As Canberra emerges from lockdown, the hospitality industry is continuing to struggle with restrictions. When venue numbers are limited, it’s even harder to justify opening if people don’t turn up.
OTIS restauranteur Damien Brabender recently lost 40 per cent of his takings in one night when a table of 10 failed to show without warning or explanation. He’s furious, as are many other venues.
“When you have 10 people out of 25 no-show, you’re literally going backwards. That’s 40 per cent of your guests not showing up, and if you have to add that to your cost of goods and your staffing levels, if the government was to say you can open your restaurant to 15 people, you wouldn’t open,” said Mr Brabender.
He worries that we’re about to see the new variant of panic buying, ‘panic booking’.
Could charging a deposit solve the problem for the hospitality sector?
Glenda Waters wrote: “I believe a deposit is reasonable with a refund if cancellation is made with enough notice to give the restaurant time to give someone off the wait list your table.”
But for Lily Rimanic, “unless they are the most expensive restaurants (with a clientele to whom money is no object), they will see their volume decline with such an impost”.
We asked Should restaurants charge an upfront holding deposit?
A total of 917 people voted, and most of you agreed that this was fair enough for restaurants struggling to get free of the pandemic.
Your options were to vote, No, it’s more trouble than it’s worth. This attracted 33 per cent of the total, or 302 votes. Alternatively, you could vote Yes, cancelling with no good reason is disrespectful and unfair. This received 67 per cent of the total, or 615 votes.
This week, we’re wondering what you think the role of the Australian War Memorial should be?
The venerable institution marked its 80th birthday on Remembrance Day, weathering a storm of controversy over its new extension plans.
Ian Bushnell wrote that the $500 million redevelopment proposal has provoked bitter arguments about whether the Memorial is primarily a place of commemoration and reflection or is expanding into a museum, something beyond its original charter.
The redevelopment was driven by former memorial director and Liberal minister Dr Brendan Nelson who felt that the service of many recent veterans was not recognised sufficiently. Plans for a major new display space detailing the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts required demolishing Anzac Hall, an award-winning building less than 20 years old.
However, there’s been determined opposition from many high profile figures, including former AWM directors, historians, senior military leaders and veterans who say that the hefty price tag would be better spent on veteran welfare.
“Will visitors to the new Memorial come away with an understanding of the tragic waste of war as well as the sacrifices made in our name, or will they be dazzled by the artefacts of war and beguiled by the heroics of our troops?” Ian asked.
Our question this week is: Do you think the new War Memorial extension is a worthwhile idea?
Your options to vote are: