There’s no question that working in the restaurant industry has always had its challenges, long before COVID-19 became the number one problem customer.

Those who walk the path of hospitality are faced with daily pressures, whether it’s overcoming low margins, enduring long and stressful shifts and reacting to the unpredictability of consumer dining habits.

It’s an industry that has always needed support, but now more than ever. Over eighty two percent of restaurant workers have lost their jobs in Australia, a staggering statistic that calls for outside action, beyond JobKeeper schemes and government-backed loans.

To alleviate the financial pressures restaurants face and to digitally re-engage a drastically different dining community, restaurant reservation platform Quandoo has come forward with a recovery plan to provide significant financial aid for restaurant owners and help to reconnect the industry with both old and new customers.

Quandoo is devoting its services to getting restaurants back on their feet through waiving all monthly usage fees for new and existing merchants and offering complimentary set up fees until the end of the year. On top of this, no transaction fees will apply until the end of September and will continue to be discounted by 50% for the rest of 2020.

For restaurants like Machiavelli, who are facing three-months of lost revenue and a backlog of deferred payments that will eventually need paying, this will be a complete game-changer. They have had to introduce double seating times, reduce their menu, action extensive cleaning protocols, provide contactless menus and create a shift schedule that supports their employees, meets restrictions and stays within their tight budgets.

“Quandoo’s platform allows us to reach out to diners and bring them out of the suburbs and into the CBD again” says Rosana Riccio, GM, Machiavelli in Sydney. “The waiving of fees gives us access to all the benefits without having to worry about yet another financial burden.”

The launch of the new initiative will also give restaurants access to a large network of diners and partners, including big names such as Qantas, Google, Broadsheet and Zomato. With the tools needed to become digitally visible, Quandoo is giving restaurants the power to thrive in a marketplace increasingly reliant on reservations.

Not only are diners more dependent on reservation services in the digital age than ever before, it is becoming a necessity for restaurants who cannot put their faith in potential walk-ins or unknown diner spend. Planning overhead cost is essential to mitigate the risk of even more financial loss.

“Certainty and guarantee of reservations makes managing the restaurant in this uncertain time much easier,” Muriel Chen, owner of Blue Eye Dragon in Sydney, says. “Every stage of change is affecting our operations, and Quandoo’s recovery plan will help us to relieve the cost of running a restaurant.”

As well as marketing exposure and preparation for every service, Karen Leung, the owner of Perth’s Little China Girl, says signing on to reservation platforms like Quandoo enables her own restaurant to be compliant with government regulations.

“Automatically capturing customer data for tracking and tracing purposes is one less thing we need to think about. Not having to provide customers a physical form on their arrival definitely makes the dining experience a lot more comfortable.”

To survive these exceptional times, restaurants must reinvent their daily operations. With support initiatives like Quandoo’s recovery plan, the industry will be given the room needed to adapt, rebuild and eventually thrive within the new landscape.

To get in touch with the team at Quandoo and for more information, visit b2b.quandoo.com/au