On 13 August 2020 the Restaurant Association Chief Executive, Marisa Bidois, wrote to Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Arden seeking assistance to prioritise a few pragmatic measures and introduce some novel actions, to help hospitality businesses remain afloat during the next period of uncertainty.
One of these novel actions was to ask the Government to consider introducing a Government supplemented dining campaign.
When the Government moved the country to Alert Level 4 in March 2020, a blanket ban was placed on hospitality operations, meaning 98 percent of member businesses had zero ability to generate revenue.
In August 2020, when the letter to the Prime Minister was sent, Tāmaki Makaurau had just returned to Alert Level 3. The Restaurant Association submitted that changes needed to be made across Alert Level operations if the Government hoped to see the prized hospitality sector survive the pandemic. In the absence of any advice coming from the Government for hospitality as a sector, the Association compiled its own suite of initiatives to help soften the blow to hospitality in the event of ongoing Alert Level movement and community transmission.
With no response, and the recalling of Parliament, the Association decided to petition Members of Parliament.
Spearheaded by the Restaurant Association, the petition was supported by the Hospitality Recovery Taskforce, which is made up of hospitality leaders from across the country.
As the Government remains steadfast in its elimination strategy, it continues to be the Association’s view that there should be exploration of new approaches to business support.