RECORD-BREAKING SEASON: Businesses, tourist numbers booming
IN JUST one day, Jay Hodmain's restaurant Seafront Fish and Chips smashed a six-month-old daily profit set during the whale season.
And even with some 400 customers on Tuesday alone, he considers it one of the slower days this festive season.
The fish and chips shop is one of dozens of Hervey Bay businesses bursting at the seams as thousands of tourists flock to town to relax in the summer holidays.
Business has been particularly busy at WetSide water park as eager families seek to cool off in the January heat.
Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday, Mr Hodmain the Pialba tourist precinct had been "absolutely flat out" since Boxing Day.
"I've co-owned the place for six months and we had the busiest day since I arrived there on Tuesday," Mr Hodmain said.
"There were 400 customers ordering, I'd say it's record-breaking for us.
"Plus there's a big variation in orders so out of 10 customers there could be 50 fish and chips to go around."
It's a similar situation for the neighbouring cafe Bean Beat, with manager Karl Malmros saying the numbers were far beyond what was expected.
"We count it by the kilo of coffee we go through in a week and we've gone through nearly 300kgs between our two shops," Mr Malmros said.
"It's keeping us on our toes, this is the time of the year that we've got to work hard and make up for the quiet months we get through the year.
"It's nearly double what we do on an average day."
Since the start of the holidays, Mr Malmros said the cafe was packed from the moment they opened.
"2018 was a great year, tourist-wise the caravan parks seem to be full all the time... they're chockers now and the rest of the town seems to be the same," he said.
"The traffic is pretty insane at the moment, just to get from one end (of the Esplanade) to the other."
Visitors are also noticing the booming numbers around town.
Bundaberg's Jacline and Chris Dunnett, who stopped at WetSide yesterday, said almost all the tables at Bean Beat were taken when they tried to find a spot at 10am.
Hotel bookings in Hervey Bay have also been strong.
Last week, the owners of the Scarness Beachside Caravan Park said they'd been booked out since December 15 with spaces not expected to clear until later this month.