Covid 19, Coronavirus, Victoria, Pubs, Restaurant, Cafes, Restrictions

Covid 19, Coronavirus

'We immediately got calls': Melbourne restaurants face booking rush

'We immediately got calls': Melbourne restaurants face booking rush

22/05/2020 12:51:00 AM

'We immediately got calls': Melbourne restaurants face booking rush

The phones ring hot at popular city restaurants, pubs and cafes, as eager customers try to book the first available tables when Victoria 's coronavirus restrictions ease on June 1.

Key points:Victorian restaurants, cafes, and pubs are set to reopen to diners on June 1Customers have started making bookings already, even though time limits may be imposed on dinersThere is still some confusion among venues over guidelines, for example what constitutes a 'genuine meal'

Protester says Trump's church photo op was 'a very scary thing' Australia is now in a recession for the first time in 29 years Georgia is an Australian living in New York. She says she'll no longer be silent

Hospitality venues were forced to close their doors or operate as takeaway businesses in March but, under the new rules,will be able to cater for up to 20 customers at a time.Ben Anderson, the Victorian manager of the Australian Venue Company, said all 31 of its businesses would reopen on June 1 although bookings would be limited to two-hour sessions.

"People are trying to ring for groups of 10 or 20. We're getting lots of calls through our reservations line," he said.A similar rush also occurred in Sydney this month when restrictions were eased in NSW,Find out more'We immediately got phone calls'

Staff at the Auburn Hotel in Melbourne's inner east have been spending the week setting up equipment, furniture and glassware ahead of the long-awaited return of customers on June 1.With the venue normally popular throughout the week, manager Heather Eiswirth said calls began flooding in when the State Government flagged the reopening of restaurants on May 17.

"As soon as the Government eased the restrictions we immediately got phone calls for people to book," she said."I think everyone misses the pub environment."As stipulated by state regulations, every customer's name, contact number, and address will be recorded on a database that could be accessed by health authorities.

Cafe's creative ploy to improve atmosphereThe interior of St Ali will be transformed to feel more cosy for diners.(Supplied: St Ali)Due to the reduced capacity, South Melbourne cafe St Ali will use black theatre curtains to artificially shrink its venue to give customers the impression that things are busy inside.

Owner Salvatore Malatesta said he had received "over 100 inquiries" from people wanting to book tables.Salvatore Malatesta has fears for businesses that will struggle when government support payments stop later this year.(Supplied: St Ali)"We've got regulars who've been coming for 15 years. A dozen or slightly more come every day, seven days a week at the same time. Those guys are texting me saying 'Make sure my table is available'," Mr Malatesta said.

Former Knox Grammar sports director 'ashamed' over thousands of child abuse photos The 'President of law and order' is trying to reclaim the narrative Government officially recognises site of Mount Dispersion massacre

While he was pleased to be reopening his doors, Mr Malatesta was concerned many hospitality businesses would struggle to stay afloat when the Federal Government's JopKeeper payments end in October."I'm remaining pretty positive because the alternative is terminal," he said.

"There is no other description other than to say the pandemic has decimated hospitality."'Mad scramble' to get restaurants readyThe Victorian Government released some details of its plan to gradually reopen venues on May 17, and is due to announce more specifics about the rules on Monday.

From June 1, up to 20 patrons will be allowed in an "enclosed space" provided venues can ensure there is enough space for one person per four square metres.The Government hopes to be able to allow up to 50 patrons from June 22, with up to 100 permitted during the second half of July.

"Increased hygiene measures" for staff and patrons will also be required.Food critic and writer Dani Valent said there was also confusion in the industry about a condition that stated alcohol could only be served with a "genuine meal".

Dani Valent says many businesses are unsure if they can open until specific information is released by the State Government.(ABC News: Kyle Harley)Exactly what a genuine meal was — and whether it included smaller dishes like tapas, dumplings and bowls of chips — remained unclear.

"It's going to be a mad scramble between May 25 and June 1 to get up to speed," she said."It's also not clear what an enclosed space is and we don't know about outdoor areas."Ms Eiswirth agreed, and hoped the rules would allow larger venues like hers to be sectioned off into several enclosed spaces so they could operate with a higher capacity.

Former police watchdog commissioner says officer may have acted unlawfully in arrest of Indigenous teen New HomeBuilder package aims to safeguard jobs of a million tradies How conspiracy theorists have latched on to the US protests as evidence of the 'Great Awakening'

Victoria Police will conduct checks to ensure compliance, and they will have the power to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $9,913 for breaches.Staff to return to work after long waitThe co-owner of CBD Italian restaurant Tipo 00, Andrea Papadakis, said he was "excited" to be reopening his doors on June 1, but said he would not be taking bookings for the time being.

The restaurant's takeaway service would also continue when dining resumed."We don't want to create queues," Mr Papadakis said."I don't think it'll be as hectic as many people think. People are still happy to stay back and see what's going to happen.

"We'll try to break even at the moment but it will be great for our staff."It will open up more shifts for our staff who have been waiting at home." Read more: ABC News »

Good for the restaurant but it will be some time till I'll be comfortable in a restaurant. Never could stand crowded restaurants and cafés. ABC can report good news. Remember when you used to do this on a regular basis?

'Special place in hell': 10-person dining rule gets mixed response from Sydney restaurantsNo-show diners have been warned there is a 'special place in hell' for them as NSW restaurants get to grips with the state's 10-person dining rule with some cashing in as others struggle to make opening worth their while. Yep. Right beside the thieving restaurant employers who can’t pay their staff correctly, falsify records, and hide their business interests in tax free havens.

Melbourne researchers start trial into controversial drug touted by Donald Trump as coronavirus shieldA clinical trial in Melbourne is examining whether or not hydroxychloroquine, a controversial drug US President Donald Trump is taking to guard against coronavirus, actually works. That's leadership. Hedging your bets Is already being tested on ADF folk. Why all these tests when so many tests have been conducted overseas and been abandoned? Are we trying to drum up business for Clive Palmer and his stash of hydroxychloroquine?

Some Australians with a disability left without face-to-face care during coronavirus crisis - ABC NewsA care provider is under investigation by the NDIS for cancelling face-to-face visits with client Zoe Mithen, who experiences psychosis, during the pandemic.

Calls grow to unlock WA's last regional border closures to save businesses 'on their knees'The WA Government stands firm on its regional border closures in the face of growing calls from the Opposition to lift them immediately, with claims the restrictions are sending businesses 'to the wall'. Border with who? It wouldn't matter until it's safe to have more than 20 people in a venue. Liz Harvey is just looking for something to grab onto to be heard. Well WA has close to no cases so I don't see why they're closed. If politicians went without pay I'm sure they'd have a different policy.

'No social distancing up here': Blue Mountains mayor calls for help as NSW residents hit the roadThe Blue Mountains mayor has called for NSW government help as visitors return to the area, calling it 'bedlam', as other regions also expressed reservations. As a Leura resident I can agree, social distancing is TOTALLY absent has been since BEFORE the visiting was permitted, people have no respect for our community, which has much higher average age group, more vulnerable Wooww and they have so much space for social distancing JonesHowdareyou Why would Gladys target the Blue Mountains for secondary outbreaks of the virus Disgraceful

Prestigious Sydney boarding school closes immediately after student tests positive to COVID-19St Ignatius&x27; College at Riverview will be closed for approximately 48 hours as the school cleans and conducts contact tracing around the student&x27;s friends and teachers. Don't believe you don't believe your test. You’d be pissed if you were paying all those fees to home school ya kids..