Eat Out to Help Out Australia

Eat Out to Help Out Australia

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The Victorian Government released their Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap to reopening on Sunday 6 September.

The Roadmap placed significant and harsh restrictions on the hospitality sector, which limited their recovery to the final stages, with the initial re-opening being limited only to outdoor dining. R&CA believes that this roadmap is unworkable and unduly punishes hospitality businesses who have proven themselves able to operate in a COVID-Safe Way, as demonstrated in other states and territories.

R&CA believes that roadmap should change and that restriction levels, case number triggers and date progressions to not reflect a reasonable ‘suppression’ strategy as adopted by National Cabinet. However, should the roadmap not be amended, R&CA has outlined key stimulus & recovery measures that should be adopted to assist the sector in recovering through the roadmap until they are able to open in a less restricted way.

That is why we are calling on the Victorian Government to introduce a targeted voucher, available to every household, aimed at encouraging people to spend in their local restaurant, café or catering businesses. Despite contributing more than $37 billion to the economy and employing over 450,000 people nationwide, there has not been any significant targeted support for the hospitality industry through the pandemic to date.

R&CA is calling on government to provide up to $100 towards the cost of a restaurant bill for households of two or more, or up to $50 for single person households. There are 2.1 million households in Victoria as per the 2016 Census, with 522,000 being single person household. The cost of this program would cost approximately $200m to the state budget.

This measure would provide targeted support for the hospitality industry through a home-grown version of the UK’s current “Eat Out to Help Out” initiative. Under the UK scheme, the Government foots the bill for 50 per cent of a meal eaten at a cafe, restaurant or pub from Monday to Wednesday until the end of August – it was used more than 10.5 million times in its first week.

The scheme would be available for in-house dining when restrictions levels permit, as well as takeaway options (and pre-packaged meals) and contactless food delivery where the consumer paid the businesses directly (not to an intermediary or third-party delivery service).

This Eat out to Help Out Campaign is also about reviving the intrinsic Australian pastime of sharing a meal with friends and family and builds on similar campaigns run by R&CA such as #EatAloneTogether and #TakeawayTuesday.

 

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