The Restaurant Association sought member feedback on the impact of Covid-19 in a series of short surveys.
This second survey was conducted at the beginning of March, 2020.
The year has certainly begun with many unexpected challenges, including drought in the North Island and severe weather conditions for parts of the South. Many city centre members have also been affected by infrastructure upgrades, which have had a devastating effect on business. And then news of the coronavirus COVID-19 hit. Currently the impact of this virus has become the main topic of conversation and since we first heard of this new strain of coronavirus in January it has rapidly snowballed from there.
Even before there were any confirmed cases of the virus in New Zealand, a combination of travel restrictions for tourists coming into New Zealand over some of the busiest times for Chinese tour groups, and New Zealanders choosing not to dine out as frequently, has had a devastating effect on the hospitality industry.
We are fielding a number of calls from business owners in desperate situations, asking for advice and have been vocally advocating on behalf of the industry, calling for the Government to recognise impact this has had on small businesses and calling for a Government financial support package. Therefore, the Restaurant Association has welcomed news that the Government will introduce a targeted wage subsidy for businesses. We are pleased to see government recognising the struggle the hospitality community are facing currently and the longer term strategy they are addressing as well.
- Compared to this time last year – 67% indicated a downturn in turnover
- Asked if this was a result of current travel restrictions in place as a result of the international coronavirus outbreak – more than 60% said they believed this was the case
- Almost 70 per cent indicated that they had noticed less New Zealanders dining out
“We are a formal restaurant so people book ahead lots of cancellations directly related to coronavirus travel restrictions and fears eg we had 20 guests cancel/no show the Saturday. The first case was confirmed.”
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