A number of Bendigo restaurants are considering introducing a booking deposit for tables as they prepare to operate under restrictions in June.
At a meeting of 30 Bendigo hospitality business on Thursday, 70 per cent said they are considering introducing a booking deposit scheme to try and reduce the number of no-shows.
Woodhouse owner Paul Pitcher said there was already a strain on hospitality businesses and that only being able to seat 20 people from June 1 meant restaurants could not afford to have bookings fail to show up.
"(Restaurants and cafes) don't have a lot of cash flow at the moment so a majority of restaurants are looking at some type of deposit or taking a credit card to be held when people make a booking," he said.
"It ensures a customer will ring up and say 'we can't make it tonight', so (the business) is able to (seat) someone else. In Sydney and Brisbane a lot of businesses have people book and not show up."
Mr Pitcher said he believed the booking deposit idea could remain in place for a long time.
"The hospitality industry is really going to change," he said. "At the end of day we still have 12 staff to pay, electricity, wood and all our bills to pay but will only have 20 seats, not 70, that's the difference.
"As long as coronavirus is out there and the laws don't change, and they wont until there's a vaccine, we will only be able to (seat) 33 people because of the four square metre rule."
Restaurant and cafe owners were also concerned redemption of gift vouchers would affect their limited cashflow. Percy and Percy owner Elisha Bahen said many people had supported restaurants by purchasing vouchers but in the short-term, cash flow would be important for businesses working to recover.
"It will be difficult (for businesses) if they are receiving a lot of vouchers on one day," she said. "So to come in and spend cash rather than vouchers is good.
"(Each business) has good, loyal customers that are aware aware spending money is more important than redeeming vouchers. But on the flipside is there are people who have been given vouchers because of hardship and are looking forward to getting out and spending them and enjoying a simple dinner."
Ms Baher said customer turnover would also be important for businesses and that many would encourage people ordering coffee to get it takeaway and allow people who want to order meals to have the tables.
"We will really be encouraging if it's just a coffee, to just purchase that and wander on," she said. "We have made plans to not offer dine in before July because we want to wait and see how things pan out (while keeping) the safety of staff and customers in mind.
"We want to to get through winter. Our plan is if we can have more patrons in, we don't need to be forceful (in moving people on)."
Ms Bahen said many customers had been understanding and supportive of hospitality businesses during the shutdown. She said it was also important for the region's hospitality industry to stick together.
"It was really great that Sonia Anthony from Masons brought this group together. It is so important to get together as united front and work as an industry. We're there to support each other as well. If we combine efforts and do things the same, it makes strong industry."
State government restrictions will allow cafes, restaurants and hotel bistros to have up to 20 patrons dine in at one time from June 1. It will increase to 50 patrons from June 22 and 100 people from mid-July with a maximum of four square meters per person.
More detailed guidelines and industry regulations are set to be released on Monday, May 25.