Restaurant owners must constantly reinvent their businesses during lockdowns, and celebrity chef Luke Mangan is no different, turning to food delivery to keep afloat.
Mangan is one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs. He has catered for Danish royalty, received the Medal of the Order of Australia, and founded his own hospitality awards program.
Despite owning restaurants all over the world and even at sea, Mangan has been forced to find other ways to keep his businesses afloat, he told A Current Affair.
Mangan has turned to one of Australia’s favourites, the humble pie, to keep the doors open.
“Our famous mashed potato, our vanilla custard sauce. Beef pie, lightly spiced chicken pie, apple pie—what more can you ask for?” he told the program.
Alongside a reduced number of his staff, Mangan is baking and hand delivering 300 pies per day.
Business has been even harder in this second wave, Mangan said.
“I was involved in cruise ships, in airlines, we’ve got a 600-room beautiful hotel above us that’s pretty much empty, so it’s a strange one but to keep jobs going we’ve got to do things like this.”
With continuing lockdowns, he is hoping that the government considers reintroducing the JobKeeper payment. The cashflow from the supplement was integral in keeping staff on board, and another injection would give Mangan and other restaurant owners the safety to keep going.
“We need a pathway to survive. Cash flow is king and what the government did for us last year gave us cash flow,” he said.
“We need to engage with our staff, we need to give them confidence there’s a job coming back for them.”