The Restaurant of the Future: Predictions for a Post-Pandemic World

Is the restaurant as we know it extinct? How about open kitchens, no-bookings policies and communal dining? More than 60 industry leaders share their forecasts on the tiny, touchless venues, robot waiters, perspex barriers and digital menus that might await us on the other side.

Published on 26 May 2020

What will Australia’s hospitality industry look like in three, six, or 12 months?

Will we ever line up for a table at the eatery-du-jour again? Or is the no-bookings policy destined for extinction?

Are the days of jostling for elbow room at a crowded, steamy, sweaty bar behind us? Is table service the new norm?

By its very nature, the future is hard to predict. Most of us could never have imagined the force with which a deadly virus, something that initially felt like a distant problem in a distant place, would hit us here.

But government-imposed closures in the pandemic’s early days – and the current guidelines and restrictions, as venues reopen in cautiously optimistic stages – have forced the industry to undergo a metamorphosis.

Restaurants, bars and cafes around Australia have already made drastic changes. We’ve seen swivels, pivots and backflips. We’ve seen closures. Some temporary, some permanent, and some that appear transient now, but may well be for good.

It’s possible we’re on the precipice of a new normal. It’s also possible that we'll look back on this surreal time as a mere blip on the radar.

Takeaway and delivery – something many eateries actively campaigned against for years, as Deliveroo and Uber Eats carved out a place for themselves at great cost to restaurants – are seeing a renaissance, with venue owners sidestepping the big players and new contenders joining the game. Will these side hustles last the test of time?

If social distancing is here to stay, perhaps it's the 12-seat fine diner’s time to shine. On the flipside, tight budgets could see luxury dining take a hit as nimble neighbourhood operations, fast-casual spots and street-food stalls come out on top.

We risk losing those subtle-but-sublime moments of great service – a host removing your coat at the door; a somm leaning in for a quiet chat when you’re unsure about a wine; a bartender passing you a bottle of whisky so you can read the label, turning the bottle around in your hands before deciding it’s the one for you – at a time when warm and consequential experiences are more critical than ever.

The extent of the virus’s impact is yet to fully reveal itself. Will cashless payments and online menus be the new norm? Could share-plates, one of the most dominant food trends of the past decade, become defunct?

To find out, Broadsheet spoke to a swathe of Australia’s most influential and pioneering hospitality figures about what might lie ahead. At the time, some were already reopening for dine-in customers. Others were preparing to.

We asked this group of restaurateurs, chefs, bar owners, designers and more to picture the future of their industry, whether a year from now or in a few weeks’ time; whether bleak, hopeful or somewhere in between.

What came back is a window into a world that might await us on the other side, a spectrum of emotion, and wildly contrasting views around just how deeply – and for how long – this crisis will affect us.

These are challenges an entire industry is grappling with right now. We share the voices of 60 of them below.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.



The hospitality industry, more than most, thrives on creative destruction. Once you’re past the sense of loss, this is actually a really exciting time to be a part of a culture – when it’s new and fresh, full of possibility, and when everyone’s working together to build something they believe in.
Christian McCabe, co-owner, Embla and Lesa, Melbourne

To have your business stripped away without warning or fault allows you to look at it in a new way. To hit refresh and to rethink. Never has an opportunity like this come along before to stop and think – really critically – about what was and wasn’t working.
– Daisy Miller, co-owner, Sukhumvit Soi 38, Adelaide

This has given us all a chance to re-evaluate our lives and businesses. It’s given us the confidence to be nimble and try new things. Thinking laterally is exciting.
– Mike McEnearney, chef and owner, Kitchen by Mike, Sydney

[It’s going to be an] uncharted, brave new world. The industry will rejuvenate. Creativity is the key to succeeding.
– Salvatore Malatesta, owner, St Ali, Melbourne

Once we’re past the initial impact, large operators will be stronger than ever. Being able to use scale to reduce overheads will be key to surviving and thriving.
– Michael Bascetta, co-owner, Bar Liberty, Capitano, Falco Bakery, Melbourne

Hospitality can thrive again. This crisis may lead to fewer restrictions in terms of licensing; it could turn the other way and encourage more of a late-night dining and eating culture.
– O Tama Carey, owner and chef, Lankan Filling Station, Sydney

The lockdown has given us a gift. This time has allowed the consumer to begin to value regenerative farming practices as a whole, which means we’ll see more biodynamically farmed produce in restaurants, bars and bottle shops.
– Jay Marinis, owner, Ute Boot, Adelaide

The insularity and narcissism of years most recent would be a fabulous thing to watch burn on the Covid bonfire. [We have] the opportunity to sift through the rubble and rebuild our future, one of kindness and generosity, of community and acceptance. We were falling towards a future by default. This new one could be ours by design.
– Jake Smyth, co-owner, Mary’s, The Unicorn Hotel, The Lansdowne Hotel and Mary’s Underground, Sydney and Mary’s, Melbourne

For a long time there’s been this rat-race of go cheaper, cheaper, cheaper. It’ll be nice to see a slowdown of burger joints opening every other week, [and to see] people appreciating the value of dining out, and the value of the meal we put on each table.
– Jerry Mai, owner and chef, Annam and Bia Hoi, Melbourne

Collaboration will be key; it will be important to bring theatre to the restaurant ... An opportunity exists to create a new dining experience.
– Joanna Reymond-Burns, owner, Reymond Communications PR agency, Melbourne


There were about 5500 restaurants and cafes in the greater Melbourne area. We think roughly one-third of them will not reopen. The remainder will all be scrambling for staff at the same time.
– Tony Eldred, owner, Eldred Hospitality consulting, Melbourne

The fine-dining scene will be hit the hardest. With people’s priorities being put into perspective, luxuries such as this will take a back seat.
– Shannon Martinez, owner and chef, Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli, Melbourne

We’ll lose some brilliant businesses and we’ll mourn that. [But] it also means new concepts will be born.
– Jeanine Bribosia, owner, The Cru Media PR agency, Sydney

I was in New York on 9/11. The restaurant industry was decimated. It took time, but it came back with gusto. That’s what’s going to happen here. Restaurants are going to go broke, and there’s going to be a new breed of restaurants that open. That’s going to be the exciting part for the consumer.
– Chris Lucas, owner, Chin Chin, Kong, Baby, Hawker Hall and Kisumé, Melbourne and Chin Chin, Sydney (as told to Nick Connellan)

We’re going to see the end of a lot of institutions. Where do those institutions come from in the future? Because I’m not seeing anything new and creative that rivals those. How do you replace a Longrain?
– Cameron Votan, co-owner, Happy Boy and Greenglass, Brisbane (as told to Matt Shea)

Some great venues will be lost, and it will be really unjust. Models that have minimal labour and cheap cost of goods will be safer options and will grow. But places that are excellent – that just nail it – will also thrive. There’ll probably be a void in the middle for a while. Sadly, there will be a lot of good, honest venues that don’t come back, but that means there’s opportunity for someone with a great work ethic and a creative concept or passion to open their first venue.
– Mike Eggert, executive chef, Totti’s and Bar Totti’s, Sydney

It’ll force a retreat of some of the big equity groups in the industry, and their cookie-cutter venues that have been muscling into middle-market dining. Things will become more local, more specialised. This will make space for more owner-operators to get into the market and innovate and inject new ideas into Australian dining.
– Matt Shea, editor-at-large, Broadsheet Brisbane

There will be more people looking for jobs – and fewer jobs out there.
– O Tama Carey

Jobs will be more scarce, and there’ll be fewer employers in this industry. For the first time in many, many years, [hospitality] positions will be highly sought after.
– Simon Kardachi, co-owner, Shōbōsho, Osteria Oggi, Bread & Bone, Maybe Mae, Proof, Nido, West and Melt, Adelaide

For a long time, hospitality offered a place of shelter for many people, whether it be a financial foothold while studying for another industry, or a lifeline for those of us who found something more meaningful in a life of service. Hospitality felt like it would always be there. And now it feels so precarious.
– Kylie Javier Ashton, general manager, Momofuku Seiōbo, Sydney

Employers and employees will appreciate each other more.
– Martin Benn, chef, 80 Collins, Melbourne

The teams that have been through this together will have a lasting sense of solidarity.
– Liz Rodriguez, co-owner, Grossi Florentino, Grill, The Cellar Bar, Arlechin, Melbourne

New venues will have diverse concepts, not relying on dining-in patrons, while making products that are easy to execute with a limited workforce.
– Michael Bascetta

There are a lot of tenancies for lease with very low entry rates and long rent-free periods. This will likely see a rise in new businesses and inexperienced operators. This is likely to mean more cafes, more takeaway. Hospitality is not easy. Hopefully these low entry points come with guidance and support.
– Kate Peat, owner, Oh Loretta! and Blue 13 hospitality consulting, Melbourne

We’re going to see a bunch of new, young owner-operators, and that’ll really kickstart some creative developments in the industry. They’ll have an opportunity to take over places that are fitted out for less rent than they would’ve gone for a year ago. There’ll be a shuffle towards something more casual, and there’ll be less money at the top end for expensive dining.
– Cameron Votan

A lot of new concepts have been put on hold, so perhaps there will be a shortage of “new”. Perhaps that’s a good thing – to slow things down and enjoy what we have now.
– Russell Beard, co-owner, Paramount House Hotel, Paramount Coffee Project, Reuben Hills and Hills Bros, Sydney



Going to a restaurant will be a treat and mostly for special occasions, rather than something people do regularly.
– Daisy Miller

The market will shift significantly to people choosing to go out with friends only on occasion. There will be a huge appetite for more personalised dining experiences for small groups in the comfort and security of their own home.
– Shane Delia, owner Maha, Maha East and Maha Bar, Melbourne

People will stick to their neighbourhoods more than ever to dine.
– Michael Bascetta

People will be scared and less likely to go out, which will keep numbers down and gatherings more intimate.
– Kate Peat

I am worried that the humans will have become accustomed to not leaving their homes and having everything delivered.
– O Tama Carey

Delivery of anything and everything will increase, as people have slipped into habits of not leaving the comfort of their own sofa. I worry that people’s habits – for this current generation and the next – have been formed. The expectation is that things will come to them.
– Mike McEnearney

Our guests will need added reassurance and comfort.
– Liz Rodriguez

There’ll be a three-to-six-month lull, and a hangover of nervousness. Until there are zero cases, people will be less sociable. Anyone who can make it through will have more customers.
– Cameron Votan

It will be some time before the general population feels comfortable with eating or drinking out as they once did, and that’s to be expected. All we can do is create a community of inclusion, reassurance and comfort for our customers and staff as much as we can.
– Sharon Salloum, co-owner, Almond Bar, Sydney

Dinner rushes will have to be controlled, and diners will have to become more flexible with their expectations of eating and booking times.
– Liam Atkinson, co-owner and chef, Le Rebelle, Perth

The restriction on numbers and the collection of more in-depth booking details (to potentially track Covid cases) will allow venues to get hardcore on no-shows without suffering any penalties in terms of punter goodwill.
– Matt Shea

Queues will be discouraged. The “turn-up” mentality that marked the 2010–20 period will fade away. Reservations will come back into play.
– Iva Foschia, owner, IF Architecture, Melbourne

Reservations will become even more essential – and they’ll be harder to get.
– Kylie Javier Ashton

Initially, people’s average spend will be down, but I also think there’ll be those restaurant junkies that are going to drop some serious coin on that first night out.
– Max Veenhuyzen, editor-at-large, Broadsheet Perth

The cons might include lower capacities, shorter menus, less choice in general. The pros might include more focus, shorter menus, less choice in general and a fundamental renewal of what hospitality and customer service really mean.
– Pat Nourse, creative director, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

[Expect] a new generation of diners and customers who are aware of how and what they’re consuming and that their decisions have a real impact on the environment.
– Palisa Anderson, co-owner, Chat Thai, Jarern Chai and Boon Cafe, Sydney

Appreciating and savouring a meal will mean more to the customer than ever. However, restaurants will become more expensive and fewer. The experience might not be great for a while – but the longing to socialise will be greater.
– Angie Giannakodakis, co-owner, Epocha and Elyros, Melbourne

Socialising and celebrating by way of a shared dining experience is part of what makes our culture so special, and I feel that the need for human connection is going to be incredibly strong.
– Peter Gilmore, executive chef, Quay and Bennelong, Sydney

Chefs will return to the kitchen, staying out of front-of-house.
– Joanna Reymond-Burns

There’ll be a lot more picnics in parks than functions at restaurants.
– Tony Eldred


We’ll need to reconsider the spatial arrangement. We simply won’t be able to have people too close to each other. This in turn affects the cost per square metre, which means construction and fit-out budgets will be tighter than they already are. Conceptually, less will likely be more.
– Iva Foschia

Less is more, and comfort is king.
– Vicki Wild, general manager, 80 Collins, Melbourne

Crowding will be unthinkable. Communal tables will have to be rethought.
–Salvatore Malatesta

Design will be flexible for space. Very small, intimate venues will be seen as higher risk.
– Daisy Miller

I’m sad that tiny spaces packed with people can no longer exist. I’m worried about how, as designers, we’ll keep the energy in spaces without the people. Furniture may become more fixed so that social spacing is maintained. Maybe there’ll be more private dining rooms or drinking spaces, which enforce social distancing without taking away the atmosphere. The spaces will feel more curated – people won’t be crammed in anymore.
– Fiona Lynch, owner, Fiona Lynch interior design studio, Melbourne

I’m not sure that we’ll see seismic shifts, but an ongoing series of subtle and incremental changes. If anything, we may see a move away from the large mega-venues and a shift towards smaller spaces providing a range of offers, created with the ability to adapt in uncertain times.
– Mark Simpson, co-owner, DesignOffice architecture and interior design practice, Melbourne

I’m designing a few as we speak. They’re more tactile, more fun, more customer-centric; [providing] warmth and engagement.
– Kate Peat

Tiny restaurants – 10- to 14-seat restaurants – were already becoming a thing, and I think that trend will accelerate.
– Matt Shea

Greater table spacings and lower patron densities will be the most difficult aspects to deal with. The big question is if patrons will pay for more space. We may also see bathroom attendants and/or hands-free access to bathrooms, and possibly even more transparent visibility of the kitchen and back-of-house areas for customers to see how fastidious the operator is in maintaining hygienic practices. The big risk with this may be the creation of overly sterile environments, which is quite at odds with our usual ambition to create inviting, welcoming and convivial spaces.
– Nick Travers, co-owner, Technē Architecture + Interior Design, Melbourne

I wonder if things like open kitchens, which have proven so popular in the last decade, will cease to exist.
– Kate Reid, co-owner, Lune Croissanterie, Melbourne

There’ll be more quirky dining experiences offered initially – like tables with perspex around them – though they may be a passing trend.
– Palisa Anderson

The airlock might make a reappearance, creating a zone between the interior and exterior where we remove jackets and extraneous items.
– Adele Winteridge, owner, Foolscap Studio, Melbourne and Sydney

Perhaps we’ll see a similar hygiene-rating display system kick off in Australia, like you see in New York. Those flouting the rules will be penalised and have to display their actions on a laminated poster at the front for all to see, while those keeping strict sanitising standards will be rewarded with an A+ rating.
–Sarah Norris, Broadsheet Sydney editor

No phones on the table – imagine! I also think we’ll see hand sanitiser on tables in place of salt and pepper.
– Daniela Frangos, Broadsheet Adelaide editor

It’ll depend on how long these restrictions carry on for and if we see the government allowing physical barriers in spaces to encourage social distancing. If this is the case, and in the short term we hope it is, we’ll see bars and venues designed in a way to isolate groups from each other. Sanitation and cleaning equipment will become part of the design for both guests and staff.
– Oliver Brown, co-owner, Nola, The Stag Public House, Anchovy Bandit, Adelaide

I don’t believe there’ll be any change. I’m currently in the process of designing a new restaurant, and the current situation won’t affect plans for the concept at all.
– Simon Kardachi


Cash is now viewed as dirty. It causes friction in service as you need to make multiple movements to complete an order – that’s not efficient.
– Oliver Brown

There’ll be more cashless businesses. We made this move at Lune almost two years ago. Many businesses have stopped accepting cash since Covid-19, and I think this will be a stayer. It makes huge sense from a business perspective, too. New casual eateries may do away with physical menus and instead employ online ordering systems from your own smartphone.
– Kate Reid

Everyone has become more savvy about using technology to promote and express their businesses. Ecommerce and user-friendly websites with shop integration specifically for hospitality businesses could be an emerging market. [I think we’ll see more] cashless payments, online banking transactions, and working remotely with consultants and other business entities such as accountants and marketing. It’s funny how suppliers still issue paper invoices in food service.
– Victor Liong, co-owner and chef, Lee Ho Fook, Melbourne and co-owner, Chuuka, Sydney

Contactless everything. Payments. Toilet-flushing. Door-opening. Our investment focus will be further on our ecommerce platform, augmenting our own delivery vehicles and product development.
– Salvatore Malatesta

I’m not buying into any of the talk that this crisis has somehow created this new nirvana, that restaurants are going to be touchless and sterilised, and there’s going to be new tech running them.
– Chris Lucas

Whether it’s an online shop, takeaway, or running workshops and cooking classes online, this pandemic has forced us to consider innovative ways to stay connected with our audiences outside of the physical world.
– Nikki To, co-owner, Buffet Digital content studio, Sydney

The DIY, Instagram-live, grassroots approach I think has worked well. I feel in some format this will continue – less choreographed and more off the cuff.
– Russell Beard

If rents don’t go down substantially then there’ll be fewer jobs offered, so there could be some robots or at least automated parts of production.
– Christian McCabe

The robots are coming. Is this exciting or petrifying?
– Tom Sanceau, co-owner, Red Hook, Brisbane


We all check the menu at home before leaving for the restaurant, right? Maybe the time of physical menus is over.
– Daniela Frangos

Expect a lot more traditional entree-main-dessert menu structures and a lot less family-style sharing.
– Dani Valent, freelance food journalist and author, Melbourne

For bigger restaurants, we might see a bit of a renaissance of traditional à la carte (which I welcome) but I don’t think shared dining is going anywhere soon. Restaurants have worked hard over the past decade to train diners into this style of eating, and it gives them so much in terms of flexibility and cost-saving that I don’t think it will go down without a fight.
– Matt Shea

People coming together and sharing dishes in the middle of the table will be less common, and a one-person, one-dish style of eating will return. Shared dishes are how Thai food is shared culturally, so I’m not sure how we will move with a trend against sharing food. Concepts will be more flexible – more takeaway-friendly, perhaps. Smaller menus. Smaller wine lists.
– Daisy Miller

Communal dining isn’t just a trend for many eateries, it’s a cultural preference, so I am certain it will survive. I think we’re likely to see more and more venues take credit card details when you book, and Sydney’s no-bookings policy is at least gone for the rest of the year. It means we’re going to have to be less spontaneous.
– Sarah Norris

I can see menu prices going up. Truth is, it’s been so competitive the majority of restaurants aren’t charging as much as they should.
– Khanh Nguyen, chef and co-owner, Sunda, Melbourne

People will have to be prepared to pay more for an industry that has been undervalued long before the pandemic.
– Kylie Javier Ashton

Restaurants already have minimal profit margins so reducing our prices isn't an option, yet neither is reducing the guests overall experience. People want to go back to support the restaurants they love, but they also want to go back to those places the way they were.
– Sali Sasi, co-owner, Leigh Street Wine Room

If restaurants are to move forward and survive, we are going to have to charge what is fair and real – and what is sustainable – for the industry.
– Simon Kardachi

Disposable income will be in short supply for quite some time, and the quest for value for money will be paramount in the eyes of most of the public. You can’t just reduce the prices on your old menu, because that would cancel out any badly needed margin. Completely new menus offering clear value for money will need to be evolved.
– Tony Eldred

It makes more sense now to operate as a fine diner, even one that serves 10 people. It’s still going to be great value, but it’ll be value that works for the customer, and for the business too, that you can sustain.
– Jessi Singh, co-owner, Mrs Singh and Daughter In Law, Melbourne and Don’t Tell Aunty, Sydney

Fine diners and higher end restaurants will shine – places that offer an experience you can’t replicate at home.
– Daniela Frangos

I think there’s a spectre hanging over everyone that this could happen again. People are going to lean towards what can be produced quickly, so you can do bigger volumes. If I was to open a new restaurant now, I wouldn’t be doing fine dining – finicky, heavily plated and super experiential stuff. I’d be wanting to have a good time, but it would be affordable and translatable to everyone.
– Cameron Votan


The days of luxury service are behind us in the short term. Those who could afford it are less likely to indulge, and those who couldn’t but still enjoyed it will not be able to anymore.
– Jake Smyth

Diners will certainly have reduced contact time with staff at venues. Maintaining high service standards seems at odds with keeping our team and guests safe. Systems need to be created to deal with the new world we’re now living in.
– Michael Bascetta

Until we have a vaccine, I can’t imagine restaurants will be able to give the intimate service people have come to expect. Social distancing will dictate how close and long a waiter will be able to interact with their tables.
– Mike McEnearney

There will be a reduction in staff.
– Tom Sanceau

The lack of customers means less revenue, sadly. Less revenue means we just won’t be able to afford the full team we once had. Staffing will be at a minimum so we have the space for more diners. Waitstaff may have to spend less time with guests, which would definitely affect the experience.
– Khanh Nguyen

The feeling of service and care will be dialled up. It’s what people have been craving and missing so much. I think it’ll be appreciated and acknowledged more than ever.
– Jeanine Bribosia

I’ll open an underground Hug-Easy; a secret club where people can come together in small numbers and actually physically interact.
– Oscar McMahon, co-owner, Young Henrys, Sydney

The emotional scarring from Covid-19 will affect service interactions for a long time, if not forever.
– Salvatore Malatesta

Service goes far beyond taking orders and putting food on the table. It’s a conversation, it’s a friendship, it’s the building of relationships and I think we’ve forgotten about that. I’m hoping that’ll shine through again.
– Jerry Mai

Short term, things will be a little more streamlined – but I also expect a few outliers who dial it up, reasoning that what some diners want, above all, is an experience. Something away from the day-to-day.
– Pat Nourse

Potentially we’ll see a more honest look at varying prices for bookings on a Saturday night versus a Monday night. Not necessarily a reduction in the quality of service, but certainly in the variety of “included” services.
– Christian McCabe

In the short term there’ll be a shift toward table-service venues, as clubs and some bars won’t be operating.
– Oliver Brown

Wouldn’t it be great to see the return of waitstaff reading out the menu and taking diners through what each dish entails? Worn, germ-ridden menus could be replaced with a more personalised approach.
– Sarah Norris

Instead of a waiter pouring wine, maybe we’ll have a champagne trolley go around. We’ll let you pour it – and we’ll just have to sanitise everything as soon as people touch it.
– Jessi Singh

Some foolish operators will push warm bodies out onto their floor with minimal training and do damage to public perception at the very time when they need to re-establish their position in a brave new world.
– Tony Eldred

I worry that the customer experience will become more clinical and transactional. Many in the industry choose this work because of the warmth and human connection. We talk about “looking after” our guests. If society becomes too used to a fear of strangers, or sees everyone around them as potentially infectious, that distrust could carry into everyday interactions. There is a level of intimacy in dining that will be lost.
– Daisy Miller

Service will need to lift to both protect patrons and control the risks without it feeling cold. I am hoping this elevates the love and personal touch as opposed to making it clinical.
– Kate Peat

The dining experience is holistic, and only the businesses who treat it this way will continue to survive.
– Iva Foschia

The customer experience will be less personable and perhaps a little uncomfortable – or, rather, stilted – for a while.
– Sarah Norris

When the restaurants reopen, and when we build our new restaurants, it’s going to be all about extending our belief that the customer comes first. We were always very flexible, but now we’re going to be even more attuned to giving the guest what they want. And if we can do it, we’ll do it. We’re revisiting all our menus, our wine lists and our staff training.
– Chris Lucas

The art of hospitality will be more important than ever. Comfort, atmosphere, escapism and delicious food. Simple, right?
– Martin Benn


I think a lot of people are becoming interested in the dark kitchen space and will be seeking those out.
– Palisa Anderson

Home delivery is here to stay, if you’re able to do it without the enormous costs of the third-party delivery companies.
– Mike McEnearney

Once you have the system set up, it’s easy to activate it. Owners are realising they need to diversify. It’s too risky having all your eggs in one basket.
– Sophie McComas-Williams, co-owner, Buffet Digital content studio, Sydney

We’re not nuking lasagne anymore. We’re taking duck legs home, and finishing cooking them ourselves, and we’re eating them with pancakes and bao. We’re getting involved with food again and appreciating it. A lot of restaurants are going to look at how they can maintain takeaway at a high standard, or do take-home packaged meals at a high standard. Everybody’s been so creative and inventive in this whole process.
– Jerry Mai

People have rediscovered the joys of home dining with fine food, and this will last for a long time.
– Iva Foschia

A lot of the places that have introduced takeaway into their repertoire will continue to do so, including fine diners that have launched casual side hustles. There’s a renewed interest and excitement around takeaway food, and the standard has gone up.
– Daniela Frangos

I want to move away from any innovation we’ve needed to stay open. There are wonderful resourceful people doing amazing things, but it’s not for me. I want the hum and buzz of a crazy service.
– Mike Eggert

New revenue streams such as takeaway – in many circumstances – are false economies, as they operate under Jobkeeper and no rent.
– Maurice Terzini, owner, Icebergs, The Dolphin Hotel, Bondi Beach Public Bar and Cicciabella, Sydney

I’m really not sure that everyone’s going to keep doing takeaway, but a new familiarity with the ease of using ecommerce platforms, ticketing, social media and the like, plus a recognition that relying on a single revenue stream can be precarious, might well see a proliferation of side hustles.
– Pat Nourse

Retail and takeaway will remain in some form in most restaurants. I’m interested to see if customers who used to dine out once or twice a week will continue to do so, or if they will dine out less due to the economy.
– Adam Liston, chef and co-owner, Shōbōsho, Adelaide

The embracing of delivery will stay. I hope the supply of takeaway booze from all licensed premises does too – although this seems unlikely.
– Jake Smyth

[We’ll see] a move away from third-party delivery services due to community support.
– Andy Freeman, co-owner, Hadiqa, Varnish on King, The Flour Factory, Cabillitos and Goody Two’s, Perth

People will never have this far from their thoughts; the fear that what was once unimaginable will happen again. All businesses will factor in elements to aid additional revenue streams.
– Jeanine Bribosia

Many will continue their takeaway offers. Restaurateurs had to learn very quickly how to do this and some have mastered it. The takeaway component will continue because consumers will enjoy hosting at home with a meal prepared by their chosen restaurant.
– Joanna Reymond-Burns

If I wanted to do takeaway and delivery at Smith & Daughters, I would have already been doing it.
– Shannon Martinez

I’m excited to serve food on our own plates again instead of in a takeaway container.
– Khanh Nguyen


There will be the return of the local neighbourhood restaurant culture, where people dine closer to home and seek out businesses that have a genuine interest in sourcing produce that’s sustainable and comes from regenerative agricultural practices.
– Palisa Anderson

Our locals are appreciating good local food more. Our suppliers have been able to tap into the public market.
– Sharon Salloum

We’ll see even more of a shift towards the local and supporting our faves rather always seeking out the latest. Many of us have really developed an even stronger emotional attachment to the people who brought their wares to our door when we couldn’t go out.
– Jess Scully, Deputy Lord Mayor, City of Sydney

Clusters of hospitality venues will form closer to where people will be spending part of their week – at home.
– Adele Winteridge

People have been shown first-hand how shopping local and supporting local directly impacts them and their community. People will be willing to pay that little bit extra to know that the money is circulating through the local economy.
– Oliver Brown

Restaurants who’ve connected with and leaned on their locals and regulars will treasure them even more.
– Dani Valent

“Support your local” will become a mantra.
– Liam Atkinson

Businesses with a community at their core will be the first to return, and smart operators will see this as a vital element to any new business moving forward.
– Jake Smyth


When restrictions are completely lifted, that’s just the start. The effects of Covid-19 won’t be over for a very long time.
– Shannon Martinez

It’s going to be a long, slow road back to where we were.
– Liam Atkinson

I worry that we’ll lose some of the creativity and spark as it becomes less appealing to open a small venue; that people will be justifiably scared to take that step, having seen what can happen in the blink of an eye after decades of hard work.
– Jeanine Bribosia

I worry that so many talented chefs and restaurateurs will not survive this and in turn not return to the profession.
– Martin Benn

I’m worried about being too stuck in the past to be able to change. This will never be over, in a sense. The world we knew has changed in a very significant way, and we need to find a way to survive in the new normal.
– Kylie Javier Ashton

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
– Tom Sanceau

As long as we have restrictions to capacity in venues, there is no experience to be had in venues. Prices will go up, freedom will be limited and the magic that people come to our venues for will be lost.
– Shane Delia

We’ll see people taking less risks.
– Sarah Norris

I worry that future venues aren’t going to take as many risks. They might prioritise cheaper fit-outs and cheaper leases and simple dishes that can easily translate to takeaway. Operators might opt for takeaway-only hole-in-the-wall joints and coffee shops over an ambitious bar or restaurant.
– Daniela Frangos

I can’t imagine standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a bar, or fighting for the last dumpling, or dunking in a shared hotpot until there is a vaccine, if indeed that ever happens. This is a health crisis, but it’s also an economic one, and both of those elements feed into a psychological reshaping that takes in confidence and desire and fear and – who knows – recklessness or bad luck that may lead to new lockdowns. So it’s going to be different, and different for a while.
– Dani Valent

There will be two phases post-Covid. There’ll be the relief and excitement that people can go out and enjoy themselves. And then, down the road, the economic environment will have a deeper impact than the physiological impact.
– Dan Clark, co-owner, 1889 Enoteca, Brisbane

It’s going to be a slow process getting customers back.
– O Tama Carey

We will return to a similar state of dismay. This looks like: overworked employees, dominant masculine narratives, conventionally farmed rubbish [and] small producers being used as bank loans.
– Jay Marinis

Reopening will take place in a difficult staffing environment, with reduced pricing and uncertain supply, during a time when the operators themselves will be struggling to clear accumulated debt, and so will the public.
– Tony Eldred

In the long term, I think the customer experience will return to what it was and people will feel more grateful for the hospitality of the past. We are social beings and crave that togetherness that we experience within a hospitality environment.
– Adele Winteridge

Things will go back to being normal. It won’t happen straight away, but it will happen. The only difference is that people in this lifetime will probably be a little more prepared for when a shitstorm occurs.
– Sali Sasi

It’ll take a long time to rebuild. After 10 years in business we feel like a start-up again. Some aspects of that are thrilling and liberating, and some are exhausting.
– Jeanine Bribosia

This will never be over. The world is changed forever. All industries go through change. Even though some lose their charm, the industry lives on and prospers. This may be one of these moments.
– Shane Delia

We will eventually return to normal. Once the fear dissipates people will revert to type; we are a social people who need interaction and community.
– Kate Reid

I reckon in a couple months, if we all stay on this successful path, things will revert to pre-coronavirus days. People have short memories and it’s easy to feel immune from disaster.
– Sarah Norris

The knock-on effect of this will last for years to come. People will be more picky and discerning with where they spend their money.
– Liam Atkinson

I don’t think there will be long-term drastic changes. What we offer at our venues is fun and entertainment. People still need to celebrate and socialise. While there may be some restrictions temporarily for capacity or occupancy, those will pass.
– Mike Eggert

Many restaurants and bars won’t have the same ambience they once had.
– Khanh Nguyen

It’s going to feel distant. It’s not going to feel the same.
– Sondra Deering, co-owner, Golden Boy, Adelaide

Legal social distancing means more spacing between tables, less bums on seats, less income, less staff, less rent. If Covid-19 is here to stay, every stakeholder within that restaurant will have to lower their expectations. It may totally make the restaurant as we know it extinct.
– Mike McEnearney

I worry about the way guests might start treating staff if they are anxious about the cleanliness of their surroundings. Terrifyingly, all of my staff with Asian heritage have experienced racist comments since February, when this virus first began to really make headlines in Australia.
– Daisy Miller

This can be a chance for growth and adventure. It’s like the horrific bushfires. Yes, it’s brutal and destructive, but the country and wildlife rebuild.
– Mike Eggert

Those who were creative, those who saw this as an opportunity rather than a crisis, those who took their chances and fought rather than shut, will probably come out better. Whether they sustain that, that’s a different story altogether.
– Junda Khoo

The sense of camaraderie and community that comes from an event like the Covid crisis will see interesting people banding together to support their culture, to create great things and to get each other through it.
– Oscar McMahon

Change the game, don’t let the game change you.
– Martin Benn

When you’re pushed to the edge of the cliff and you’re facing devastation, you start to reassess what’s important to you in life ... We have faced oblivion, as an industry and as individuals, in the last eight weeks. My staff are already back with a new sense of priority … What the crisis has done is caused us to pause and reflect on what was great about our business, and what was probably not so great.
– Chris Lucas

The industry changes constantly and is never the same as it was five years ago, so there’s no reason to think this time will be any different. All we need to make a party is a couple of people and the will to do it. Historically, laws haven’t stood in the way, nor have diseases, and so I’m sure that somewhere, somehow, we’ll all be having a good time again soon.
– Christian McCabe

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” Let’s come out of this better.
– Pat Nourse

Change is good. The world is not the same anymore.
– Vicki Wild