Support the hospitality industry now, so we can survive these crazy times.

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This petition is to allow independent restaurants, bars and cafés to have a caveat placed on their already existing liquor licences so we can legally be allowed to offer pick up or delivery of a responsible amount of alcohol, as would normally be served in our venues.

As a small business owner of a restaurant who employs 14 staff, I am doing absolutely everything humanly possible I can to keep them in a job.

40% of my revenue comes from beverage sales, like so many of us.

On Wednesday we started a delivery service ourselves to bring our restaurant to our community. There are so many others like us who have started doing this too.

Right now, this industry that I have spent the last 15 years in and love so much is on its knees. People are closing their doors; staff are being laid off or having their hours reduced heavily.

Our suppliers are also being affected by this, we aren’t ordering as much, if at all. We are struggling to pay them because we don’t know what will happen – the flow on effect is so huge that I still struggle to wrap my head around it and it keeps me awake at night.

If we as a community are to get through this, we need to be allowed to trade like we would normally. We need to be able to trade as ‘normally’ as possible to keep our staff in their jobs and suppliers paid.

The absolute fastest way I see us being able continue while the government is finalising stimulus and survival packages is to place a caveat on liquor licences for pick up and deliveries. This can be done now!

I have been on the phone this morning and emailed Daniel Andrews office and applied to the VCGLR this morning and this is their response:

‘The Commission has received a number of similar enquiries and has been working on how such changes to business can be appropriately licensed.
We will be considering applications for temporary limited licences to allow existing licensees to delivery limited amounts of alcohol.
Such limitations will likely be 1 (one) bottle of wine or a six pack of beer/cider for Restaurant and Cafe licence holders and 2 (two) for on-premises licensees.

We hope to provide further details in the near future, we are dealing with an unprecedented volume of enquiries due to Covid-19 and ask licensees to bear with us.

At this stage I ask that if you are interested in obtaining a temporary limited licence to supply liquor by delivery please lodge an application for a temporary limited licence.
Note such applications will still under go a standard assessment process and given the unknown demand processing times cannot be confirmed at this state.’

I totally understand that this is a huge thing to ask of the Daniel Andrews Government and the VCGLR to come to the party on so quickly, but this is an unprecedented time. If we are licensed to trade within our four walls responsibly, please can we be licensed to trade responsibly to our customers in their homes. They would normally be dining with us, and we want our qualified staff to be able to continue serving them as they would in the venue.

The shining light in all of this is as a community we are coming together and helping each other through this. The amount of phone calls, chats, glasses of wine, cups of tea that I have shared to support and be supported has actually brought me to tears so many times already.

We will get through this but we need to be able to do it together.