We've all been dreaming about the day we get to walk into our favourite restaurant, kiss our friends hello, squeeze past tables to join diners at the long, communal bar in the back, and order every dessert on the menu – no? The last one's just us? Either way, that day, when it comes, might not look as familiar as we're imagining.
According to a proposal obtained by Sky News, the Restaurant and Caterers Association (RCA), a peak body which represents 45,000 restaurants, cafés and caterers in the country, has put forward a proposal to the Australian government, which outlines a series of measures that restaurants and cafés could take in order to enforce physical distancing, in order to allow the hospitality industry to re-introduce dine-in service and get back on its feet. The National Cabinet will consider the proposal, which pushes for restaurants to be open by June, though the federal government has given no indication either way that this could be the case.
The distancing measures outlined in the proposal include disposable cutlery, no condiments on tables, laminated or disposable menus, and a requirement that every customer who dines at the restaurant 'sign-in' upon entering and leave contact details to assist with contact tracing should an infection be linked back to the establishment. As the CEO of the RCA stated, these measures could be taken in order to allow restaurants to function at around 60 per cent capacity. When we do begin to dine out in the future, this might be the kind of dining scene we'll be walking into.
Restaurants and cafés' doors have been shuttered for dine-in services since late March, when the federal government announced a nation-wide shutdown. Despite this harsh blow for the industry, many Australian establishments have responded with gusto, pivoting to offer takeaway and delivery, hampers, and even cooking classes.
For now, here are Sydney's best bars offering takeaway and home delivery.