11th of May 2020

Published by UniSA News See original article

Local eateries face uncertain times during pandemic but also unique opportunities

With interruptions to our way of life and changes to the way we socialise, many businesses are scrambling to figure out what this new world means for their own future, according to a UniSA marketing expert.

Senior Marketing Scientist at UniSA’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, Dr Bill Page, says this is particularly true for local eateries, as Adelaide restaurants plead with the public to order takeaway or purchase gift vouchers to keep the industry alive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restrictions caused by the pandemic have shut down a majority of South Australia’s hospitality industry, however cafés and restaurants were thrown a lifeline and given the opportunity for continued service of food through a takeaway or delivery business model.

Dr Page says that although some venues have been forced to close, other businesses have been able to “change tack” and adjust to the dynamic situation caused by coronavirus.

“Businesses big and small are scrambling to understand how they can operate under these restricted conditions and work out where the opportunities lie,” Dr Page says.

“For instance, local cafes are starting to offer wholesale produce, fast-food chain McDonald’s is selling eggs, milk and hamburger buns, and delivery services are increasing.

“While all businesses face an uncertain future, some are finding innovative ways to survive or even thrive during these unprecedented times.”

However, not all businesses have been so lucky.

Chinese restaurants had already been feeling the impact of poor trade since late January, however other local eateries began to share that burden in March, reporting a downturn in trade of up to 50 per cent.

In a special feature last month, Broadsheet surveyed 360 restaurant, cafe and bar owners around Australia about the coronavirus and the impact it’s having on their businesses.

When the survey was conducted in late March, almost 90 per cent of respondents said their business has been affected in some way by COVID-19.

One respondent expected a revenue loss of 40 to 80 per cent, while businesses that have a heavy reliance on functions and large group bookings said they’ve been impacted the most, with some businesses reporting up to 100 cancellations a day.

Read the full article on UniSA News.

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