The Goat pushes through with takeaways, deliveries
"IT'S the worst thing I have had to do".
That was the sentiment of Patty Sharvin as he was forced to close the corner bar of The Goat, putting the jobs of many of his employees in limbo.
The Goat co-owner's action follow Prime Minister Scott Morrison's direction to close all licensed areas of hotels and pubs in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.
While Mr Sharvin respects Mr Morrison's restriction decision, it has meant many of his casual staff are without work.
Telling the staff this was one of the hardest things he has had to do.
"We have got over 30 people that work here, it's a big loss in our jobs," Mr Sharvin said.
He and his team are working out ways so they don't have to let go of staff, but have had to part ways with their cleaning contractors.
However, with limited crowds and only takeaway meals on offer, the venue's casual workers' hours will drop "dramatically".
"We have postponed employment," Mr Sharvin said.
"It's very, very tough, it's the worst thing I have had to do.
"It's the worst feeling, there are a lot of people around Australia, around Queensland, around Rocky, that are going to have to have those tough conversations which I wouldn't want to wish upon anyone.
"As with every other hospitality and entertainment business, we rely on crowds, we rely on as many people coming in to spend."
Restaurants and cafes have been restricted to takeaway or delivery and The Goat Cafe will be offering this.
Mr Sharvin said the hospitality and events sector was going to be one of the worst affected.
"It's going to affect us tenfold," he said.
Following the restrictions last week of no more than 100 people allowed in an indoor space, The Goat didn't open upstairs on Friday and Saturday night.
"We value the health of our city and community before money," Mr Sharvin said.
"That was a decision we made and we stuck by it and I am glad we did."
The past weekend closure resulted in a 60 to 70 per cent drop in trade.
Leading into the weekend as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, there was a 50 per cent trade drop.
"That really hurt but we kept going and kept the staff employed for as long as we could," Mr Sharvin said.
Hearing the news of the entire closure for pubs and hotels on Sunday night, he wasn't surprised.
"It's kind of like that feeling when you know it is coming, you know it is happening, and when they say it, it is still a kick in the guts," he said.
Accepting the situation and how serious the pandemic is, Mr Sharvin isn't bitter about it.
"It needs to be done, I am not angry at the restrictions," he said.
"I would rather get rid of it and get us back on track as quickly as possible."
He encouraged everyone to support small businesses.
"There is going to be a lot of small businesses affected, life as we know it is going to change," he said.
"Before you think of the big guys, think of the small guys.
"A takeaway coffee can make a difference, a gift voucher for a later date, if you're feeling hungry, go to the smaller guys, support everyone, support the locals."