It’s a rough time for the hospitality industry. Bars, restaurants and cafes are being forced to alter their business models – sometimes several times in one week – to adapt to new social distancing regulations. The recent federal government bans on dining has left restaurants no other choice but to switch to takeaway for the first time. And while it might keep the lights on for a little while, many predict it won’t generate enough revenue for the businesses to keep afloat.
A bunch of Aussie food writers – including Sydney-based Broadsheet contributor and Saving Plates founder Tristan Lutze, along with Sofia Levin and Dani Valent from Melbourne – have teamed up to create #thegreataussietakeaway in a step they hope will help food venues across the nation.
This Saturday March 28, they’re encouraging all Australians to join together (while staying totally apart) to have a big Saturday night in, order takeaway from an eatery of their choice and post about it using the hashtag.
According to Lutze, it doesn’t matter what restaurant revellers order from. It could be one of Melbourne fine-diner Attica’s $60 lasagnes, a cocktail in a can and deli goods from Sydney’s Continental, or a meal from your favourite Chinese joint. “The important thing is to spread the word that you can support local hospitality businesses while maintaining all the social distancing requirements,” says Lutze.
Once you’ve got your meal, post a photo of it with the hashtag #thegreataussietakeaway, and encourage others to get on board.
Need further encouragement to order in? This Saturday is the 14th annual Earth Hour, a Sydney-born global initiative that usually encourages people worldwide to switch off their power between 8.30pm and 9.30pm.
This year’s Earth Hour is a little different, though. In response to the coronavirus, it’s gone digital and it’ll be live-streaming some of Australia’s most iconic landmarks, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park in Melbourne and Sydney, The Wheel of Brisbane and The Bell Tower in Perth, with performances from musicians and comedians. It’s the perfect time to switch off the lights, ignite some candles and bunker down with a restaurant-quality meal from your local. At the same time, you can raise awareness of the environmental issues that aren’t going away, even with a global pandemic going on.