Fears for entire Noosa dining scene
FOR Danielle Gjestland - owner of award-winning Japanese fine dining restaurant Wasabi at Noosa - Sunday's announcement of restrictions easing has done little to help her business.
The announcement included that as of yesterday, eateries can now host a maximum of 20 diners, up from 10, while from this Friday larger venues can accommodate 20 guests per area.
But Ms Gjestland said her restaurant will remain closed, only offering a takeaway seven-course degustation on Friday and Saturday nights.
"The cost for us to gear back up again - just the base costs of switching everything back on - are super high. To recover those costs with just 20 people would be really difficult," she said.
"Basically even our old pricing wouldn't cover the increased costs of being COVID-compliant."
She also worried for the entire Noosa hospitality scene, which relied heavily on interstate and overseas travellers, to make money at this time of year.
"We're kind of left without a client base, basically," she said.
She said she understood the Premier's decision to keep the borders closed and while she believed they needed tourism to survive, she said the entire restaurant industry lived in fear of a second outbreak closing restaurants once again.
"I know for a fact that there is not a restaurant alive that can afford to gear up and then be told that they need to shut down again because there's another outbreak. That is petrifying. No one will survive it," she said.
She added: "Everyone is so scared that if they really start going full swing (into trading properly) and (restaurant) fridges are full of food again, what happens if there's another outbreak and they say back to 10 clients. Then what happens? You've put all the staff back on."
Her comments came as many restaurant owners slammed the Government's lack of notice ahead of Sunday's announcement, saying it threw them "under the bus" and left scrambling to open in time on Monday.
Originally published as Fears for entire Noosa dining scene