‘Not financially viable:’ Cattle Camp to continue takeaway only
AFTER call-outs from business owners that regional areas deserve to open ahead of their metropolitan counterparts, the premier has rewarded their hard work.
But owner of Cattle Camp Hotel in Charleville, Ian Tyack said they will not be opening as a seated restaurant this weekend, as it will not be financially viable for them to do so.
Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk made the announcement less than one hour after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced last week that National Cabinet would enact a three-step plan to develop a COVID-safe Australia
The two special conditions for Outback Queensland residents reflects the importance of long-distance travel and of dining venues in the communities.
From next Saturday, pubs and restaurants in rural parts of the state will be open to seat twenty customers at a time. Those residents will also be able to travel up to 500 kilometres.
“There’s no use putting on waiters and waitresses cleaning up for 20 people,” Mr Tyack said.
“The bar isn’t allowed to be open, neither are the pokies and we make very little out of food so it just wouldn’t be cost effective for us.”
From 11.59pm, Friday May 15, the following will be allowed throughout the state:
Gatherings of a maximum of 10 people together in a public space
Dining at restaurants, pubs, clubs, RSLs and cafes for a maximum of ten patrons at one time as part of a gradual reopening (no bars or gaming)
Recreational travel of a radius of up to 150km from your home for day trips
Some beauty therapies and nail salons for up to ten people at one time
Re-opening of libraries, playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms (maximum ten people at a time)
Wedding guests of ten people and funeral attendees of 20
Open homes and auctions with a maximum of ten people at one time
Re-opening public pools and lagoons, with a maximum of ten people at a time.
In addition, for Outback Queensland, whether there have been no COVID cases, two special concessions have been made:
Dining in at pubs and cafes will be up to 20 for locals only, reflecting the important role these venues play in connecting small outback communities; and
Recreational travel of a radius of up to 500mk reflecting the long distances in the Outback.
Mr Tyack said they will continue running their full menu for takeaway options from the window, which has been extremely successful for them, serving over 60 meals on Sunday night for Mother’s Day.
“It’s been huge and really opened up our eyes to continue doing takeaway even after we can resume normal business,” he said.
“It’s just convenient, and everyone’s been great about supporting local.
We have elderly people ordering a meal once a week and I think sometimes people just get a bit sick of their own cooking and want something different.
“Being able to still do takeaway means we’re able to keep our cook on and keep paying him a wage so the day we’re allowed to fully open again, we’re ready to go.”
Mr Tyack said takeaway has been the lifeblood of keeping his business afloat throughout the pandemic as while bottle shop sales have increased, there is very little margin in those sales.
“I do think a lot of hotels have adapted during these times which you have to and it’s opened up a few avenues that you wouldn’t get time to look into, or put into practice when it was normal business because you were too busy.
“In these circumstances you have to find another avenue to generate income and keep people employed, so it’s been good to able to explore some new options.”