RESTRICTIONS FAST TRACKED: Golden Orange Motel Hotel employees. Picture: Sam Turner
RESTRICTIONS FAST TRACKED: Golden Orange Motel Hotel employees. Picture: Sam Turner

Burnett pubs to welcome punters with open arms

NORTH Burnett pubs are ready to welcome back their punters after the State Government fast-tracked their ease in restrictions.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on May 31 that stage two of easing restrictions would be brought up to June 1.

Now pubs across the region are assessing their options, and gearing up to open to 20 dine-in customers at a time.

Golden Orange Hotel Motel's Denise McGilvery said the Gayndah pub is currently waiting to hear from the hospitality industry's peak body for its plan.

"We'll be opening the steakhouse on Friday night, but there's a whole lot of things we have to get into place to do this," Mrs McGilvery said.

"There's just so many changes, like you can have a buffet, but you can't have people serving themselves, and so on.

"There's a lot to consider."

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The Golden Orange has been able to operate during the pandemic through takeaway alcohol and food, but Mrs McGilvery believes people are looking forward to coming back.

"They're all dying to come back to meet up for dine-in meals," she said.

"People will just be happy to have a draught beer."

The pub operates as a motel as well, with travelling workers being able to keep business ticking over since March.

"We've been lucky to have different contractors and backpackers stay here from time to mine," Mrs McGilvery said.

"But we have seen a noticeable difference in customers staying, especially with the travel restrictions."

Employees at the Golden Orange were lucky to stay on through jobkeeper payments, and have been helping with maintenance of the pub through painting and other odd jobs.

Mrs McGilvery said they're all keen to have everyone back, but the bureaucratic red tape is a small concern for her.

"The hardest thing is having your own management plan in place, because it's been changing almost everyday," she said.

"You think you've got it sorted, and then you have to change it again, it's crazy."

Stage three of the State Government's road map to recovery is set to begin on July 10.


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