“This is going to be a disaster for the industry. A lot of them will fail because they won’t be able to afford the hit,” she said.
“A lot of food vendors will do home delivery services or catering to offset that but councils are notoriously difficult to allow street trading and we need that to change.
“You might see some guerrilla food vendors selling roadside if councils don’t allow it.”
The WA Mobile Food Vendors Association assembled an emergency meeting with the Events Industry Association and the Showman’s Association on Monday night to discuss its priorities for the coming weeks and months.
Association executive Tony Marchesani said its members had entered crisis mode and would talk to government and councils this week to see if the industry could be thrown a lifeline.
“We are trying to speak to local governments to see if we can open up small food hubs or relaxed trading conditions within our councils just so we can get out there and make some sort of income,” he said.
“It won’t supplement what we’ve lost but at least it will be something.”
‘Hopefully just a one in 100-year event’
Bricks-and-mortar hospitality venues will also be smashed by ‘social distancing’ rules imposed by the government.
The AMA WA has previously called for pubs and nightclubs to close their doors to stem the spread of the deadly virus, and on Monday WA Health Minister Roger Cook said he and Tourism Minister Paul Papalia would speak with hospitality bosses on Wednesday to go through the new guidelines.
Bree Maddox operates one of the most popular venues in Northbridge, The Court Hotel, and said the venue was “fully prepared” to close its doors if told to.
Despite the saturation of coronavirus warnings, she said the venue was still packed over the weekend, but predicted that could change this week.
“The court is never quiet, we don’t have quiet weekends here but I’m assuming this one will be,” she said.
Ms Maddox said government stimulus packages weren’t going to help the sector.
“The impact of this is going to be too great and unfortunately I think we will see some operators go under, which is a real shame when we are trying to promote vibrancy. Hopefully, this is just a one in 100-year event,” she said.
Ms Maddox said the highly casualised hospitality workforce would be hardest hit and some suppliers to the sector were already cutting staff.
Some restaurants are taking precautions to the extreme in order to keep customers and cash flowing through their business, including spacing tables further apart.
Registered Odyssea City Beach customers received an email on Monday outlining the “necessary precautionary and proactive measures” restaurant staff were taking to ensure patron health and safety.
“In addition to our already rigorous cleaning and disinfecting practices, we have scheduled hourly cleaning and sanitising of surfaces including but not limited to door handles, restroom locks, tabletops, benches and doors,” it read.
“We have increased the spacing between all tables, to allow for acceptable social
On top of the additional measures, the Odyssea team encouraged payments to be made via eftpos instead of cash and would no longer accept reusable coffee cups.
Hamish Hastie is WAtoday’s business reporter.
Lauren is WAtoday’s education reporter.