'Desperate situation' - NZ restaurants look to takeaway options as coronavirus impacts business

Restaurants and cafes around New Zealand are battling to keep doors open with tourist numbers dwindling and many Kiwis opting to dine at home because of coronavirus.

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That's according to the Restaurant Association, which is calling on Kiwis to dine out or take out to support the country’s hospitality industry during the outbreak.

“We are hearing from an ever increasing number of businesses that they are in a desperate situation as a result of the outbreak,” says Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois.

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“With dwindling numbers of tourists in the country and local diners staying home for fear of contracting the virus many restaurants and cafes are battling to keep their doors open.”

PM Jacinda Ardern yesterday announced a ban on all foreign nationals entering the country, further halting the flow of tourists travelling around the country - a group which the many in the industry rely on for business.

Health Minister David Clark this morning said that the border is unlikely to be reopened for several months.

"We know that diners have their favourite places but many of these may face closure if diners continue to stay away," the Restaurant Association says. 

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Tough restrictions on those entering New Zealand will impact the tourism industry. Source: 1 NEWS

“Restaurateurs are an innovative and collaborative bunch and as you might expect many of them have adapted their offering to cater to changing needs. This includes takeout options, home delivery, gift vouchers for use at a later date and adapting restaurant environments to cater for personal distancing.”

The Restaurant Association has joined forces with local tourism RTO’s around the country to urge Kiwis to continue to dine out or order takeout.

It is giving away $200 of dining vouchers every week for six weeks to Kiwi diners to help keep businesses going. More information can be found on the Dine Out Take Out website.

In total, it's expected the Covid-19 outbreak will cost New Zealand's tourism industry more than $10 billion this year.