Friday, 10 October 2008

Friday roundup

Business seems to be getting quieter in many quarters as the worldwide financial crisis seems to be scaring people about spending. Word has it, for instance, that well known popular Melbourne restaurant Vue de Monde which is always totally booked out has experienced a downturn in customers over the past few weeks, resulting in it being way easier to get a booking there now. Many other similar businesses are also suffering as people are conscious of the need to squirrel away any cash ‘just in case’.

One prominent local hospitality identity told me yesterday that he felt that restaurants whose menu boasted wanky, puffy menu items but didn’t follow through with the goods would suffer while others promising not-so-trendy food but delivering on substance would go better.

Interestingly though, despite all the dire business predictions occurring currently which would put off many an investor, I have heard recently of some more plans for a large hospitality business in the city. I wish them the best of luck, especially with getting the excellent staff they will need to make this business a confirmed success, but if it were my money, I’d be having lots of sleepless nights.

I spoke yesterday to a friend whose superannuation had gone down from $500,000 to $200,000! That’s one gigantic loss! So – from an employers perspective, it’s probably looking pretty good if you want to look at employing retired people whose money has eroded.

Random items: Generally it seems everything has gone pretty quiet on the local hospitality scene. Places are getting geared up for their (hopefully) busy summer season. All concerned with Taste of Tas participation are firming up plans for food and staff. Emily (ex Express CafĂ© and Eaglehawk Inn chef) had a career change and has gone into childcare, with her husband and sister heading up the kitchens at the Cascade pub. Matthew Evans still looking for property to buy. Lee Christmas planning an interesting direction soon. Nat at Monty’s win of the Hobart City Council Customer Service award a giant coup and acknowledgement of excellent service standards.

Finally – my hugest congratulations and love go to my second daughter (and of course her devoted husband Nick) who yesterday at the Royal gave birth to twins (a boy and a girl, Louisa and Jack) very prematurely. I haven’t yet clapped eyes on these two new little people, humidicribbed and bubble-wrapped for safety, but assume they are gorgeous. Well done Pod!
Posted on by Rita


Christina said...

Congratulations Rita! Hope all is well with mother and children.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Grandma and also to the new parents.


Rita said...

Thanks Christina and J. It'll be hard going for them with this being their first. I'd hate to think how I'd survive having twins for my first child(ren).It's hard enough coping with one baby as a new mum, let alone 2!
Anyway, if anyone can do this, she can. She's the most organised person I know, and was well suited to her former career of teacher, which she only just finished a few weeks ago.
Rita will be cooking up lots of vegetarian meals and soups, and freezing them to help out in the food prep area.
Thanks also to Paul F who left a congratulatory message for me on my mobile.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Rita
Hope all is well. Hope your still coming saturday night.

Rita said...

Thanks Lee. Yes, still coming Sat night, but won't linger as long as I thought I would.

Another Outspoken Female said...

Congrats to the proud grandparents and parents :)

Interestingly I think everyone has the same amount of money in their pockets at the moment as they did a few months ago, potentially more with a slight drop for mortgage payers but it is all about our fear of less that is motivating this change in spending habits.

The best antidote for me is reading Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" - insightful and spot on as to the pickle we are in at the moment.

hrv said...

Congrats Rita and new Mum and Dad - twice the fun! Hope all is well despite this doom and gloom. May see you Saturday.

Tassiegal said...

Congrats Rita! You forgot to mention Nat's great write up in the Australian the other weekend...

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news Rita. My mother had twins, challenging, certainly, but double the joy.


Anonymous said...

Hasn't really gone that quiet Rita. Grape opened it's new extension last week - looks fabulous. The place next door to Grape is currently being re-vamped into (you guessed it), another wine bar. Rockwall bar and Grill isn't far from opening and Plum (ex Mr Wooby's) opened last night. What about Olive? Have you tried it - opened only a couple of weeks ago (ex Whisk Bellerive, also looks fabulous. And I haven't really thought about it much, but these are just a few that sping to mind. A couple of other ownership changes in the pipe line but I'll let you do the research into those. Almost forgot, Das Zimmer can't be far away from opening either. Can you disclose the city hospitality business you referred to? Let's wish all these people well, as they are really gutsy for putting their money and names on the line. If they come up with the goods then they deserve to be supported.

Rita said...

Thanks Anon 12.18 for the update. I have noted the places you mentioned with interest, but not heard anything about them as yet, apart from a few things people have told me in confidence, which I respect, so stick to my mum's old adage of 'it's better to say nothing at all'. So, in answer to your question about whether I can disclose the city business I referred to, I'm sorry, but much as I'd love to talk about it here, must respect the fact that all I've been told about its progress is confidential so will be saying nothing about it till it's closer to completion.
And no, haven't yet been to Olive but will soon.
I agree that I think all who have started up or taken over a hospitality business of late are very gutsy and I for one wish them well and hope they don't all 'do their dough'. Having said that, I also must confess to having pulled in the proverbial (spending) horns as well lately, and not eating out at all as much as I have previously done.
That could be to do with the fact that my usual dining-out partner (my youngest daughter) is now on a strict diet in an effort to loose weight and get fit, so we spend our out-of-office hours shopping and preparing uber-healthy food!
Geez I hate this regimen, but she's done well since she started so must be encouraged.
Light in the tunnel though - her birthday is fast approaching and 2 meals out are planned - Yum Cha at Me Wah next Sunday, and a meal at Marque IV in a few weeks. I'm so looking forward to these meals, believe me!

Anonymous said...

More places opening up ??? - one has to wonder if we have enough food establishment already. Hobart was once known for its large number of pubs - one on each corner (folk law has it ) maybe it's the turn of the eateries.
The money crunch is already having an affect on dinning in Melb and Syd.

Something must give - out with the old in with the new.

Oh ... and rents just seem to continue their upward spiral.