Owners of Adelaide bars like Udaberri believe the new measures could have positive effects. (Supplied)
Small bar and restaurant owners who fear coronavirus could spell the end of their businesses have cautiously welcomed new measures in South Australia allowing them to sell takeaway alcohol.
- Bars and restaurants have been granted approval to sell takeaway alcohol in SA
- The move is aimed to help them through the huge downturn in the sector
- Many are facing difficult decisions about how to stay in business during the coronavirus crisis
The South Australian Government yesterday announced restrictions on bars and restaurants would be temporarily relaxed, allowing venues to deliver liquor with food orders.
It is hoped the temporary measure will help existing liquor licence holders and community clubs stay afloat, as well as saving jobs.
Some venues are not sure if the announcement will help them keep their businesses open, and are concerned it could mean a small market becomes flooded with too many options.
“At the moment I don’t know if it’ll help us survive,” said Daisy Miller from Adelaide restaurant Soi38.
“But it will keep staff busy, it’ll help us pay our payroll, and for us it’ll help us support our small suppliers. I’ve lost a lot of sleep in the last couple of days, but we’re feeling positive about the future.
“We’re a restaurant service, not a delivery service, so that’s a big change. I’ve effectively had to start a brand new business, delivery isn’t something I’ve done before.”
Rob Dinnen owns small bar Udaberri in Adelaide’s CBD, selling Spanish tapas and cocktails.
He said adding a home delivery option was unlikely to add any meaningful income — but could still be a positive step.
“The last few days have been such a whirlwind, we’re just looking to wind things up as best we can,” he said.
“As soon as this quietens down if there’s the opportunity to do something that’s going to be good for morale … that’s something we would be definitely interested in doing.”
Mr Dinnen said he had been trying to ensure staff were looked after, but said suppliers are also feeling the pinch.
“If we can hit pause, we can restart … if they offer the right assistance, but at the moment we are hamstrung,” he said.
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Craft brewery urges consumers to go local
Little Bang Brewing in Adelaide’s inner east is usually bustling, with capacity for up to 300 people.
Last week the owners implemented social distancing measures, marking the floor with crosses where people could safely stand, but two-thirds of staff have been stood down temporarily.
“There’s no such thing as a pub in Australia anymore. Hospitality is effectively closed so all those staff go on hold,” co-founder Ryan Davidson said.
“We’re focusing on direct to customer sales online.
“I think all anyone really needs running a business right now is certainty from the Government as to what’s available in terms of a safety net.
“We don’t need the playing field to keep moving. If it’s stage three or whatever is coming down the line, personally, I think let’s just get it done now so we know what we’re dealing with.”
Little Bang co-founder Filip Kemp urged patrons to look for local brands, instead of buying from big multinationals.
“Those other guys probably have a few dollars in reserve and a bit more pull with government, but we don’t,” he said.
“If production can continue, and sales can continue, we will probably just scrape through. And that’s all we can ask for at the moment.”
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