Midland restaurant owner reveals food service industry limits in COVID-19 difficult but necessary

The owner of an Italian restaurant in Midland claims being a food service business owner during the COVID-19 crisis has been difficult, but has revealed that closing and limiting businesses during the pandemic has been for the best.

Il Capo owner Matthew Giardina said the McGowan Government had “done the right thing” by WA, despite the coronavirus causing businesses to close under Federal and State Government regulations.

In late March, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a shutdown of businesses and services, including libraries, beauty salons, amusement parks, indoor and outdoor play centres and swimming pools.

Cafes and restaurants were allowed to remain open, but for takeaway orders only, while shopping centre food courts were closed.

Speaking to WAMN News, Mr Giardina said providing a limited service had been difficult for his business.

“Out of 10, about a nine,” Mr Giardina said, when asked about the scale of the difficulty the coronavirus had produced for Il Capo.

“We do everything here, we do it fresh.”

“Cooking in-store is a lot easier, because you can have the time to get food out, takeaways does put a bit more pressure on.”

Mr Giardina also revealed that there was a financial pressure as well.

“Uber is helping as well but obviously Uber does take a lot of money at 35% of each sale. It’s a lot,” he said.

“But yeah, look, it did help us get through.”

However, he said the WA’s McGowan Government had done what was required to keep the state safe.

“They’ve done the right thing, especially Mark McGowan, he’s done extremely well with closing the borders,” Mr Giardina said.

“Otherwise, if we had gotten more infection over here, we wouldn’t be open.”

He recognised that the difficulties would continue for the foreseeable future, but business would gradually return to normal for him.

He stated that “hopefully, it does get better.”

“We can get more and more people, obviously keeping in with the COVID-19 restrictions, I mean we still have to have 1.5 distancing and social distancing,” Mr Giardina said.

He confirmed his employees were slowly coming back to work, only “just started bringing them back now.”

He said the Federal Government’s Jobkeeper payments had helped but he was not able to keep all the staff because “we just didn’t know what’s going to happen.”

Mr Giardina said he continued to receive a lot of support from the local community from both regulars and new customers, which were helping keep Il Capo open both during limited takeaway service and since reopening to dine-in patrons.

He hoped that in business would return to normal soon.

“For the future? That I’m able to have a full restaurant again. Everyone needs to come before and enjoy the food like they always have,” he said.

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