INVERLOCH’S Esplanade Hotel bar manager Brittany Pearce spoke enthusiastically about the resumption of meal service at the venue from Saturday January 15.

“We are managing and we’re trying to get people back in the doors as soon as we possibly can,” she said of the staffing challenges COVID had created and the need to switch to ‘drinks only’ service recently.

Many of the business’ young staff live together in a share house situation, with that type of arrangement also applying to some of the chefs.

“So once they’re close contacts, it’s a bit of a ripple effect,” Brittany said.

She spoke of the importance of being able to resume meal service, particularly during school holidays, with Inverloch a tourist destination.

“It would be devastating to come down here on holidays and find out that there’s nowhere to dine,” Brittany said.

“We’d love to be serving our community right now and have them in here.”

The lack of available chefs recently has made takeaway meal service impractical.

Brittany can’t wait to see the bistro back in full swing, with the current density limit of one person per two square metres enabling it to seat 80 people at a time.

The business has maintained communication with staff throughout the pandemic, ensuring they are kept in the loop.

With the hospitality industry one of the first hit each time COVID challenges arise, some fulltime staff have moved on for greater career security.

However, many of the casuals who couldn’t be given work earlier in the pandemic have returned to the Esplanade Hotel.