Small Central Otago restaurant aiming to beat Covid tracer complacency with scanning discount

A small restaurant in Central Otago is aiming to beat Covid tracer complacency, by offering its customers a scanning discount.

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The operators of Blacks Hotel are hoping to combat complacency among app users. Source: 1 NEWS

Blacks Hotel in Ophir is taking 10 per cent off the price of every bill to anyone who scans into the restaurant from this week.

"If we go into another lockdown, people like us are going to struggle. If we can do anything in our power to help it, we're going to do it," co-owner Alex Stoddart said.

Alex and his family, who have owned the restaurant for the last four years, say Covid complacency has been creeping in amongst visitors.

"You're isolated from the big cities and part of it is you think 'she'll be right.' We'll just go down to the pub and we know everybody. Nobody has Covid," head chef and co-owner Sandy Stoddart said.

The Stoddart family hopes the new initiative will be taken up by other businesses across New Zealand. Even if it means sacrificing some of their profits.

"It's better than losing 100 per cent of your income for over a month. So 10 per cent is nothing really," Alex said.

Scanning numbers around New Zealand have dipped significantly since November, from roughly one million a day, to as low as 300,000.

However, since Sunday's community case in Northland, those numbers have shot back up again, with the Government keen to keep it that way.

"We can certainly encourage people to be scanning and if businesses are out there encouraging people to scan, that's a good thing," Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.

The small Otago pub is now laying the platform and challenging other businesses to follow its lead.