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This Melbourne Design Studio Is Giving Hospo Venues Free Advice to Help Set Up Covid-Safe Outdoor Dining

Mitchell & Eades is offering free consultations to help businesses set up new outdoor dining spaces for summer, but get in quick – there’s 100 up for grabs.

Melbourne bars and restaurants have been told that to safely reopen, they’ll need to shift to a predominantly outdoor dining model for the summer. The state government revealed in September plans for footpaths, laneways, streets and gardens to be converted into dining spaces, as well as announcing grants for venues to purchase umbrellas, tables and other furniture to make it happen.

While grants are great, there’s been some confusion from venue operators surrounding how they’ll make outdoor dining work. The team at Melbourne design studio Mitchell and Eades noticed this, and they’re now providing 100 free consultations to help businesses get their new spaces set up.

Mitchell and Eades director Samantha Eades says the firm normally services hospitality clients, and that after discussions with her team, they decided they needed to do something to help the flailing industry.

“Feedback we were getting from our clients was that they felt a little overwhelmed with the process of setting up these new spaces,” she says. “If we can help streamline it in any way and support these businesses that we’ve had so many great times in over the years, that’d be great.”

The idea is to help businesses set up tables, safety screens and seating, getting the most out of the spaces they have. Eades says that outdoor dining could potentially be great, and become a lasting feature of future Melbourne summers.

“The timing of this is really good, and it means that councils which have been rigid with hospitality might become more flexible – which would be so refreshing,” she says. “I think that it’ll be a big success and maybe encourage a sort of block-party-style dining experience.”

Consultations are currently running remotely and go for one hour. You can apply for one here with some information about your business along with photos of your space. Submissions close Monday October 5.

Photography: Brook James

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