of space.
  • Starting June 22 (subject to COVID-19 case numbers), the maximum number of dine-in customers may be increased to 50.
  • By the second half of July (subject to COVID-19 case numbers), the maximum number of dine-in customers may be set as high as 100.

Aside from the physical spacing guidelines, strict hygiene protocols are to be followed, as well as temperature checks and staff health screenings. Cash-free payments might become an even more popular choice for settling bills, and the provision of free hand sanitiser and the addition of more hand-washing facilities could become part of the ‘new normal’ in restaurant establishments.

To facilitate efficient contact tracing, dine-in guests will be required to provide their full name and contact details. There are also certain establishments that are going the extra mile by providing laminated menus and disposable cutlery, as well as setting dining time limits. Doing this can help restaurants and other dine-in establishments balance their need to make a profit with abiding by social distancing guidelines that have effectively reduced profitable floor space.

Other ways to augment profit

Another way restaurants, cafes and similar establishments can drive up their profit is to continue promoting their takeaway and delivery services to augment dine-in earnings.

They can do this by heavily investing in social media promotion, where the cost of advertising is considerably less. Also, food service establishments can publish their services on their social pages and ask their followers to share updates, deals and other types of promotions. They can also have their delivery persons distribute flyers advertising their takeaway and delivery services, rates, and menus during their delivery rounds.

Dining establishments that have been heavily reliant on their brick-and-mortar existence might need to make themselves known online and strengthen their social media presence to engage customers and drive up online sales.

Restaurants and other foodservice providers can also look into reducing or revising their menus to ensure they only offer items in high demand to reduce inventory loss and improve sales performance.

The long-term effects of the ‘new normal’ on the hospitality sector in Victoria, even after coronavirus restrictions ease completely, are yet to be seen. What is certain, however, is that for business establishments to remain profitable, they need to adopt innovative methods of delivering their products and services to customers.

Contact JBB if you have any questions on the Covid-19 restriction lifted for the hospitality industry, JBB would love to chat. Our industry leading and experienced brokers are just a click or call away, and you can contact us today on karli@justbusinessbrokers.com or 0409 965 540.

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