Coffs Coast hospitality businesses doing it tough in lockdown

Loic Prouin from Northside Pizza is doing it tough through lockdown.

 

THE recent statewide lockdown has forced many hospitality businesses to shut down or operate on a take-away only basis.

Since the snap lockdown on 14 August there have been two extensions which are having a growing impact on the bottom line and it’s a triple whammy for restaurants and cafes who rely on trade from tourists, work trade and foot traffic.

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Northside Pizza business owner and chef Loic Prouin explained some of the impacts of the latest lockdown.

“Pizza sales are down by 30-40 percent compared to normal business, this means I can pay the bills and our staff but there’s not much left for me.

“As you can see the Plaza is empty, it’s normally bustling with activity but now there are no tourists, no workers buying food and no people walking around, the streets are empty and it’s hitting us hard.

“Although we are still selling some pizzas this lockdown is having a huge impact on our business and I know a lot of businesses are doing a lot worse,” said Loic.

Last year the French chef pivoted from fine dining after his catering business was wiped out by the pandemic.

“I am a classically trained French chef and used to cater for weddings and private functions but after Covid-19 in March 2020 all of my bookings were cancelled so I moved to a business that I thought was more stable like making pizzas, but this lockdown has been particularly tough for all small businesses.

“I am hopeful and optimistic that the people of Coffs Harbour will support local businesses, I will keep throwing the dough in the air with a smile and stay optimistic, but it’s tough,” said Loic.

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh urged the community to buy local and support local businesses.

“The prolonged Delta variant outbreak has meant small businesses are definitely doing it tough.

“But just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean we can’t continue to support local businesses.

“You can order takeaway meals from our award winning restaurants who are offering a takeaway or delivery service.

“Many local businesses have made the difficult transition to offering online services and it’s up to us all to support them as best we can,” said Mr Singh.

 

By David WIGLEY

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