Restaurant chains in Australia are set to close, as Chinese diners shift away from the country’s fast-food sector to other sectors.
The Australian Restaurant Association (ARI) has confirmed it will not meet next month, after its president, Gary McLeod, said he would not be able to make the required payments due to a lack of funding.
He said the group had been unable to secure a third of its $1.6 million budget to support the restaurant sector.
“We’re in the final weeks of the fiscal year, so we’re not getting a lot of funding from the government,” Mr McLeod told the ABC.
“[We] have to make a lot more to be able be viable,” he said.
Mr McLeod said the Australian restaurant industry was in the “very worst of times” and had to focus on the food and hospitality industry.
But Mr McLean said he believed there was still a “very good” chance that Australian restaurant chains would survive.
I think the Australian business community is very aware of the challenges and I think they have been able to take some positives from the downturn,” he told the National Business Review.
In January, the ARI issued a statement saying it was seeking $2.5 million from the Federal Government to cover the cost of payments for restaurant operators in the restaurant industry, but it was unable to raise the money.
ARI chairman Gary McLean speaks to the media after his group was unable pay the minimum payment of $2,500 to restaurants in the Australian Restaurant Industry.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Mr Turnbull’s spokeswoman said he was not aware of any business that would be closed.
Senator Sam Dastyari, who chairs the Senate committee overseeing the Australian Business Council, said there were some businesses in the industry that would not survive.”
It would be a disaster for the industry if all of the restaurants in Australia shut down, and it would be very damaging for the economy,” he explained.
It would mean the end of the world as a restaurant, he said, but he hoped that would only happen in the long term.”
I do not think we should just shut the doors and walk away,” he added.
What are the other reasons restaurants are closing?
In February, the Australian Chamber of Commerce said it had been inundated with calls and emails from people in Australia, overseas and around the world who were planning to close their restaurants due to the downturn.
At the time, it said the industry was already seeing “severe economic and business closures” from the end to the beginning of the year.
Since then, it has said more than 60 restaurants have closed in Australia.
As part of the economic downturn, restaurants have been forced to close due to low occupancy rates and the increased cost of food.
And, as more restaurants close, the costs for operating the restaurants have also gone up.
According to the ARIs latest figures, more than 5,500 restaurants in NSW closed in the first six months of this year.
That included almost half a million in Victoria, which had a higher number of restaurants than the national average of 3,000, according to the NSW Restaurant Association.
That prompted the Victorian Government to close all of its restaurants, while Queensland announced it would shut down the entire sector.
The ABC has spoken to more than 10 businesses in Sydney that have closed since the beginning, and a further 11 restaurants are expected to close across the state in the next 12 months.
However, many of those businesses have found that closing the doors is not the best way to make money, because it is difficult to re-open in the business.
ABC Restaurant Week spoke to three restaurateurs who said they had found it difficult to reopen and attract new business.
Chris and Angela, who both run restaurant chains in Sydney and Queensland, said they did not know what was coming next for the sector, and could not see themselves reopening in the future.
Angela said she was working with the company to see if they could reopen in the meantime, but that was a “long shot”.
Chris said he had been trying to find a new business to reopen in Melbourne, but had been unsuccessful.
Chris told ABC Radio Melbourne that he believed many of the businesses that were closing were just doing it for a bit of money.”
There’s a lot in the market that needs to be addressed in the short term, but I don’t think this is the way forward,” he warned.
Topics:business-economics-and-finance,food-and‑beverage,industry,government-and/or-politics,business-administration,nsw,sydney-2000,qld,australiaFirst posted March 11, 2019 06:00:08Contact Melissa LeongMore stories