Asian restaurants are losing money over the coronavirus, with some reporting a 50 percent drop in business.
In response, the industry reassured Queensland diners there is no chance of catching the virus at their local Chinese restaurant.
Asian restaurants face losing their businesses
Restaurant operators at Fortitude Valley and Sunnybank confirm customer numbers are plummeting.
Those who do attend bring face masks and hand sanitisers.
Furthermore, the restaurants face losing their businesses as they struggle to pay wages and lay-off staff.
Customers do not need to have concerns
National Retailers Association CEO Dominique Lamb said customers should not be concerned.
She said there is no danger eating out or shopping at retailers in suburbs with high densities of Asian-Australians.
“There is really no risk of people contracting anything,” she said.
The peak body for 28,000 retail and fast food outlets yesterday released a “Blueprint for Retail Recovery”.
It calls for help from different levels of government, including a 12-month payroll tax “holiday” and an exemption to increases in the national minimum wage.
Staff hours cut down
Nick Chung from the Super Bowl Chinese restaurant in Fortitude Valley said a lack of business during Chinese New Year forced him to cut staff hours:
“I have to presume people get scared to go out because they don’t want to get the coronavirus, but I don’t think this virus should stop you from living your life.
“A lot of restaurants have had to lay off staff and some restaurants have even had to close for periods of time to keep expenses down to get through this hard time.”
Fortune Well Restaurant manager Becky Xie said her once-packed Sunnybank business now hosts just two tables on a Saturday night.
She said they are struggling to pay wages and are at serious risk of losing their business.
“Local people here need to support the local community,” she said.
Another Sunnybank restaurant owner – who did not want to be named – said he had experienced a 50 percent drop in business recently.
“They’ve all been mainly takeaway as well, they don’t want to stay around too long,” he said.
“They even come in with mini hand sanitiser.”
Government needs to do more
Lamb said all levels of government have an obligation to counter coronavirus fears that are causing people to stay home.
The release of March quarter figures will show the full impact of the pandemic to-date, however Lamb confirmed some shopping centres are “the quietest people have ever seen them”.
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