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EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, Australia
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More closures expected if JobKeeper does not get extended: R&CA CEO

The subsidy programme is expected to dial back at the end of September.

More closures are expected between October this year and March 2021 if the government’s JobKeeper programme does not extend, according to Wes Lambert, chief executive officer at Restaurant & Catering Industry Association (R&CA).

“Without JobKeeper, most restaurants in all sectors are trading at a loss,” he said during the QSR Media Sandhurst Fine Foods Conference & Awards last June. “An additional 10 to 20% will close permanently between 1 October and 30 March if Jobkeeper doesn’t continue until at least 31 December or 30 March.”

R&CA is lobbying for the extension of the JobKeeper programme. At the moment, the Australian government still plans to dial back its JobKeeper wage subsidy at the end of next month, but Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said it will respond to developments as they arise.

Lambert noted that restaurants will continue to be affected into 2021 if the lack of international tourists and the closing of state borders will persist. International tourists make up 30% of the spend in accommodation and foodservice, he said.

He also urged businesses to find ways to operate despite pressing challenges, including quick pivoting to takeaway and delivery. According to his presentation, they now expect delivery to be 20 to 25% of the industry.

(Registrants: Watch Lambert’s full Q&A at the QSR Media Sandhurst Fine Foods Conference & Awards by going to qsr.webcastcloud.com.)

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