A new initiative by Support Local & Taylors Wines to help the hospitality industry get back on its feet
Restrictions necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have seen many of our most-loved local restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs doing it extremely tough. The response to the pandemic has led to stand-downs, staff lay-offs, and left many hospitality businesses struggling to stay afloat.
During this challenging time, these venues need our help more than ever. Which is why Taylors Wines has partnered with community group Support Local in a new initiative called #LocalNightIn which aims to inspire people to dine in and support their much-loved local establishments to get back on their feet.
Support Local and Taylors Wines have come together to create a new national listing database at www.localnightin.com.au that showcases Australian venues that are providing delivery and takeaway options during this time. Hundreds of venues across the country, including dining icons such as Catalina, Pilu at Freshwater, Lucio's Italian Restaurant, Luke's Kitchen, Estelle, and Matilda 159 Domain, have already thrown their support behind the campaign, with more being added each day.
To celebrate these local venues, a #LocalNightIn Festival is set to take place over the weekend of 29-31 May. The weekend-long event encourages Australians to support their favourite local by purchasing a meal, dining in at home or with friends (with respect to social distancing measures) and sharing an image on social media using the #LocalNightIn hashtag to spread the word that Australia's local restaurants are still open for business.
Across most of Australia, restrictions have eased to allow seating for up to 10 people, in line with phase one of the Government's COVID Safety plans, which presents new challenges for how restauranteurs can sustain their businesses.
"The easing of restrictions is a positive but very small initial step forward. It's been an interesting experience for guests at Catalina, to say the least, with only 10 people in the restaurant at a time under the new guidelines. The support from our local community who have been using our takeaway and delivery options has been crucial and gives us some comfort that we'll be able to keep our doors open until things return to normal," Owner of Sydney's Catalina Restaurant Judy McMahon said.
"We need to help these venues find a way through these tough times that respects social distancing. Many restaurants will find it a challenge to operate at part capacity, and with no firm date on when things will return to normal, take away and delivery options will be vital in maintaining cash flow," said Taylors Wines third-generation Winemaker and Managing Director Mitchell Taylor.
"The restrictions on these venues, many of them being small businesses, impact a vast number of people from the owners and its employees, through to the farmers, distillers and winemakers who supply produce to the venues. Our family were originally hoteliers in the 1950s, and it's difficult to see these venues and suppliers doing it tough through these difficult times.
"This is why we wanted to do what we could to help. Restrictions are easing slowly across the country, and at varying stages, so whether you're enjoying your first night out in a while, or only able to enjoy a restaurant-quality meal at home, we want to inspire everyone across Australia to host their own #LocalNightIn event to support the industry," Mitchell Taylor said.
The #LocalNightIn national listing will remain live even after the #LocalNightIn Festival, with the hopes that people will continue to utilise the platform to find and support their favourite local venues.
"And gradually, as restrictions ease across the country, let's all look forward to celebrating a local night out again soon," Mitchell Taylor said.
The #LocalNightIn website is available now for people to explore the wide array of hotels, restaurants, clubs and cafes open for business. Venues are still encouraged to sign up to the site should they wish to take part in the campaign.