Hospo Resources for COVID-19 – Dani Valent

Resource links – hope it helps

This page is to assist hospo businesses and workers with resources that might be useful as we all try to navigate a COVID-19 worldscape. Inclusion does not necessarily equal endorsement. If you are looking for something that’s not here, please ask. I’m a food writer in Melbourne, Australia and I love restaurants!


February 12, 2021

Five day lockdown for the whole of Victoria from 11.59pm tonight to 11.59pm Wednesday. 5km rule instituted. Takeaway permitted. So sorry everyone.
Premier: “We must assume there are further cases in the community and it is moving at a velocity that has not been seen anywhere in our country.
“Based on public health advice, because this is so infectious we need a circuit breaker. Therefore I’m announcing that from 11.59 tonight all of Victoria will go to stage 4 restrictions until 11.59 Wednesday. This is about making the difficult decisions to prevent a third wave.”
  • Exercise 2 hours a day.
  • 5KM limit instituted
  • Masks worn everywhere
  • No visitors to home
  • No public gatherings
  • Schools to close
  • Childcare stays open
  • Hospitality takeaway only

Table of restrictions

COVIDsafe summer

Restaurant & Catering and the AHA are both advising that 1.5m is not compulsory anymore.
These are the Directions (laws) from December 6 which don’t mention 1.5m diner spacing for restaurants. Density is the only thing mentioned; see page 19.
This is the more general ‘Stay Safe’ directions, and it puts the onus on any person to “take reasonable steps to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other persons”. The onus is not on the business.

That’s reflected on this consumer-facing page.

  • Restaurants, cafes, pubs, bars and nightclubs can open for outdoor and indoor service of food or drink. Limits apply to the number of customers based on the size of the venue. This limit on customers for service is in place to ensure everyone can keep 1.5 metres distance.  [My reading of this is that the density makes it possible for people to keep 1.5m distance; the onus isn’t on the business to ensure that they do.]
These Hospitality FAQs were updated on December 11 (no mention of 1.5m.)
They still link to the Nov 23 Restart Guidelines which have old info – not very helpful!

This is what Restaurant & Catering Industry Association is advising in Victoria:

– 2sqm rule indoor and outdoor
– Use of digital guest registration for venues on 2sqm rule
– Must have a Covid safe plan
– dance floor cap of 50/4sqm density rule
– All previous requirements are now recommended but not mandatory ie. table spacing, self serve water/cutlery stations, buffets, disposable menus etc
– You just need to ensure you are maintaining Covid safe practices and adhere strictly to your Covid safe plan.

Towards COVID-normal

VIC from Nov 9:
– hospitality: 40 people inside (10 people in each of 4 spaces; 4m2 density), 70 outside (2m2 density), patrons on adjacent tables must be 1.5m apart.
Guidelines below updated Nov 9:









PDF of roadmap Sept-Nov 2020

Third step – REGIONAL

Outdoor dining stuff

Planning Amendment October 21, 2020

Outdoor Eating & Entertainment Business Grants

VLGCR COVID info for licensees

City of Melbourne fast-tracked outdoor permits

Permitted worker stuff

Permitted Worker Scheme rules & form

COVID workplace attendance register (DOCX 52.77 KB)

COVID Safety

Mandatory COVID-Safe Plan guidelines & docs

DHHS: Preparing for a case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace

Mental Health Resources


Third round of Business Support Fund

CBD Business Support Fund

Updated JobKeeper Factsheet with new turnover & eligibility rules

Other government financial support info

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation and Worker Support Payments

Fed Gov portal for business assistance


My summary of JobKeeper

– this is a $1500/fortnight flat payment per employee made through the ATO to eligible businesses.
– the scheme runs for 6 months (now extended to end of March 2021)
– awards still apply. However, new FairWork rules allow employers to change hours/duties of employees.
– eligible businesses are those who have had a 30% downturn in turnover due to coronavirus.
– the payments will be made from May 1 via the ATO, backdated to March 1.
– monitored via single touch payroll.
– stood down employees are eligible.
– full time, part time and casual workers are eligible to receive the payment.
– casual workers are only eligible if employed for 1 year as at March 1
– people cannot receive both JobSeeker and JobKeeper – employees who have already registered with JobSeeker should ask employer if they’re registering with JobKeeper and this will supersede JobSeeker
-VISAS: must be an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder
– the idea is that workers continue to be employed by businesses so they can get ready to bounce back on the other side. “It’s to keep the engine of the economy running even if it’s running on idle.”
-employers, register your intention to be part of the scheme here.


Current Victorian guidelines for Restaurants
DHHS Hospitality Industry Guidelines
Also see this from Business Vic.

Take me straight to the PDF (this relates to June reopening):

Vic Gov Return to Work Training – at least one person in each business is expected to have completed this

What if there’s an outbreak?

The Department of Health & Human Services will contact trace every case of coronavirus so they will advise necessary steps. Call them on 1800 675 398.

You may be eligible for Worker Support Payment of $1500 from Vic gov.

See page 15-16 of the Hospitality Industry Guidelines for Coronavirus for likely procedures.

Advice from PR Holly Formosa – really valuable protocols for developing a communications plan in the unlikely event there’s an outbreak.

Also see communication templates in this doc from Hong Kong Black Sheep Restaurant Group p13-14.

Queensland Guidelines for Reopening




1 person per 4 sp m – How Does This Work? Via NSW

Restaurant & Catering guidelines for reopening


Restaurant & Catering COVIDsafe training – there’s also this AHA one which is mandatory in WA




SafeWork Australia – lots of info for workplaces, including a hygiene checklist



This SafetyFirst doc is American but I think it’s great

Eldred Consulting – Video Advice on Reopening


Adam Liaw’s Vision of the Future of Restaurants – Very Optimistic!
Ticketed dining, three-hat takeaway, after-dinner subscriptions and no tipping could become normal.

Why restaurants are not f**ked
Nine ways to make it work. Number one: raise prices.

How dining will change – ABC article on Sydney reopening
Almost half of people are concerned about coronavirus-related safety, according to The Fork, and up to 60 per cent saying they would avoid restaurants that were not adhering to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Dave Chang moves Ssam Bar because the building is unfit for social distancing
“The question we’ve been asking ourselves over and over and over again is: What does Momofuku look like in 2035? Except we have to make that evolution now…”

Luke Mangan gets out the crystal ball
It may take some time for diners to regain the confidence to eat out again. Plus he’s campaigning: “we’re talking to the government about abolishing Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT).”

My restaurant was my life for 20 years. Does the world need it anymore?
NY restaurateur Gabrielle Hamilton (Prune) on the future.

Why are restaurants so f**ked?
The economics of restaurants – US perspective but relevant.

We cannot reopen America
Again, American perspective, but relevant. ‘Reopening’ doesn’t mean ‘rebounding’.

21 Ways Restaurants Will Change Forever
Interesting perspective from American restaurateurs.

Deep in the Weeds
Podcast from Australian food journo Anthony ‘Huck’ Huckstep. Highly recommended, just avoid episode 12 like the plague :)

Hospitality Veteran
Ponderings from longtime owner Julian Gerner.

To Survive Coronavirus, Restaurants Can Never Go Back to ‘Normal’
Very sobering view from London. “Any restaurant that wants to have a chance of surviving through coronavirus will have to completely reconsider what being a restaurant means.”

In China, a glimpse of the future of restaurants
Post-corona in Beijing: quarantines, temperature checks, and social distancing remain the norm at restaurants.

Lessons from Adversity
I speak to three business owners who have dealt with major challenges in the past (earthquake, fire, flood) to see what strategies served them well and if there are lessons to be applied to the COVID-19 crisis.

Perspective from the Philippines
More space between tables, limiting person-to-person contact, more sinks, bigger presence of rubbing alcohols, digital menus.

The future – what should it look like? Share your thoughts on where to after this.


FairWork rights & responsibilities as applied to coronavirus



This outline includes clear video from the Small Business Ombudsman

Vic Gov Stuff

Worker Support Payment of $1500 if required to isolate.

Vic Gov $10K grant applications 25.4.20

Vic Gov business assistance summary 25.4.20

Vic Gov commercial tenancies relief scheme

Process for commercial tenancy negotiations.
The Victorian rules arising from the Federal mandatory code of conduct relating to commercial leases.
Observations about the new rules from commercial barrister Sam Hopper 2.5.20.

Financial agency SBO has collated a lot of the support package info

SBO.Financial has prepared this document to track of all the grants, tax breaks and assistance packages available to Australian Small Business. The objective is to centralise all of the concessions available to ensure every small businesses can easily access this information and apply accordingly.

Press release March 21 Vic gov business survival package

Register for assistance as a Victorian business

How To Amend Vic Liquor Licenses for Takeaway (also see next item)





Tips & Hacks For Liquor License Applications

Already paid your license? Email: [email protected], ask for a reimbursement, include licence and permit number in your email.
If you have not paid, email them with subject line ‘Liquor Licence Renewal Waiver’

On a desktop? Right click on image to expand.


Access $10K super: factsheet

Locals, international students who have been here longer than 12 months, skilled visa holders and temporary resident visa holders (including working holiday, according to new factsheet) are now able to access $10,000 of their super this financial year ie. before June 30, and another $10 next financial year ie. from July 1.

Here is the info.
Here is the factsheet.
How to apply
Start applying here (once you have a MyGov account – see How to apply above)

This money is available tax-free.

Accessing super is a last resort but if you need it, sign up here. (You will need to set up a MyGov account if you don’t already.)

Legal Advice

Liberty Sanger has provided this advice for employers wondering about legal obligations re delivery, standing down vs paying accrued leave and other matters. Maurice Blackburn generally acts for workers but if you saw my Instagram Live interview with Liberty, you would have gleaned that she loves the industry and believes we’re all in this together. She advises that employers and employees alike lobby for emergency and basic income payments for hospo workers.

Other bits

Letter to Landlord Template – Rent Reduction

Registry of Professional Assistance – Free Consultations etc

Assistance for Employees

Lost your job? Apply for Vic gov assistance




Lost your job? CentreLink has waived waiting periods

Guardian rundown on how to apply for benefits

Access $10K super: factsheet

  • You’re able to access $10K super this and next financial year from mid-April
  • it’s tax freeTo be eligible you need to satisfy one or more of the following:
  • you are unemployed
  • you are eligible for Centrelink payments 
  • you were made redundant
  • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more
  • if you are a sole trader – your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more
  • Students who have been here longer than 12 months, skilled visa holders and graduates can access super. The information is taken a statement by Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge.

Hospo Voice is demanding that the Federal Government provides a living wage for every worker affected by this crisis

I know that Hospo Voice is a controversial organisation, not well-loved by many employers. I get it. But they are advocating for something which we all probably want right now, which is money in the pockets of laid-off hospo workers. They are also tallying lost hours and income at I Lost My Hospo Shift.

Overseas Workers Resources


Hospitality hub Worksmith has created an amazing resource of info and links for employers and employees

Lockdown, Closure, Federal $ package – Sunday 22nd March

Where to donate surplus produce

FareShare is accepting food donations from restaurants seeking to offload produce. PLEASE CALL FIRST 03 9428 0044. The kitchen is at 1-7 South Audley Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067.


Unfortunately we have no remaining capacity to collect.

We would love to receive products that are

  • unopened
  • within use-by date
  • no more than 6 months past best  before date

We cannot accept:

  • any product past  ‘Use By’ date
  • any products that have not been cooked/manufactured or packaged on a registered premises
  • shelf-stable product more than 6 months past ‘Best Before’ date
  • refrigerated food past ‘Best Before’ date
  • product where the packaging seal has been broken
  • product where the cold chain has not been maintained
  • product subject to a safety recall
  • unlabelled product provided without ingredient details
  • meat that has not been slaughtered in an accredited abattoir or processing plant
  • canned/preserved food where the aseptic liner has been pierced/broken

They are an amazing organisation (I’m an ambassador, slightly biased, but it’s true). A volunteer workforce turns donated food into nourishing meals for the needy. And yeah, there will more needy.

Restaurant & Catering Industry Association Coronavirus Hub

1 person per 4 sp m – How Does This Work? Via Restaurant Catering

FairWork rights & responsibilities as applied to coronavirus

Takeaway Partners

Did you know that Uber, Deliveroo and Menulog now allow you to set a different price on their apps from your menu price. This effectively means you can cut commission yourself by raising prices.

Handy resource with tips on how to make delivery work for your business from SilverChef.

DoorDash has halved commission



Menulog will redeploy restaurant workers as delivery drivers

Upload any products here

TableTime – no commission, no fees, charge 2.95% to customer

Mr Yum – doing 4.5% and pickup + delivery, integrated with Drive Yello.

HungryHungry – integrates with OrderMate, reduced fees to help you out right now

Booking widget Obee has rejigged its systems so people can order and pay for food online

Shopify has a COVID-19 support pack and is offering free trials

Our Boys & Girls event staff has swiftly pivoted to a delivery service – call Susie to discuss 0403 780 000

Promote Your Takeaway

Tell Sofia Levin – she’s running the list for GoodFood. Email sofia at wordsalad.com.au

Broadsheet is running a live list. Email directory at broadsheet.com.au

Tell these guys and they will repost

Covid Takeaway Crew will give you a shout out

Community Support

I started a Hospo Owners Vic & Beyond Facebook Group

Worksmith started a Hospitality COVID-19 Support Group


My change.org petition asking Uber & Deliveroo to reduce commission






Extend relief to temporary visa holders



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