BENDIGO restaurant The Woodhouse is planning to offer takeaway meals and in-house dining seven days a week, to reduce the risk of social distancing eating away at business.
And owner Paul Pitcher doubted he'd be the only one in the hospitality industry adapting to make it through the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic.
The award-winning Williamson Street restaurant has been closed since coronavirus restrictions came into effect in March, preventing dining in restaurants.
Mr Pitcher and his team were looking forward to the day when they could re-open The Woodhouse to dine-in customers.
But, even then, things wouldn't just snap back to 'normal'.
There would still be social distancing measures, which would limit the number of patrons the restaurant could serve at any one time.
"Because we're only doing a smaller amount of numbers and unsure of how the economy is gong to be, we probably need to be open seven days a week to try and get back some of where we were," Mr Pitcher said.
He's planning on opening the restaurant for dinner every night, plus lunch service on weekends.
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It's a change from the hours the restaurant used to keep before the coronavirus pandemic.
The Woodhouse was traditionally closed on Sundays and Mondays and open for lunch on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Mr Pitcher said the number and duration of seatings was also likely to change, to maximise the number of diners the restaurant could safely serve in an evening.
"I think most customers will be happy... at least they're getting out of the house and will be able to get a beautiful meal," he said.
Even so, he expected the start of dining-in trade would be difficult for many in the hospitality industry.
"Obviously, we all don't have a lot of money and then to outlay all the money to get all your produce back in... I think menus will be smaller, just because we can't carry all that food for 20 people a night," Mr Pitcher said.
The Woodhouse is also planning on entering the takeaway market, with meals available to order online and pick up from the restaurant from Thursday.
Mr Pitcher was initially hesitant to offer a takeaway service.
"I was worried about hurting our brand," he said.
But he had devised a menu he believed would be of comparable quality to restaurant's in-house service.
"I think we're going to have to continue to do this even once we open, until we can continue to serve more people," Mr Pitcher said.
"I think that'll be a while, though. Until there's a vaccine, we won't be able to do a full restaurant."
Mr Pitcher said he and his wife had never been as stressed as they were the first few weeks the restaurant had to close.
"Any business owners are in positions where it's so unknown, what's going to happen going forward. It's scary," he said.
The date the restaurant can re-open for dine-in customers is unknown.
"We're still waiting for [Victorian Premier] Dan Andrews to let us known when we can serve some people inside," Mr Pitcher said.
The Woodhouse will be re-opening with about half the workforce it had before the outbreak of COVID-19.
"We've tried to look after them as much as we can," Mr Pitcher said.
"When we closed we paid them out all of their holidays and paid all our suppliers.
"Then JobKeeper became available, which we've been able to put some of our staff on and they helped me paint the restaurant.
"We wanted to look after as many as we could, but we couldn't afford to."
Mr Pitcher said the business was already in a position where it couldn't - or shouldn't - borrow to pay its staff when JobKeeper became an option.
The staff he had retained, out of the 24 he had coming into COVID-19, had been helping him with restaurant cleaning and maintenance.
"I need to get all my guys' heads back into thinking about food and hospitality," Mr Pitcher said.
"They've all forgotten... everyone's been so anxious and stressed. They need to remember what we used to do - that includes me.
"I went through all our food photos the other day. It made me feel good - reminded me of what we did and how hard we've worked."
For more information about takeaway, visit thewoodhouse.com.au