Despite being hit by the extreme and unprecedented weather event that hit Auckland, the owner of a chain of Indian restaurants will be offering free meals to flood victims.
Ganesh Chowdary Pulapa and Prasad Kothapally say anyone who has been affected by the flooding in their homes can just drop into one of their restaurants to pick up a free feed tomorrow - no questions asked.
The Indian meal pack will include masala fries, butter chicken or vegetarian curry, rice and a soft drink.
“We have suffered a little damage and leakage to our restaurants, but it is nothing compared to what some people have suffered. We are considered lucky,” Ganesh said.
“We know some people have lost their homes, their kitchen and everything, so how can they cook?”
With another round of severe weather expected to hit Auckland overnight, Ganesh said he is opening the doors of his restaurant tomorrow and Thursday at his three restaurants to those who need them.
“There will be no strings attached, and we won’t charge anything,” Ganesh said.
Pick-up time will be between 5pm and 9pm tomorrow and Thursday at Plan B Lounge in Parnell, Hyderabad Food Garage in the central city and Baahubali in Mt Albert.
A survey by the Restaurant Association has found 85 per cent of hospitality businesses have been impacted in some way by the current weather situation.
Of those that responded to the survey, 75 per cent have seen a significant downturn in trade, particularly in Auckland, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty areas where the anniversary weekend is traditionally a busy weekend.
More than half, or 54 per cent had experienced material damage to their business premises and 55 per cent have been forced to close their doors because of it.
The weather had also impacted the supply chain, causing shortages of food.
“It’s clear that this weekend’s weather has caused widespread issues to our businesses,” said association chief executive Marisa Bidois.
“We’ve been taking calls all weekend from members looking for support and targeted communication to help them work through the situation and get back and running again.
“In particular businesses are looking for additional support negotiating with landlords and insurance companies to get back on their feet.”
The association met with Government officials last Sunday to talk about some of the more pressing issues for hospitality businesses and the support they needed for recovery.
The discussion included what support businesses may be able to access, including financial support through the Mayoral Assistance Fund.
The association has also put together an emergency response advice guide for hospitality businesses.
“We know that many businesses will be anxious, particularly with more rain expected,” added Bidois.
“We would like to remind all hospitality businesses that the association is here to support them through this.”
WHERE TO PICK UP THE FREE TAKEAWAY MEAL TOMORROW AND THURSDAY 5PM-9PM
- Baahubali Indian Restaurant, 1087 New North Road, Mt Albert
- Plan B Lounge, 115 Parnell Road, Parnell
- Hyderabad Food Garage, 71 Wakefield Street, Auckland CBD