Restaurant owners become delivery drivers

Shae McDonald

Restaurant owners across Brisbane are morphing into makeshift delivery drivers in a bid to keep their businesses afloat.

Hospitality venues across the city have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, with trade dropping by as much at 90 per cent.

Howard Smith Wharves fine-dining restaurant Arc Dining closed its doors on Thursday, less than a year after opening, as did Corella at Woolloongabba.

Others are trying to survive by introducing a range of new strategies, including takeaway, cashless payments and increasing distances between tables.

Little Valley in the inner city is launching its takeaway and delivery service on Friday night.

Even director David Flynn will be dropping food off to customers.

Mr Flynn said they were doing everything they could to keep the doors open and staff employed.

"It's like sticking a bandaid over a bullet wound," he told AAP.

"But we're having a crack."

Mr Flynn said the hospitality sector needed more assistance from government.

"This is not a trading slowdown, this is basically a trading halt," he said.

Spaghetti House and CJ's Pasta owner Claire Parviz has lost 90 per cent of her business since Monday.

The downturn forced her to let go of 80 per cent of staff across the two venues.

Family members and permanent staff are now helping her to keep the businesses open, but she said the future of both remained uncertain because there are no future orders.

Ms Parviz spent Friday delivering food to regular customers, friends, former staff, people in isolation and wholesale customers.

Spaghetti House is also one of several hospitality businesses across Brisbane that utilises services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

However Mr Flynn said he and his staff would do the delivery runs themselves.

"They've never been on our side," he said of the companies who take a cut of each order.

City Winery co-owner Adam Penberthy said the team had been overwhelmed by the support they'd received.

"We've sold more takeaway wine this week than we have the entire time we've been in business," he said.

Mr Penberthy said while the winery remained open, other options like home delivery had been introduced.

"Everything is on the table for us," he said.

An Uber Eats spokesman said it was continuing to consult with restaurants about ways it could provide support.