Spero
Spero

'30 per cent gone': Dire prediction for hospitality

TONY Kelly, the man behind hugely popular Mooloolaba eateries Rice Boi and Spero, said the increase to 20 patrons per area for eateries would make a big difference to his business, calling the restriction to just 10 diners an "abomination".

However he believed restaurants would be better off if they could simply adhere to a one person per 4sq m rule, with no caps on patrons.

"That's what they should have introduced from the get-go to at least give us some chance of trading out of this mess," he said, speaking after the Premier's announcement on Sunday of the easing of restrictions ahead of schedule.

 

Restaurateur Tony Kelly will finally be able to re-open his newly launched Spero restaurant at Mooloolaba wharf this Saturday. Picture: Lachie Millard
Restaurateur Tony Kelly will finally be able to re-open his newly launched Spero restaurant at Mooloolaba wharf this Saturday. Picture: Lachie Millard

 

"For us, it was just getting ourselves to a point where we could at least break even and it wasn't costing us money to open."

Rice Boi is currently trading to 20 patrons, while Spero will re-open this Saturday. Rice Boi will then be able to trade with up to 60 patrons at a time across their three designated spaces.

However, Mr Kelly believed many restaurants wouldn't be so lucky.

"I think we'll see 30 per cent of the industry gone," he said.

"I think the industry has to be more heavily regulated because there's so many restaurants out there that this will certainly cull the weak ones - they won't reopen."

 

Originally published as '30 per cent of the industry gone'