Restaurant remains closed until Level 1

Fleurs Place will remain closed until the South Island moves into Level 1, owner Fleur Sullivan...
Fleurs Place will remain closed until the South Island moves into Level 1, owner Fleur Sullivan has decided. PHOTO: ODT FILES
"You don’t have to open, you only open if you can abide by the law."

That was why Moeraki restaurant Fleurs Place was remaining closed under Level 2, owner Fleur Sullivan said.

Between the restaurant’s small space and the type of service it provided, following the Level 2 guidelines was not logistically feasible, Ms Sullivan said.

In the past, the restaurant opened during Level 2, but Ms Sullivan said it was challenging to operate without breaking the rules.

Rather than compromise the quality of its service or break any restriction guidelines, Ms Sullivan consulted her staff and made the decision to remain closed.

"I would be so frustrated and so would the staff," Ms Sullivan said.

"We are doing this because we know it won’t be a good experience."

An "experience" was exactly what attracted people to the "destination" restaurant.

Many of the restaurant’s customers came from outside the Waitaki district and some travelled from as far as Auckland — something not permitted under Level 2.

Due to its location, the restaurant could not rely on foot traffic or a lunchtime rush, she said.

Not that she was complaining.

She, like other business owners, had previously run her restaurant through hard times, such as natural disasters.

"We are all in the same boat."

A few days before the snap lockdown, Ms Sullivan and her team were busy preparing food for the 350 people attending the Metro Restaurant of the Year awards in Auckland — which was cancelled as a result of Level 4.

Having had "the rug pulled out" from under her after three months of planning, she and her team did not let the food go to waste and had a fancy meal of their own.

Until Level 1, Ms Sullivan and her staff would be busy preparing the restaurant.

"We could open at the drop of the hat."


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