Support your local: host a #LocalNightIn
What are you doing next weekend? Instead of resorting to yet another night of cheese, wine and Netflix, why not do your bit to support your favourite local pub, restaurant or café?
A new initiative by Support Local and Taylors Wines has been launched to help the hospitality industry get back on its feet. The #LocalNightIn campaign aims to inspire more people to dine in and support local establishments as they work to get back on their feet.
A new national listing database has been created to showcase Australian venues that are providing delivery and takeaway options during this time. Hundreds of venues across the country – including dining icons such as Catalina, Pilu at Freshwater, Lucio’s Italian Restaurant, Luke’s Kitchen, Estelle and Matilda 159 Domain – have already thrown their support behind the campaign, with more being added each day.
To celebrate these local venues, a #LocalNightIn Festival is set to take place over the weekend of May 29-31. The event encourages Australians to support their favourite local by purchasing a meal, dining in at home or with friends (with respect to social distancing measures, naturally) and sharing an image on social media using the #LocalNightIn hashtag to spread the word that Australia’s local restaurants are still open for business.
Across most of Australia, restrictions have eased to allow seating for up to 10 people, in line with phase one of the government’s COVIDSafe framework, which presents new challenges for how restaurateurs can sustain their businesses.
“The easing of restrictions is a positive but very small initial step forward,” says Judy McMahon, owner of Sydney’s Catalina. “It’s been an interesting experience for guests at Catalina, to say the least, with only 10 people in the restaurant at a time.”
McMahon says that the support from the local community, who have been using the restaurant’s takeaway and delivery options, has been crucial, providing the team with some comfort that they’ll be able to keep their doors open until things return to normal.
“We need to help these venues find a way through these tough times that respects social distancing,” says Taylors Wines Managing Director Mitchell Taylor. “Many restaurants will find it a challenge to operate at part capacity, and with no firm date on when things will return to normal, takeaway and delivery options will be vital in maintaining cash flow.”
The restrictions on these venues, many of them being small businesses, impact a great number of people – from the owners and their employees through to the farmers, distillers and winemakers who supply produce to the venues.
“Our family were originally hoteliers in the 1950s, and it’s difficult to see these venues and suppliers doing it tough through these difficult times,” Taylor says.
“This is why we wanted to do what we could to help. Restrictions are easing slowly across the country, and at varying stages, so whether you’re enjoying your first night out in a while or are only able to enjoy a restaurant quality meal at home, we want to inspire everyone across Australia to host their own #LocalNightIn event to support the industry.”
The national database will remain live after the #LocalNightIn Festival, with the hope that people will continue to use the platform to find and support their favourite local venues.
“And gradually, as restrictions ease across the country, let’s all look forward to celebrating a local night out again soon,” Taylor says. Amen to that!
The #LocalNightIn website is available now for people to explore the wide array of hotels, restaurants, clubs and cafes open for business. Venues are still encouraged to sign up to the site should they wish to take part in the campaign.
For more information, visit localnightin.com.au