COVID-19: Hospitality businesses crying out for help as data reveals 30 percent drop in year on year revenues

Businesses in the hospitality industry are crying out for help, as data reveals a 30 percent drop in year on year revenues.

They say Omicron is scaring customers away and the Government's COVID-19 modelling is only making it worse.

"The foot traffic is extremely low. We just don't know when people are going to come back," Cafe Hanoi manager Krishna Botica told Newshub. 

Botica owns four restaurants and has been forced to close two. She says the two still open are struggling to get to 50 percent capacity.

In her 35 year career, she's never seen it so dire.

"All of the support from the Government has been tapped out - we've all used it. We all have to start paying it back in May. We're looking at four closures, bankruptcies. We're going to be annihilated at this rate."

Botica is also the president of the Auckland Restaurant Association.

"These businesses can't survive. I have not spoken to one restaurateur in the CBD in Auckland that thinks they have a chance of surviving if this continues for months on end.

"We are all vaxxed. We have masks on, we are physically distanced, but people still aren't coming.

"It's heartbreaking... if the Government thought this was going to happen, they should have put us out of our misery 20 months ago."

According to the New Zealand Restaurant Association, 88 percent of businesses have seen a drop in customers and 74 percent have noticed customers are more hesitant to dine out.

"On average many of them are facing 30 percent drops in revenue and that doesn't include previous years of losses," chief executive Marisa Bidois told Newshub. 

“Whilst the red light setting is still a green light for diners, sadly the Government modelling and current messaging is having an adverse effect on patronage."

Gale Hunter has owned Papa's Italian Eatery in Sandringham for 17 years.

"We've been through a recession before, but nothing compared to what we're going through now," Hunter told Newshub.

She says her debt is now more than $130,000 and without more support, she'll be forced to close the doors.

"It will be a shame to lose something as iconic and much-loved as this place - and so much we've put into it - so much heart and energy."

Their plea to the public - dine out, to help out.

"We are relying on the team of five million to get behind the restaurant industry in order to keep it going," Botica says. 

"Don't be scared, don't stay away. Head on out, check out your local business," Bidois says.  

The message to support local has never been louder. 

Watch the full story above. 

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