Simon Pope, left, and his team stuck it out for school holidays and Labour weekend but he says they did a tenth of the business they would typically do on the long weekend. Photo Tessa O’Shea

Last week’s announcement, which saw the Government boost payments to businesses affected by Covid-19 lockdowns, was met with sighs of relief from operators struggling to stay afloat. 

But for many, keeping their doors open to customers seeking takeaways just isn’t proving economical.

Simon Pope of award-winning fish ‘n’ chip restaurant The Local temporarily shut up shop this week. He says Waiheke’s takeaway scene is saturated and it’s not viable for his eatery to stay open under current restrictions.

“With just 9000 or so people on Waiheke and more than 50 restaurants, food carts, vineyards and cafes, there just aren’t enough people living here and regularly buying takeaways to keep all of us going. 

“It’s totally uneconomical to operate at the moment. The locals try their best, but they can’t take up the slack – the whole place is over shopped.”

Pope says although he and his staff worked hard to provide takeaways, the uncertainty of not knowing exactly how much to order paired with rising costs was difficult to manage, and closing his doors will save the team thousands. 

“There’s the uncertainty of how much fresh fish we should buy from Auckland, the cost of our raw oil has gone up, Sealink put their prices up for freight, everything is getting hellishly expensive.” •Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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