How our eateries are planning to survive COVID-19 crisis
NORTHERN Rivers restaurants and cafes are bracing themselves for the onset of COVID-19 and have employed contingency plans to keep the doors open and staff employed.
Harvest Newrybar posted on social media that they were employing a range of techniques to maintain their high quality food standards, including increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitising high-touch surfaces, increasing the number of hand sanitiser dispensers and decreasing the number of tables and chairs in the restaurant.
Staff will take orders from a distance of one metre.
Northern Rivers Food executive officer, Allison Henry, said they were talking with members about different ways the Northern Rivers community could support their local businesses.
"We are thinking about keeping customers continuing to visit, and continuing to visit farmers markets where appropriate, helping to keep reservations, looking into takeaway and home delivery options, and businesses where it might be appropriate to purchase vouchers now for future use," she said.
"I think generally there is a level of anxiety around the uncertainty which is inherent with the situation.
"People are concerned about not knowing long it will last and what the impact there be and what sort of heightened restrictions will be brought it."
Lismore Works Club catering manager, Dominic D'Agostino, said they were waiting to see what other recommendations would be brought in by the government.
"At this stage we are taking more precautions and we have cleaners sanitising, but as always our food preparations, it is always with care," he said.
"We have got people sanitising a lot more on the railings area and any other large traffic areas, or where there is a lot of people touching surfaces."
He said they had noticed it was quiet, which was to be expected due to the uncertainty around the entire situation.
United Workers Union national president Jo Schofield said the closing of restaurants and bars across Australia would have a devastating impact on our hospitality members.
"We are calling on the Federal Government to do more to support workers and the community," he said.
"United Workers Union supports calls for a government stimulus package directed specifically to ensure workers are supported and do not lose pay as a result of coronavirus concerns.
"Government needs to step up to ensure minimal economic impact on the Australian community.
"This commitment needs to be made now before closures occur."