Mackay restaurants react to ‘shock’ government rules
BUSINESSES across the Mackay region are reeling after the news from the prime minister that non-essential services will be shut down from noon Monday.
With many cafes and restaurants already making the call to close their doors permanently, hundreds of workers have been put out of a job.
But troubling times also sparks resilience in the human race.
Not only has the public come together to #pledgelocal but business owners have adapted to government restrictions as best as they can.
Dozens of businesses including cafes and restaurants are now offering takeaway and delivery services.
CAFES AND RESTAURANTS
Third Ground Coffee House owner Wes Bailey said his team had started trialling Bopple app since last week in anticipation of what was to come.
He said the cafe would only close as a last resort, but in the meantime the goal was to keep adapting to change.
"We are encouraging our customers to order on the Bopple app, they can pay using the app and also put in their address if they choose delivery," Mr Bailey said.
"All takeaway orders can be dropped off to your car to keep contact to a minimum."
Mr Bailey said the next few months would be tough for all small businesses. He said Third Ground had already suffered from a drop in revenue but he was grateful the community was still supporting the cafe.
"We have had customers come in this morning asking us how they can still support us going forward," he said.
"I think we are all in this together and the community understands that."
Grazing Goat Cafe has also started offering its menu as takeaway only.
Michael Harris, who has owned the Wood St eatery since 2015, said the coronavirus pandemic was by far the most difficult challenge he had ever encountered as a business owner.
"I thought the mining downturn was bad, but this is so sudden and so unknown," Mr Harris said.
"If it was just a month we could probably battle through that, but the problem is we don't know how long this will go on for."
Mr Harris said Grazing Goat Cafe would remain open for now, but he would be meeting with staff today to discuss options going forward.
He said he would most likely have to make some difficult decisions, considering revenue from takeaway orders may not cover the overheads of running a business.
"My first priority is to look after my staff," he said.
Owner of The Dispensary and Byrne's Pie Factory Damien Connors was in a similar position.
He said it was a really difficult time for employees and staff with job losses imminent for many businesses.
"You have just got to try and stay positive and plan ahead so we can be stronger on the other side," Mr Connors said.
"We want to to be ready when these restrictions do eventually lift."
The Dispensary and Byrne's Pie Factory will remain open for takeaway orders throughout the day but night-time trading will cease.
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