The Restaurant Association is urging Kiwis to support independent businesses during COVID-19 alert level 3 after the lockdown forced many to close.
At 11:59pm on Monday New Zealand moved to level 3 which means cafes and restaurants can open for delivery and takeaway, as long as they can follow strict hygiene practices.
However, the new level isn't the magic bullet restaurants needed with the level 4 lockdown already causing restaurants financial distress and forcing some to close including Auckland based 46 & York.
On Tuesday, Restaurant Association Chief Executive Marisa Bidois warned that restaurants will still struggle despite level 3 and asked Kiwis to prioritise independent businesses.
"The opportunity to reopen for takeaway at alert level 3 and then reopening of shop fronts at alert level 2 offers a tiny glimmer of hope for our businesses to live another day," Bidois said.
"But we can only do this with the support of the NZ public who we are confident will want to see their favourite establishments stay afloat.
"We are also urging people to deal directly with their local restaurants and cafes where they can. Third-party delivery apps charge the restaurants commissions on orders and whilst some have adjusted these to lower commission rates others, such as Uber Eats, are still charging a whopping 35 per cent in some cases.
"Our message is clear, deal directly where you can".
Bidois reiterated that using independent restaurants not only helps the businesses but also the thousands of people who are employed by them across New Zealand.
The hospitality industry has been particularly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Bidois said restaurants are innovative and are working hard to stay afloat.
"Our industry has been hurting over the last two months but we're a passionate bunch and those that are reopening are looking forward to serving their local communities again.
"Restaurateurs are an innovative and collaborative lot and as you might expect many of them have adapted their offering to cater to changing needs. This includes take out options, home delivery and gift vouchers for use at a later date."
"Our restaurants and cafes are a much-loved part of our communities. We know that diners have their favourite places so for anyone now sick of their own cooking, this is the perfect opportunity to get out and revisit your local eateries," she said.
What Kiwis can do:
- Contact your local eatery directly in the first instance and find out what they have in place
- Check out the Restaurant Association Dine Find Website to see which establishments are operating in your area
- Buy a dining voucher for use at a later date. See if your local establishment is offering any specials on dining vouchers
- Share your experiences online using the #TakeoutNZ to encourage others to do the same.