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Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best ways to support local hospitality businesses this summer

Your custom is more valued than ever as Sydney's food scene recovers from its most challenging year

Written by
Maxim Boon
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Life in Australia is inching back to normality far sooner than much of the rest of the world, with shops, restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars now able to operate with only a few safety and hygiene measures in place. 

However, the impact that shutdowns had on hospitality businesses earlier in the year is still taking its toll. As we enter the summer holiday season, there’s never been a better time to support your local hospos by making a few simple choices.

Dine out more

‘Tis the season to indulge a little more than usual, so treat yourself to a great meal or drink out as much as you can afford, be it brunch with friends, a cheeky arvo hair-of-the-dog pint, a delicious dinner with a special someone, or cocktails with the squad.

Consider tipping

Australia’s food scene doesn’t have a tipping culture like that of America, largely because our hospitality workforce is paid fairer wages. But that doesn’t mean an acknowledgment of great service with a few extra dollars won’t be gratefully received. The ballpark amount for a tip is usually 10 to 20 per cent of the total bill cost, but even a few spare coins make a nice gesture.

Wherever possible, order direct

While third-party delivery apps are convenient, they also take dollars out of the pockets of vendors. Wherever possible, order your take out directly from the restaurant. This might mean you need to pick it up yourself, but this is also an incentive to explore your local food scene and find hidden gems in your own backyard. 

Make larger bookings

Got a special occasion you want to celebrate in style? Or maybe you just want a good ol’ knee up to say ‘smell ya later’ to 2020? Either way, gathering your nearest and dearest for a night out at a restaurant or bar is a great way to support the local economy. In New South Wales, eateries, bars and pubs are now able to take seated bookings of up to 30 people.

Try somewhere new

Sure, we all have our favourite places for a feed, but variety is the spice of life my friend, so be brave and try out restaurants that aren’t already on your radar. Sydney has one of the most eclectic food scenes in the country with cuisines from all over the world represented across the city. Let your curiosity and your empty belly be your guide.

Wondering where to eat next? Check out our ranked list of the 53 best restaurants in Sydney you can eat at right now.

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