Caloundra Drift Bar’s Stephanie Kundle is one of many bar staff on the Sunshine Coast battling with the new restrictions. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Caloundra Drift Bar’s Stephanie Kundle is one of many bar staff on the Sunshine Coast battling with the new restrictions. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Tab runners, staffing make pub rules ‘extremely difficult’

INCREASED staffing for fewer patrons and people leaving without paying have left many Sunshine Coast pub owners feeling bitter about new operating rules.

From last weekend, pubs and clubs could reopen with 20 people per area and table service only.

Taps Mooloolaba and Blackflag Brewing owner Steve Barber said the venues were at capacity all weekend.

While he said it was great to see people out enjoying a beer, some patrons had ruined the reopening excitement by leaving without paying.

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"We did have a few tab runners," he said.

"It's a shame, especially when we're in this position where we're trying to do the best we can."

Drift Bar Caloundra owners Matt and Monique Savage said the new restrictions were extremely difficult on the business.

"We have increased staffing numbers to enforce all government requirements including asking for people's details on arrival and directing them to the specific areas they can sit," she said.

"We're hopeful these restrictions will ease in the very near future because financially, it's extremely difficult."

The pub has re-employed staff who were not eligible on JobKeeper and Monique said reopening also meant they could resume supporting local food suppliers and brewers.

Have you been to a Sunshine Coast pub since COVID-19 restrictions eased?

This poll ended on 11 July 2020.

Current Results

Yes, first chance I got.

20%

No, I'll wait until I can do it properly.

52%

Not yet.

28%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Police increased patrols of pubs and clubs last weekend, to ensure the new rules were being followed.

Sunshine Coast Crime Group Detective Inspector David Drinnen said one Ocean St establishment had required police attention for failing to comply with table-service rules.

"Police spoke to them and used it as an education opportunity so they all understood the new rules," he said.

Mr Barber said this weekend, Mooloolaba bars would communicate via radios to ensure walk-in patrons had a venue to go to, if any of the bars were full.

"We're working with Beach Bar and Grill, Dirty Moes, Good Bar and The Dock to see where can take walk-ins if we're full," he said.



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