Hey there all you cool cats and kittens,
This virus is something that probably none of us were expecting to face in our lifetimes. We’re only a few months in, and already it’s obvious how changed our little city is. I remember the night that Scott Morrison announced the closures, and the collective feeling of dread throughout the industry. In the week leading up to it and the weeks following, you couldn’t speak to other operators or industry professionals without feeling like both of you were on the verge of tears. What was going to happen to us all?
For many, it was looking down the barrel of bankruptcy, insolvency, and the loss of however many years and however much energy they’d invested in their business. But for us, that wasn’t even an option. One thing that our customers don’t know about us is that we’re still waiting for Nico’s partner visa to be processed, and that one of the conditions of this visa is that neither the sponsor (me) nor the applicant (him) can have claimed bankruptcy or insolvency. So it’s not just our financial position that we were risking, or the energy and sacrifice given to our business. If we failed, we would also risk our right to share a home with each other.
So let’s just say we were highly motivated. While that motivation pulled us through the first hundred-hour weeks, we were then faced with our next challenge, one that’s almost taboo to talk about in Australia. I have a chronic mental health condition called Borderline Personality Disorder. While it’s not uncommon, it can be extremely disruptive, especially during periods of high stress and pressure. So I was expecting the first few highly productive weeks to result in a major burn-out.
What I wasn’t expecting was the boost that we’d get from our customers. So many of our frequent customers became even more frequent customers, and so many new faces also started to appear. That pressure, and that fear of what might happen, was so quickly depleted by our realisation that we weren’t being left on our own – that we had your support as well. When I’m talking about support I’m not just talking about sales, I’m talking also about the words of support, the feedback, the conversations, the wine and the gifts, and the encouragement.
We re-opened for dine-in with an extremely limited capacity of just ten patrons at a time, and again were so touched by everyone that chose us. You chose us for your first night out after lock-down, you chose us for your first reunion dinner with friends and family, you chose us for your first trip back into Brisbane since COVID-19. It’s been touching to realise that despite the complications and disruptions that everyone has been experiencing in their own lives throughout this period, you all still had thoughts to spare for us.
It is entirely because of you all that we’re still here now, and that we’ve managed to maintain all of our staff (the majority of whom are ineligible for JobKeeper and Jobseeker) throughout the crisis. So I think I can say on behalf of myself, Nicolo’, Selene, Ricardo, and Alexei: Thank you!
Restrictions have eased slightly; however, we will still be restricting our seating capacity to just sixteen to ensure that we can enable adequate social distancing in our restaurant. Reservations are suggested, and available only directly through our website. I expect that this restriction may be in place all the way through to the new year. However, now that we seem to have some sense of stability, we’ve decided to re-launch our lunch menu starting from tomorrow. Expect a shortened menu of hand-made only-at-lunch pastas starting from $15 available for both dine-in and take away.
With the COVID-19 outbreaks in Melbourne and Sydney, we’re also re-launching our Social Distancing Pasta Party packs this week thinking of those customers who are in high-risk categories or who have loved ones who are. We’ll be offering two different combinations each week – one vegetarian and one with meat. In addition to this, all of our products are available for pre-order through our online store. While you could otherwise try your luck instore, since COVID we have been selling out very quickly and consistently.
There’s not too much to update, although we felt it was important to send out this newsletter, just to say thanks to everyone out there for helping us pull through to the other side, and to get excited for all the great things the future holds for us.