Reaching the summit

The successful Restaurant Industry Summit has clarified the challenges our industry faces

The Restaurant Industry Summit held last month alongside the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival was a great success. We all owe Jim Berardo and Greg O’Brien a debt of gratitude for engaging the industry en-mass in the days before the festival.

It was inevitable that the Restaurant Industry Summit would hear of the difficult trading conditions. Despite reasonably positive spend data, the cost base for our business has clearly expanded to a point where many are not viable. From the extreme burden of the growth of labour costs, particularly non-wage labour costs, to the explosion of temporary food venues, the hot buttons of our business were all being pushed over the two days of deliberations.

The Summit also afforded an opportunity to put the outcomes to two of our Federal politicians, ex-Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Mal Brough, and conveyor of the Parliamentary Friends of Tourism, Dan Tehan. These sessions tested the industry view with the harsh realities of the political environment—always sobering.

All in all, the Summit demonstrated Restaurant & Catering is on the right track. The advocacy of changes to Sunday and public holiday rates is what industry is demanding. The question, as yet unanswered, is how to achieve that.

Buon Appetito!

Matteo Pignatelli

President, Restaurant & Catering

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