Another Tough Weekend For Hospitality

The hospitality sector will have lost tens of millions of dollars this past weekend while closed under Level 4 in Auckland and operating low capacity under Level 2.5 around the rest of the country, according to Hospitality NZ.

The statements come as the country braces for a Level change announcement.

September card-transactions on hospitality were over a billion dollars in 2019 (and just under in 2020), with up to half occurring on weekends of eating, socialising and entertainment such as theatre and live music.

Hospitality NZ President Nick Keene expressed that lost revenue this weekend could “nail the coffin shut for some businesses” after weeks of zero income, and with poor prospects of a bounce-back in socialising.

“Worse, there’s no sign of a bounce back. This lockdown has shaken everyone. No one is going anywhere, and no longer even planning to. Events and bookings are being cancelled right through to Christmas.”

Keene said it was vital that the South Island went back to Level 1, that the Wage Subsidy was without conditions at Level 2, and that the resurgence payment was available weekly for hospitality businesses.

“Without these changes, the outlook is bleak. Each hospitality business will add thousands more dollars to their loss by the end of the weekend. They will do their calculations on the accumulating debt, project how much more they can afford to lose, then wait to make a decision after the Monday announcement on Levels,” he concluded.

“These are desperate and dispiriting days for those working in or dependent on the hospitality industry.”