'Cheers to your local': The social media movement hoping to revitalise NZ's hospitality industry

women clinking glasses
It's time to show off your favourite local haunt. Photo credit: Getty.

A new social media campaign is hoping to help get local hospitality businesses back on their feed after the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show spending on food and drinks dropped an enormous 95 percent in April, down $814 million in just one month. 

With cafes, restaurants and bars now able to reopen under alert level 2, Kiwis are being encouraged to get out once more and show off their best-loved local venues. 

'Cheers to your Local' is a social media campaign started by Lion that encourages people to publish posts from their best-loved local venues with the hashtag #CheersToYourLocalNZ

Hospitality New Zealand spokesperson Matt McLaughlin, who also owns central Wellington's Panhead outlet, says the campaign is meant to foster a sense of community.

"New Zealand's hospitality industry is world-class but it is now suffering," he says. "Working together as one community, we have the power to help save our country's great bars and restaurants."

Guy Blaikie, national sales Director at Lion, says they want to see the "bar and restaurant scene recover as quickly as possible". But he says it's also important to support the Government's messaging around socialising responsibly while under alert level 2. 

"We will help to reinforce the importance of the protocols that have been set by the Government [so we] don't hinder the gains Kiwis have made in the fight against COVID-19."