Restaurants in Major Brisbane hope for a new council campaign that will encourage the diners to get back the CBD because the hospitality sector nationwide will continue to suffer as the pandemic still exists.
55 venues across the city center will be serving up dinner deals with special lunch offers, great dinner moments, and bar-hopping. This is a part of a two-week promotion.
The pre-pandemic levels of foot traffic in the city remain at about 60% to 70%, while the head chefs have remained busy at some sites. They really noticed that there’s a big difference in how people go out for dining.
Chef Lorraine Barradas of Rico Bar and Dining shared that it is a big thing in some restaurants in the city center, around the place in Eagle Street Pier area because there might be changes in the business for the upcoming years since there’s a redevelopment plan worth $2 Billion.
Ms. Barradas said, “It’s been – not quite – but it’s been different than it used to be. So we’re just hoping to show our dishes to more people.”
The council’s Brisbane Economic Development Agency runs the campaign which is called “Dine BNE City.” This will be expected to happen from May 13 to May 30. This might also lead up to the return of the famous Sea to the City alfresco seafood event with 16 riverside venues. This will give excitement to the people.
Chief executive Wes Lambert of Restaurant and Catering Queensland said that restaurants in some outskirts were experiencing a huge impact in taking out orders because most of the people are working on their respective homes. The Central Business district is still recovering its loss because of the pandemic and is very hopeful to get everything back to normal.
Most of the restaurants are still open and continue to operate during the school holidays and the Easter period, even having a staff shortage is also a challenge. It was due to the state government density restrictions.
Mr. Lambert said, “It can certainly make it feel like we are much busier than before the COVID crisis, but we are a long way away from a full recovery in the sector.”
Having a voucher program such as those in NSW or South Australia would also benefit the industry that’s what Mr. Lambert thought.
Chef Gert Pretorius, head of Walter’s Steakhouse and Wine Bar shared that he is very lucky that his restaurant was still busy operating especially during important holidays such as Christmas and New Year, unlike the other restaurants but of course, he noticed the changes on its way. He believes that this campaign will help or give the people the idea to reunite with their friends and family by going out for lunch or dinner just like the old days before the pandemic though there are protocols and restrictions that are needed to follow.
The financial contribution of the Brisbane Economic Development Agency to the campaign has been deemed commercial-in-confidence.