Insights from the R&CA: How Australia's Restaurant Industry is Coping with the Pandemic

We had the great opportunity to interview Anthea, Membership Manager representing the states of Victoria and Tasmania from the Restaurant & Catering Association Australia. She shared plenty of insights with regards to being a part of an organisation that's helping the restaurant industry to tide over this crisis.

Anthea came to this role when one of her past employers, who has operated a high profile restaurant in Melbourne over the last 2 decades was heavily involved in the association, was previously Chairman and was familiar with the role the R&CA plays in looking after the interests of restaurant, café and catering operators.

  • How long have you been with the R&CA and in the hospitality/restaurant industry?

I have worked for the R&CA for about 2 and a half years. In the past, I have worked in all aspects of the hospitality industry over the last 20 years. I completed a Bachelor of Business in Catering and Hotel Management and then worked in 5-star hotels for a number of years in the Accommodation Management area rather than food and beverage.

I left that career after a number of years to pursue my dream of eventually owning my own café. I subsequently worked in cafes, catering companies, gourmet food stores, and restaurants to learn about the industry in general and get some good hands-on experience. I finally went on to open 2 cafes from scratch over a period of 10 years. I felt my years in the industry in running a food business provided me with great skills and insight into the challenges of operating a hospitality venue and has given me the right tools and skillset to assist members of the R&CA.

  • How has COVID changed the way restaurants in Australia operate?

Venues have had to work very hard to pivot their business models in order to survive, earn some sort of revenue, and keep their staff and customers engaged.

  • How are the restaurants in Australia coping currently?