Thousands of restaurants and other hospitality venues have reduced their operating hours in response to the economic downturn caused by Covid-19.
Some restaurants that were once open seven days a week are now trading only four days a week to offset the financial impact of Covid-19.
The move is to reduce overheads - mainly wage bills - and to condense operations in response to less demand as international visitors remain shut out of the country and domestic diners opt to eat out less.
While it is not known exactly how many businesses have reduced their operating hours, cafes and other hospitality businesses have also made the shift.
A Restaurant Association survey found that almost 70 per cent of its members have adjusted their operating hours since New Zealand returned to Alert level one.
While many restaurants have opted to close an extra day or two, other hospitality businesses have reduced their operating hours but kept trading days the same.
Twenty seven per cent of association members said they were open one less day as a result of Covid-19 and 13 per cent said they were now open two less days than usual.
Of the 54 per cent of members who said they had kept their opening days the same since trading opened up after lockdown, almost 60 per cent they were now closing earlier, 30 per cent said they were opening later and 23 per cent said they had canned their lunch service.
The common trend appears to be shut Monday, Tuesday (and Sunday in some cases) with the focus on the busier days of trade Wednesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois said there were no figures on how many businesses had cut down their hours to four days of trade, but said it seemed to be "a bit of a trend" across the country.
Small businesses react: National's $30,000 KiwiSaver startup scheme
Multimillion-dollar man Jeremy Moon's latest business venture
Bidois said the shift to a four-day week for many businesses was having mixed-results for operators. She said she knew of businesses that were now doing more turnover with reduced hours than it had when it was open more days and shifts.
Businesses had reduced their hours following quiet weeks after lockdown and amid uncertainty.
"For some it is working reasonably well, for others it still continues to be a struggle," Bidois told the Herald.
"If you're [based] in the city and you've seen a drop off in foot traffic and you're not getting your usual lunch trade because maybe people are working more flexible hours then it makes sense that you wouldn't be open during those times.
"It is about looking at what's changed and adapting to it - many businesses, and hospitality, are looking at the changing environment and tweaking their business models."
Overall hospitality businesses were reporting improved turnover and there were encouraging signs of growth within the sector in the second-half of July, she said.
About 11 per cent of operators surveyed said revenue in July was significantly better than the same time last year, 28 per cent said better than normal and 21 per cent said similar. A further 24 per cent said revenue was less than normal and 11 per cent said significantly less than normal.
Bidois said the shift to four-day trading weekends could become a permanent change as businesses continued to reap the rewards.
"When talk about change coming from Covid, and people revising their businesses, this potentially could be one of those things that remain permanently with us."
Prior to lockdown, Auckland seafood restaurant Sails was a seven-day operation, open for lunch and dinner shifts, operating 11 shifts per week.
But Bart Littlejohn, owner of Sails, decided to take a cautious approach to reopening, opening just five nights per week - Wednesday through to Sunday - and only two lunch shifts on Friday and Sunday, operating eight shifts.
"I was being cautious coming out of that period, basically thinking that I was going to offset my loss rather than looking at how much profit I was going to make," he said.
"If you open a shift and you're not very busy on that shift, it costs you more money than closing, mainly due to the staff costs," Littlejohn told the Herald. "Electricity and gas is not a huge amount so your efficiency becomes with the staffing structure.
"We thought because of where we were with the wage support from the government it would be a wise idea to open less shifts and therefore not costs us more money than required in order to get things started again."
Littlejohn said business had picked up significantly and the reduction in operating hours was working well and had made it easier to control the restaurant as there was more downtime. He said he would consider expanding and retract the hours as demand shifted.
"I'll look more at changing the hours around than I ever used to - that's something that the lockdown period has made me look at more stringently."
One business surveyed by the Restaurant Association said it had centred it operating days around the weekend due to "the lack of mid-week international tourists".
Another business, which described its self as a lunch venue, said it previously was open seven days but due to not enough business without tourists it was now open Thursday through to Sunday.
"This wasn't enough hours for our staff to live on, so we had to also launch a dinner service. Four days per week is like us going back 7 years, and creates all sorts of additional problems, such as prepping when closed instead of alongside trading, food wastage, inconsistency around planning as meetings would normally be early week," the business owner said.
Others made similar comments, including that they had dropped their lunch service as there was not enough demand.