How to Help: #savehospo

Published on 18 March 2020

Photo: Tipo 00's pipe rigate (credit: Danielle Castano)

Updated 9 July 2020

The hospitality industry is, once again, facing unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19. But, as ever, it's doing its best to adapt, whether it be offering produce boxes, designing new takeaway menus, making pasta for pick-up and more. Balancing public health and the future of our city’s small businesses is our focus right now at MFWF – and we encourage you to follow suit. Here’s how to get behind your favourite café, restaurant, coffee roaster, bar or other local business during these extraordinary times.

For the latest news and initiatives, head to our Instagram Stories.

Buy a gift voucher – Many businesses need cashflow right now so they can keep paying their staff and their bills. Gift vouchers are a great way to help with this. Buy one for yourself and have something to look forward to in a few months’ time, buy one for your mum and leave it in her letterbox, whatever you do just make sure you buy. Head to your favourite restaurant’s website or give them a call to find out if they sell vouchers. Hospitality Heroes is a campaign encouraging people to buy vouchers by throwing in wine with every purchase. If your venue wants to take part and join the likes of Attica, Matilda and more, get in touch with Hospitality Heroes.

Support visa holders - The lockdown situation has been devastating for restaurants and hospitality all over Australia. But those hardest hit have to be the thousands of workers in the industry on temporary visas, many of whom aren't eligible for government support even though they've lost their jobs. In response, several organisations and fundraisers have sprung up to offer meals, money or other forms of support. Find out how you can help these organisations help those in need.

Take it away – If you’ve ever wanted to enjoy Stalactites’ moussaka, Etta’s pommes Anna or Bar Lourinhã’s chickpeas with Netflix on in the background, your time has come. Dozens of Melbourne restaurants are adding special takeaway menus to their regular offer, featuring dishes that will travel well. Some are delivering, but mostly it's a pick-up situation, so check each restaurant’s details before you order. See Dani Valent’s #savehospo Instagram highlight or our own Instagram Stories for the latest. Plus, plenty of cafes, bakeries and bars are open for takeaway and ready for your business.

Buy a cookbook - Local specialist Books for Cooks is still open for business. Its bricks and mortar store at Queen Victoria Market has strict social distancing rules in place and, for those of you shopping online, you can now find the store's entire range there. The team are shipping books daily and are offering free postage to select suburbs in Melbourne. Keep yourself busy and stock up on a book (perhaps from a Victorian chef) today.

Order online – Now more than ever is the time to indulge a little. After some beautiful cheese? Order a care pack online from Milk The Cow, Harper & Blohm (they’re also delivering meals) or another favourite cheesemonger. As you bunker down, wine (or beer, or spirits) will be needed. Order from your local independent bottle shop and while you’re at it, buy Victorian. Coffee beans, charcuterie, cocktails and even sandwich care packs from Earl Canteen are also available for delivery. If you’ve got a favourite providore, chances are they need your business right now and will deliver to you.

Get a box of vegetables – Keep local farmers in business by buying a box of fresh produce as close to the source as possible. Victorian Farmers’ Markets are continuing to run, as are our city's other fresh food markets: Queen Victoria, South Melbourne, Prahran, Preston and more. If you need to order online, try a local vegetable box service that uses produce grown in Victoria, such as North Side Fruit and Veg. Many traders at South Melbourne, Prahran and Queen Victoria markets are offering delivery at the moment. Plus, several restaurants around town, including Theodore’s, Marion and more, have shifted focus to selling produce boxes from their suppliers and other local businesses.

Buy some merch – Did you know that between Lune’s socks (or pins!), A1 Bakery's T-shirts and St Ali’s caps, you could almost go head-to-toe in Melbourne restaurant merch? Attica also does tees, while Market Lane has some fine-looking and roomy totes. And that’s just the start. Rep your favourite local businesses and show them their community is there for them.

Pick up some pasta – Is your supermarket out of dried pasta? Some of Melbourne’s finest pasta purveyors, including Tipo 00, Mister Bianco and 400 Gradi, are at your service, selling fresh pasta that's a cut above what you might normally eat at home. Head to your favourite Italian restaurant's website to see what theyre offering.

Hang on to your MFWF ticket – Yes, the postponement of our March program feels like a while ago. Rest assured, we're continuing to work through how and when we can safely stage our events, and will keep ticketholders informed along the way. The best thing you can do is hold on to your ticket, if possible, and show the industry that they’ll have customers ready and waiting for them later in 2020.


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