The Restaurant Association has revealed that New Zealand restaurants are losing about $6 million a week as customers stay away with coronavirus fears.
"We are fielding a number of calls from business owners in desperate situations, asking for advice as they face temporary closure," Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois said.
Restaurants’ losses came from the sudden drop in tourism as well as Kiwis staying home out of fear.
A survey of association members showed some were dealing with a drop in business of up to 60 per cent, Bidois said.
She said the Government should offer the industry "immediate fiscal relief". "Thousands of jobs are at risk, and many communities can't afford this."
The association was offering hospitality businesses impacted by Covid-19 free emergency membership, which gave them immediate access to a range of legal, payroll and marketing advice, as well as on-the-ground support. Membership normally costs between $24 and $82 a month.