What a year! I think I can speak on behalf of, well, everyone, when I say that Christmas is upon us and I couldn’t be happier to close the chapter that is the year 2020.
It’s the time of year where most businesses are winding down and planning for a little R & R, however the hospitality, Tourism and Arts industries are gearing up to service those needs!
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, these industries were faced with some sobering options. With many businesses, sadly, forced to close indefinitely and others finding ways and adapting their services to keep their doors open. This Christmas is proving to be complicated for these venues with further hotspots, clusters and restrictions wreaking havoc over the festive period.
One sign of the early optimism shown by the NSW Government, along with the easing of restrictions, was the announcement of the Dine & Discover NSW Scheme.
The scheme will see NSW residents will receive $100 worth of vouchers to use for dining and entertainment which in turn will stimulate spending in the economy, support local businesses and encourage the community to get out and about to help these industries bounce back from COVID-19.
In early December, the scheme will invite customers to use their vouchers with participating COVID Safe businesses as part of a trial in The Rocks. This program will then be rolled out across NSW from late January 2021. It is our greatest hope that the Northern Beaches (and Greater Sydney) will be able to take advantage of this scheme by that time.
How does Dine & Discover NSW work?
Every NSW resident aged 18 and over will be eligible for four $25 vouchers worth $100 in total. The vouchers can be used at participating NSW businesses who are registered as COVID safe.
The Dine & Discover NSW vouchers will be divided into two categories:
- two $25 vouchers to be used for eating in at restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and clubs from Monday to Thursday, excluding public holidays.
- two $25 vouchers to be used for entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music, and arts venues, available 7 days a week, excluding public holidays.
How do I apply for the vouchers?
To participate in Dine & Discover NSW, you must have a MyServiceNSW account.
You can download the Service NSW app now and register for a MyServiceNSW account ahead of the vouchers becoming available from late January 2021.
Where can I use my vouchers?
You’ll be able to search for participating businesses where you can use your Dine & Discover NSW via the Service NSW app or on the Service NSW website. Vouchers must be redeemed in person at participating businesses and can only be used once.
The vouchers cannot be used for retail, tobacco, alcohol, gambling and accommodation.
How can my business get involved?
To be eligible for Dine & Discover NSW, your business needs to:
- have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST.
- operate in NSW in one of the eligible industries below
- be registered as COVID-safe and have a COVID Safety Plan in place.
From 23 November 2020, businesses in The Rocks will be invited to register their business to participate in the Dine & Discover NSW Trial. This trial will allow us to test participation and resolve any issues ahead of the full rollout across NSW in late January. The trial will expand to the Sydney CBD and Broken Hill through December.
Express your interest if you would like to participate in the scheme when it is rolled out.
To participate in Dine & Discover NSW you must have a business that operates in one of the following industries:
- cafes and restaurants
- pubs, taverns, bars and clubs
- scenic and sightseeing transport
- museums, galleries and historic sites
- zoos, botanic gardens, wildlife parks and nature reserves
- performing arts operations, theatres and entertainment centres
- amusement, theme and water parks
- recreational activities such as go-karting, indoor climbing, mini-golf, billiards, bowling or ice-rinks
- outdoor adventures
- travel agencies and tours.
Aside from the COVID-19 policies and procedures enforced on these industries and the welcomed support on the horizon, here are a few tips and hints from our hospitality industry consultant to get you through the festive season:
Be prepared. Keep your eye on the latest advice from Health Departments and State Governments. Even if trade is looking a little slower than normal right now, each year people do end up coming out and spending money. Be the operator that is not only prepared for the upturn, but who can capitalise on it.
Be flexible. In this amazing place we call home, not everyone celebrates the same way. Figure out what works best for you, your offering, your staff and your guests then run with it. People usually respond to a genuine and sincere offering, especially at this time of the year.
Improve. Busy doesn’t always mean profitable, as we all know too well. Remember to encourage up-selling. Use your data to make informed decisions based on past holiday periods or talk to the businesses around you if this is your first trading summer.
Care. It can be a difficult time for some, especially when working long/hard hours while friends and family are celebrating. Respect your team’s feelings and support them with a positive work culture. This loops back to the idea of being prepared. If you have adequate staffing levels with solid on-boarding and training procedures, no one should be getting burnt out – and you will be helping more people earn a few more dollars around what can be a stressful time of year for the un (or under) employed.
For information or assistance in areas such as data analysis, on-boarding, training and compliance, please contact Heather for a chat today on 02 4969 4699.
On behalf of the whole team thanks to all of you our wonderful clients for your patience and support throughout 2020. It has been an incredibly different year with so many varying challenges pivoting around the COVID-19 pandemic and I can assure you the team are looking forward to a little break in a couple of weeks.
Our office will be closed for Christmas from 1pm Wednesday, 23rd December 2020 and will reopen on Monday, 11th January 2021.
We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in 2021.