With most cars off the road and parking a breeze, the restaurants and cafes of Chapel Street that make up Australia’s largest retail and entertainment precinct have banded together and turned the famous strip in to the ‘World’s Largest Drive-Thru’, encouraging locals to order directly and drive up to the front door to pick up their order so more money flows through to Australian hospitality workers.
To kick-start the initiative, Chapel Street Precinct will launch an educational campaign that showcases locals embracing drive-thru life, including what many believe could be a new trend – in-car dining!
Even New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has come out in support of local eateries and encouraging the support of local businesses. Ms Ardern said: “look at whether or not they offer delivery directly themselves.”
General Manager of Chapel Street Precinct Association, Chrissie Maus said, “This week we will introduce the next phase of our coronavirus Lemonade Out Of Lemons campaign, CHAP-DRIVE-THRU. We are hoping all Melburnians call and collect, which will be the experiences featured in this tongue in cheek video series.
“By ordering directly – more money will flow through to the restaurants and local employees, rather than being gobbled up by foreign owned delivery apps like UberEats and Deliveroo. The campaign highlights how our businesses are getting savvy with their takeaway offerings while also showing the creative ways to collect your food! I’m quite excited by the idea of Melburnians embracing In Car Dining.”
“This is date night living in the age of coronavirus. Put on your hottest outfit, pick up a delicious meal from one of Chapel Street’s famous eateries and drive to a romantic spot. Be sure to tag @chapelprecinct and #ChapDriveThru so others can be inspired by your innovative support of our local businesses.”
Restaurants taking on the delivering giants
CSPA Chairperson Justin O’Donnell said, “We welcome Prime Minister Ardern’s commitment to #supportlocal. Her recognition of how tough restaurants are doing is vital – every skerrick of income is important if the small businesses of New Zealand and Australia are to survive this crisis.
“We are now urging our own Prime Minister to throw his considerable clout behind the campaign. We’ve seen how powerful one offhand comment from Scott Morrison saw a massive surge in jigsaw puzzle sales – imagine if he did the same for our struggling restaurants by suggesting everyone pick up the phone and order directly! It would increase profits by 35% for some restaurants!”
“The truth behind most well-known delivery apps is they gouge as much as 35% from each restaurant’s order, often higher than the restaurant’s profit margin. The small businesses of Chapel Street Precinct, like all small businesses around Australia, are owned by hard-working people who pay their fair share in tax and employ Australian workers. As a comparison, in 2018 Uber barely paid 1% company tax in Australia; only $8.5 million of its whopping $785 million-dollar income was handed over to the government.”
“Our local businesses will be so appreciative of your support and will ensure you can do this whilst staying safe and maintaining social distancing. In most cases, you can park out the front and the restaurant will be happy to bring your order to your car or better yet if you live close by why not go for a short walk and collect, that way you get some fresh air and fresh hot food as well, win-win,” said Mr O’Donnell.
Chapel Street Precinct has created this list of places that are open for takeaway so you can keep your dusty tinned spaghetti in the cupboard for a little longer. For a rolling list of Chapel Street Precinct businesses that are offering takeaway during the coronavirus crisis: chapelstreet.com.au/chap-drive-thru.