Thursday 23 September 2021 

No matter if you’re in Alert Level 3 or 2 – NZ’s hospitality sector needs you!

“For Kiwis fortunate to be in Level 2, it’s time to mask up and get out to your local and spend some of your hard-earned cash supporting your favourite hospo spot. If you’re in Level 3, then perhaps enjoy a night or two off cooking by having your favourite local takeaway via contactless pick-up, delivery, or drive through. It’s not going to solve all their financial woes resulting from the pandemic, but getting some much needed cashflow will certainly help,” says Bridget MacDonald, Executive Director of the NZ Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC).

“As those outside of Auckland get used to Level 2 with venue capacity expanding to 100 people, hospitality operators and their friendly teams will be beaming under their masks at the opportunity to welcome more Kiwis through their doors. They have been struggling, and they need you now,” Bridget says.

“Livelihoods of businesses in communities all over New Zealand are being affected by Alert Level restrictions – they are run by hardworking everyday Kiwis, from mums and dads to lifelong friends – and this will be one lockdown too many for some hospitality businesses unless Kiwis heed this call to action. Without targeted support, the cafés, restaurants, bars and clubs at the heart of every local community are struggling to survive. 

“And, the impact of lockdown and restrictions on hospitality businesses has a flow-on effect on other local businesses, from fruit and vege suppliers to fishers, farmers and florists,” says Bridget. 

“Pivoting to contactless pick-up or delivery for Auckland in Level 3, or the rest of the country operating under Level 2 with restricted conditions and limited customer numbers with our largest city unable to travel, is simply not a viable option for many businesses. 

“It’s crippling business owners as they still have significant outgoings – people are exhausting their savings and mortgaging their houses to pay their rent, staff, ACC levies, insurance, utilities, licensing fees and suppliers. It might look like a glamorous industry, but it’s an industry with tight margins, built on pride, passion and hard graft,” says Bridget.

Bridget also says that it is unlikely there will be a bounce-back like we saw last year – customers have been cautious and not coming into city centres, there is limited tourism and business travel throughout the country, and in an environment of uncertainty, consumers are being careful with their spending – these are challenging times.

“We’re asking Kiwis in Level 2 to help bring the buzz back to hospo by popping on their mask and supporting their local café, favourite gastro-pub or that special occasion cocktail bar. Another way of supporting the industry is buying vouchers for gifts. Every time Kiwis support a local business, they are keeping people in jobs, helping to pay bills, ensuring businesses have every chance to survive and assisting the community to thrive once again,” says Bridget.

Hot tips to make your local hospo smile and your visit worthwhile

  • Plan ahead. Increased capacity is great news. But calling ahead or making an online reservation makes for a seamless experience – it means they can plan for your arrival and saves waiting for a table to come free. 
  • Scan in on arrival. Just in case we need to track and trace! If you don’t have a phone with a COVID-19 tracer app, your venue will provide a register for you to record your contact details.
  • Wear your mask to the venue and take it off when you are seated. It’s that easy! Your friendly staff will still wear their mask during service, but they will be delighted to see your smile once you remove yours.
  • Stay seated. You’ll be advised of the system and receive table service from friendly staff. 
  • Embrace technology. If your venue has a menu or ordering app, then marvel at what today’s technology can do for efficiency! 
  • Sanitise your hands. Venues are taking all the precautions to keep surfaces spic and span – you can join in by sanitising your hands on arrival and before eating. They’ll only be too happy to provide sanitiser.
  • Enjoy yourself! Life is pretty challenging right now for everyone, so if you are out and about supporting a local business, then kick back and relax, knowing you’ll be well looked after, and a whole lot of people will be grateful for your support.
  • Buy a voucher. Share the love. Consider buying restaurant vouchers for gifts and support your local at the same time – your recipient and your local business will love you for it.


Need help?

Call the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, free txt 8681, or visit

Need more information? Here are some handy tips for better drinking decisions

  • Check out and for more information on what a standard drink is and how to make better drinking decisions.
  •  A good rule of thumb is ‘Go no, low or slow’. It’s okay to choose no- or low-alcohol drinks. If you choose to drink, pace yourself and enjoy your drink slowly.
  •  Drink plenty of water, especially in between drinks stay hydrated, and eat if you are drinking.
  •  Support others to stay safe and social. Check in with family and friends to help them stay connected.
  • Ministry of Health/HPA Guidelines: Low-risk alcohol drinking advice to reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:

         – Two standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week,

         – Three standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week,

AND have at least two alcohol-free days every week.