Local foodies delighted with TruFusion’s triumphant return
RUNNING one of Rockhampton’s most highly rated restaurants, TruFusion Indian Bar and Grill, Amit Rana was living the dream that turned into nightmare a few months ago when the COVID-19 pandemic swept into Australia.
Due to the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus, Mr Rana was forced to close his doors on March 25, commencing a difficult waiting period where he was left uncertain when it would end and if his business would survive.
“It was very tough. There was times when I would drive to the restaurant in middle of night and sit outside in the car just looking at it and fearing losing everything I have worked so hard for,” Mr Rana confessed.
He said the pandemic created “immense financial and emotional pressure” for small businesses like his.
“There are numerous ongoing costs which most people don’t see or relate to, but only a small-business owner would understand,” he said.
“All those running costs kept on coming without any revenue.
“I was fortunate enough for a close friend to voluntarily offer help to which we will always be appreciative for the rest of our lives.”
When asked what sort of government support his business had received so far, he said the business had received no immediate support beyond “some tax relief”.
“There is too much mixed information out there, he said.
“Some of the grants and help were catch-22 situations.
“How will a business pay staff more than what their usual pay was without any revenue for months?”
Mr Rana had applied for JobKeeper payments to keep his staff on the books but couldn’t understand how the government expected a small business like his to pay two to three times the normal pay for staff that were part time and on low income brackets without receiving revenue.
Due to being less than two years in operation, he said his business was not eligible for any bank loans, so they struggled to get by.
Even if they did receive a bank loan, Mr Rana was convinced they would have ended up paying more in interest repayments.
Just over a month after they closed, TruFusion reopened their doors last Wednesday to offer takeaway food. Mr Rana said it felt nice to return to some sort of normality in life.
“Things as always are positive, there is lot of community support,” he said.
“Lots lot of people called and texted us in their personal capacity checking on us when we were closed and were excited to have us back.
“Business is picking up in terms of takeaway though the revenue is still dropped 50-60 per cent.”
Mr Rana laughed talking about one loyal customer who bought 20 meals to freeze, just to be on the safe side.
TruFusion Indian Bar and Grill is located at 137 East St, Rockhampton.
To order, call 4921 2990.