55 workers let go: ‘We can’t all work from home’

AS the coronavirus pandemic forces employees to work remotely, those in hospitality are reminding people "we can't all work from home".

Events, schools and even libraries have closed their doors as the spread of COVID-19 promotes fear across the nation, however many businesses still have their doors open.

There’s has been a big downturn in patrons at Howard Smith Wharves. Picture: Isabelle MaGee
There’s has been a big downturn in patrons at Howard Smith Wharves. Picture: Isabelle MaGee

Howard Smith Wharves restaurants are among those suffering, with some business owners admitting they've been forced to dramatically cut their staff.

Greca Restaurant Manager Nick Ingall said the "pretty hectic" past few weeks have left their customers at 70 per cent less than usual.

While some locals were out and about at Howard Smith Wharves on Saturday, business owners say patronage is down. Picture: Isabelle MaGee
While some locals were out and about at Howard Smith Wharves on Saturday, business owners say patronage is down. Picture: Isabelle MaGee

"We've had to let go of 55 staff members and we only had about 75 to begin with," Mr Ingall said.

"We've had a 70 per cent drop of customers in the last two weeks, too,

"We're just trying to keep as many people in a job as we can".

 

 

Mr Ingall said it's "heartbreaking" to know in times like these, "there's nothing (he) can do" as a total of 50 to 70 per cent of the hospitality industry are estimated to be unemployed.

"We respect and understand people need to isolate but not having the teams here we've spent so long building, it's crazy," he said.

There were a lot of empty seats at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane on Saturday. Picture: Isabelle MaGee
There were a lot of empty seats at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane on Saturday. Picture: Isabelle MaGee

Yoko Restaurant Assistant Manager Cooper Lawton said they're doing the best they can to keep staff in these tough times.

"The business is taking as many precautions as possible to keep our staff," Mr Lawton said.

"We've decided to close on Mondays and Tuesdays... there's only so much we can do in times like these".

Originally published as 55 workers let go: 'We can't all work from home'

 


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