Hospitality Business Magazine

Urgent financial relief needed pleads Restaurant Association

The Restaurant Association is calling on the government to offer additional fiscal relief and a code of conduct for landlords to assist the struggling hospitality sector to manage its fixed overheads.

Whilst the industry gears up to offer takeaway services at Level 3, the Restaurant Association is pleading with the government not to see this as a silver bullet for an industry still reeling from weeks of significant losses.

“The results of our ongoing research with our members indicates that approximately forty per cent of our membership will not be able to reopen at Alert Level 3 and a further 20 per cent will remain permanently closed,” says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“These numbers are snowballing daily as restaurants and cafes quickly run out of the cash flow required to stay afloat until we re-enter Alert Level 2.

“Fixed costs, such as rent, and lease costs remain a major issue. These costs have continued despite 98% of our member businesses having no ability to generate any revenue over the last month.

“Level three will provide some relief but it will not be this way for all. There are relatively few businesses in our industry who are set up to thrive at this level and whilst our Association has put in a huge amount of work to assist with this, we are still mindful that this is still not a viable option for all.

 “The wage subsidy was a good start, but it will be meaningless if businesses can’t survive.

“Even when we do enter Alert Level 2, consumer confidence is still expected to be low and combined with the losses the industry has been carrying since the drop in tourism numbers in February we do expect the ramifications of this to last well beyond a year.

“The industry still needs urgent financial relief as well as a code of conduct for landlords to enable our business owners to avoid the devastating personal and professional losses that will inevitably occur if more assistance is not offered.”