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After more than two months of social restrictions that forced cafes, pubs and restaurants to close its doors to seated patrons, today sees a welcome easing of restrictions with Victorians again able to participate in one of our favourite past-times, dining out.
The team at Southland’s ‘South Side Billy’s’ is over the moon to be open again after the coronavirus challenges saw a dramatic drop in customers through the centre and forcing a rethink to the people-focussed business.
Like many food-based businesses in the area, owner and manager, Zen, made changes to the way he served his customers so he could keep connected with his community.
“It was important for us to keep in touch with our regulars,” he said. “Many of them are retirees and come in daily for a meal, cuppa and chat. We really missed that and guessed they would too.”
Developing a free home-delivery service for Billy’s customers not only ensured the team could stay in touch with its customers, but ensured Zen could continue to keep his employees engaged and in work.
“We are a family here and I wanted to make sure our ‘Billys’ (as he affectionately calls his staff), were also looked after,” he said.
Suzanne and Wayne, regulars at Billy’s and retirees who live in Springvale, were outside the home delivery radius, so Zen and his Billys made sure that every Thursday their favourite meal was ready for collection.
“We love coming to Billy’s, they are like family. Their food is great - so great – and we can’t wait to get home to eat it. So we set up a camping table in the car park and eat it while its hot!” Suzanne said.
For many across our community, our local cafes, restaurants and pubs hold a special place in our lives as somewhere we go for an extended-family like atmosphere with friendly banter among customers and staff.
Today’s easing of restrictions not only enables us to reconnect with that important part of our lives, but also help these important local businesses to start to overcome the challenges of the past few months and ensure they are all round for a long time to come.
Bon appetite! #stayconnected #supportlocal
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