As our friends in Melbourne settle in for their time in stage four restrictions, our hospitality and tourism sectors are crying out for help. Even in cities where restrictions have loosened, these key industries are hurting.
We've rounded up some of our favourite Sydney joints offering takeaway - but in many parts of Victoria, not even takeaway food is possible right now. If you're looking for ways you can lend your support, there are a few key ways you can help. Whether it's tipping some extra cash or calling your local MP, here's what you can do.
Buy gift vouchers
Do you have a friend's birthday coming up? Your parent's anniversary? Father's Day? Whatever the occasion, why not buy a voucher for their favourite (or your favourite) restaurant? I once got one for my birthday and it was honestly one of the best and most useful gifts I'd ever received - and I got to discover a new restaurant I'd never tried.
I should add, you don't need an occasion to buy a voucher - you can just buy one or a few to show your favourite venues a little bit of love during this hard time. It means that they'll have some cash flow, even if they're closed.
Look to initiatives like Wine Aid and FairFeed
There are so many great initiatives out there looking to help our troubled sectors. FairFeed looks to give jobs and affordable meals to those that need them. Hope Delivery is donating meals to people in need. Hospitality Heroes is encouraging people to buy vouchers with free wine. Wine Aid is connecting wine makers to customers through local restaurants. Order from these groups, buy from them, donate to them.
This is not an exhaustive list - you can see other great initiatives here.
Book and plan your next trip now
We can't go overseas but we can certainly travel domestically. At this stage it's probably safest to book within your own state. We're lucky that we each have an abundance of amazing local holiday spots, so there's plenty to choose from. Book something in now for Christmas or even for 2021. Best to choose something with a flexible cancellation policy for now.
Getting some bookings for the coming months can make a big difference to our tourism industry.
While tipping is sometimes only considered a requirement in countries like the USA where the minimum wage is extremely low, COVID-19 has certainly made me rethink how I tip. With many restaurants only allowed half the number of patrons or operating as takeaway only, the many waitstaff are working reduced hours. So, while the minimum wage in Australia is high, it's not liveable on significantly reduced hours.
If you're not in Victoria and are allowed to eat out or get takeaway, consider leaving a tip or increasing the tip that you would leave. An extra $20 might not mean much to you, but it could mean a lot to someone doing it tough.
Share, like, comment, follow
There is a tendency to feel like activism on social media is hollow. If it comes from the right place, it certainly isn't. Social media is an invaluable tool for raising awareness. Personally, most of the social issues I hear about and can then support myself come from Instagram and Facebook.
Follow your favourite restaurants, follow your favourite hotels. Leave retrospective reviews on TripAdvisor or Google. Tell your friends. Like posts or add them to your Instagram Story. It's a small act, but it can make a real difference to building and supporting the future of a business.
View this post on Instagram
Call or write to your local MP
Making sure that your elected politician knows how the community feels is an important part of activism. The hospitality, tourism and creative industries are built on casual workers, freelancers and temporary visa holders. All these groups are ineligible for JobKeeper and many businesses can therefore not afford to keep these workers.
Talk to or write to your MP on this issue and hopefully we can get the eligibility changed.
Restauranteur Rinaldo Di Stasio has written an open letter to the government asking for change on Broadsheet. You can get behind his call out to our politicians by emailing, or commenting and hashtagging on social - instructions can be found at the link.
Support your favourite restaurant or hotel with your dollars and advertise for them at the same time. Investing in merch can help a struggling business.
If you're looking for more ways to help, we found Melbourne Food & Wine Festival's list to be a great resource. We also found this guide to JobKeeper and staff retention answered a lot of a questions we had.