Ipswich venues predict more hardship amid lockdown
COUNTLESS hospitality venues across Ipswich are set to lose out on crucial weekend trading amid Greater Brisbane’s strict lockdown.
Among them, the popular PA Hotel has once again been forced to shut its doors to the public for the second time in twelve months.
Manager Peter Coultas, however, said the team had been “well prepared” to endure another shutdown – thanks to its revamped takeout and home delivery system.
“It’s a bump in the road, it will obviously impact the business, especially on a weekend which is our prime trading time,” he said.
“I think it’s hurt the staff a lot more. It’s unsettled them, especially when most of the hours our casual workers get is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“They’re going to have to go without pay again.”
Mr Coultas said the venue would operate on five staff per day instead of the usual 40.
“With home delivery, we still use our staff, so they get directly paid the $10 delivery fee which our customers are charged,” he said.
“We had a basic chart express menu before the first lockdown in March, but we developed it back in those days to what we’ve got now. The technology has been fantastic.”
Customers are now able to order takeawat meals directly through the PA Hotel website.
“During the last lockdown we finetuned [our technology] and it was so successful that it’s now become part of our ongoing business plan regardless,” said Mr Coultas.
Unfortunately, Friday evening proved to be a slow start for takeaway orders – further straining the already struggling hospitality sector.
“Perhaps people are still getting used to [lockdown] and not realising those facilities are still open and available,” he said.
“Whether it’s from us or your corner fish and chip shop, you can still go out and get your takeaway meals.
“It would be really good for people to support those businesses because they’re going to be hit hard during this period.”
CSI Ipswich is among other venues to have announced its temporarily closure.
Management took to social media on Friday evening, saying it was a decision made in line with the latest public health orders.
“Club Services Ipswich will be closed from 6pm Friday,” the statement read.
“As the health and safety of our members, guests and staff are our main priority, we will remain closed until Monday 6pm as per government directive.”