The last week has been one of extremes for Adelaide’s hospitality scene. We saw a flurry of activity in some corners as businesses reinvented their whole business models and spaces in a day to work within the latest ‘social distancing’ rules. Others drew do a standstill, unable to keep going with reduced patronage or, like Restaurant Orana, preferring to shut entirely rather than embark on any hurried fits of adaptation.
After Sunday however, those that continued were forced to embark on yet another pivot as the federal government confirmed all licensed clubs and pubs would be forced to shut, and restaurants and cafes only allowed to operate if they moved to delivery only. Dining in, it seems, is out.
For some, offering a takeout option isn’t foreign territory. For others, particularly along the finer end of the spectrum, the idea of eating the kind of fare normally saved for a significant birthday or anniversary while at home binge-watching Nordic noir or US reality TV is a curious new development. “Yes, I’m still watching,” you’ll say, brushing the Africola crumbs off your most comfortable t-shirt while smashing ‘play’ on the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
This latest adaptation is, of course, a difficult and sometimes heartbreaking move; for many businesses, the experience of being in their space is all part of a curated, holistic experience – not to mention an integral part of a delicately balanced business model. For others, finding a sustainable delivery model outside of certain widely-used gig economy apps will also prove a challenge (pro tip: if you do use these apps, maybe use them as a tool to find out what’s open, and then go directly to the restaurant’s website).
But for the time being, these are some of the eateries doing their best to keep going.