SOME eateries are fully booked out as diners show what support they can before the new wave of lockdown restrictions hit on Thursday morning.
Two restaurant owners have described long hours preparing for final in-restaurant meals while organising revamped take-away menus, cancelling services and a host of other urgent matters before Thursday.
The Woodhouse's owner Paul Pitcher says he and other hospitality leaders are feeling the pressure.
"We are trying to be as positive as we can for our younger staff, who can really feel the stress. That's not to say that I don't," he said.
"We are not here to give up, however tough it is and whatever they throw at us."
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Mr Pitcher said the incoming restrictions announced over the weekend were not unexpected.
"I thought last week that we were heading towards lockdown so I was holding off orders of food and alcohol," he said.
"We just have enough supplies for Tuesday and Wednesday night. We are fully booked out both nights."
The Dispensary Bar & Diner is refusing to "go quietly into the night" and is taking bookings until Wednesday, the business has announced on Facebook.
It is promising socially responsible celebrations during its final days of in-restaurant dining until the lockdown ends.
Owner Finn Vedelsby has been so busy he has not had time to fully take stock of what pain the wider tourism industry will face during the new lockdown.
One thing is clear, though, he said.
"We are definitely going to need more help, both from the state and federal governments."
Mr Vedelsby also chairs Bendigo Tourism and believes eateries will at least be better off than the other major arm of the sector.
Mr Vedelsby described the impact of a new shutdown on accommodation as one of "devastation".
"What you've got to remember is that this did not start for us in March. It started on the 31st of December, when the first fires in Gippsland started the regional tourism slowdown," he said.
"We had already gone from some of the highest numbers of interstate and international travellers and expectations of a bumper summer season to a slow down.
"People were afraid to travel into regional Victoria, even to safe areas like Bendigo's."
Bendigo could see a 40 per cent drop in visitor spending and job maintenance under a worst case COVID-19 fallout, a recent Victorian Tourism Industry Council report found.
A best case scenario would see a 27 per cent drop, the report found.
Mr Vedelsby noted that its economic forecasting was published earlier this month before the most recent restrictions arrived.
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