Lower outdoor dining fees for cafes and restaurants in popular suburban Sydney dining destinations will greatly assist the bottom line of operators, according to peak industry body Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA).
From 1 July this year, Randwick City Council will lower its outdoor dining fees by 23-49 per cent for cafes and restaurants located in Maroubra. While those in Moverly, Matraville, Malabar and Randwick will have fees decreased by up to 33 per cent. R&CA CEO John Hart said at a time when business overheads continue to climb, a reduction in rental arrangements is good news for business.
“R&CA’s 2014 Benchmarking Survey revealed a staggering 45 per cent increase in rent paid by cafe and restaurant operators, representing around 9.9 per cent of total overheads. “This coupled with the increasing cost of labour, produce, electricity and gas all reduce an operator’s bottom line. “I am encouraged by the initiative Randwick City Council has taken to make it more cost effective for industry to do business. When local businesses flourish, the general locale benefits. “As we head into the cooler months of the year, we generally see restaurant takings slump—any reduction in overheads will be welcomed by operators,” Hart said.
Hart also said al fresco dining continues to grow in popularity. He added that it is a great way to activate local precincts during the quieter months. “I hope local councils of other popular suburban dining destinations follow suit and realise this is a strategic investment that will see businesses in their LGA flourish,” Hart said.