Grand slam

Matteo PignatelliMajor events like the Grand Prix and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival show off how enterprising our industry is.

The new year is now upon us and off to a flying start. We had a very busy end of year here in Melbourne, and 2016 has been great so far with the tennis bringing the usual big spenders to town.

I know this has not been the case around the nation, however it does demonstrate the worth of major events and what they do for our industry. In a month or so we will see the next wave of events with the Grand Prix and the Melbourne Food and Wine festival also stimulating demand.

A recent report into major events released by Tourism Australia found that food and wine events were the highest yielding of all, followed by major national/international sporting events. Thanks has to go to previous Victorian governments for supporting the bids for events that has meant our industry is sustainable.

R&CA recently completed a survey into trading over the Grand Final period—particularly on the new public holiday on the day prior, Grand Final Eve. The additional public holiday saw drastically reduced takings and much higher costs. The majority of businesses saw reduced profits and I am sure they will not open next year. This is a great example of politics prevailing over common sense. Nonetheless, there is a really positive feeling about 2016 among the businesses I have spoken to this year. Let’s hope this signals the best year yet! Buon appetito!

Matteo Pignatelli

President, Restaurant & Catering

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