'We will get through this': Pub boss reveals survival plan
IT TOOK a lot of hard work to build the Persal family pub empire and the woman in charge is determined not to let it crumble.
But drastic times call for drastic measures and Janet Persal has been forced to join pub and club bosses across the region in letting go a multitude of staff.
Close to 100 workers across her licensed venues are gone and if the rules tighten again, further losses are likely.
In the meantime, she's come up with a contingency plan to keep the businesses going and permanent staff in jobs.
With the bar and bistros in the Carriers Arms and Beach House Hotels closed as per the new Federal Government restrictions, orders for take away pub meals will be placed through and picked up via the on-site bottle shops which remain open.
The motel attached to Maryborough hotel will also remain open.
Ms Persal said the management team had been preparing for the worst for many weeks.
"We're lucky in the sense that we have a drive-thru (at both pubs) so people can ring ahead and order and we can offer a take-away service.
"It's changing daily…it's uncharted territory - if they close bottle shops it will be a different story but we're lucky for now.
"I feel sorry for the smaller pubs - this could be enough to break them."
While the closure is crushing for the hospitality industry Ms Persal said there could be a silver lining for other businesses.
"Looking for the positive in this situation - we're bringing forward our maintenance schedule…things we couldn't do when we were open so local trades and some businesses will benefit during these times.
Heavy as the burden has been on her and the leadership team, concern for the welfare of outgoing staff and regular customers was at the forefront of Ms Persal's mind.
"We've had to have tough meetings with our staff, mostly casuals and we're reminding them of the services out there - extra money into Newstart and rent and mortgage relief - and saying if people can stay strong and hang in there the hospitality industry will be hammered when this is over.
"All the people who have had to cancel their functions and events will come back.
"We also have a lot of lonely people, particularly the elderly who rely on coming here as part of their daily routine and it's quite devastating to have to take that away from people.
"This is hard on the whole community…it's going to be a lean few month and hard decisions have had to be made in the interest of going forward but we can and will get through this.
"We just need to look out for each other in the meantime."
The Beach House Hotel has a takeaway menu on their website. Orders can be picked up via the drive-thru.
Lunch: 11.30am - 2.30pm
Dinner: 5.30pm - 8pm
The Carriers Arms Hotel is offering their full menu which can be viewed on their website. Orders can be picked up via the drive thru
Lunch: 11.30am - 2.30pm