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Byron Shire
March 26, 2023

Hospitality leaders help Melbourne’s nightlife

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Kylie Ball, Francesca Webster, Wal Foster-Eyles, Jason Saxby, Evan White, Santiago Socrate, Georgia Bateman and Amelia Stokes. They are part of the crew helping the #ByronForMelbourne initiative. Photo Tree Faerie.

Eve Jeffery

There’s nothing like a lunch date to get good ideas cooking, and local hospitality leaders have done just that with an initiative to support the struggling hospitality industry in Melbourne. 

Raes on Wategos GM, Francesca Webster, the concierge at Harvest, Kylie Ball, and publicist Georgia Bateman came up with the idea over lunch at Harvest recently. Ms Bateman said that hospitality people were among the first to swing into action, raising money and feeding people affected by last year’s bushfires.

‘Now, even as hospitality faces its biggest challenges in living memory, the first instinct from people in the trade is to ask how they can help out others who are doing it tough’. 

While Byron is thriving, Melbourne has emerged from an 111-day lockdown with no new COVID-19 cases for the first time since June.

Georgia contacted Pat Nourse at Melbourne Food and Wine, to discuss ideas and charities to support and #ByronForMelbourne was born. She’s encouraging the whole of the Shire to jump on board.

Georgia says there are plenty of great ideas to help out. ‘You could prepare a special set menu for an event; encourage guests to book your private dining room; pour Victorian wines and beer; create a special cocktail using Victorian spirits; have raffle prizes or a silent auction; share flyers with guests in the lead up to the event; create a tip jar and tag #ByronForMelbourne in your Instagram posts and stories, and we will help promote what you are offering’.

To donate, visit the tip jar charity.

The project already has an amazing team of chefs on board including David Moyle (Harvest Newrybar, Barrio Eatery & Bar), Jason Saxby (Raes at Wategoes), Darren Robertson (Three Blue Ducks), Josh Lewis (Fleet), Ben Devlin (Pipit), David Lovett, Jason Barratt (Paper Daisy).

‘The latest COVID-19 restrictions relating to hospitality venues are having a profound effect on business and, if they continue, will lead to the demise of thousands of restaurants, bars, clubs and other related businesses, leaving a large proportion of Melbourne’s hospitality workforce out of a job,’ says Georgia.

‘Byron for Melbourne is for anyone who works in, or is connected to hospitality, including: chefs, restaurateurs, operators, owners, GMs, sommeliers, waiting staff, bartenders, managers, KPs, publicans, caterers, producers, suppliers, PRs, buyers, hoteliers, baristas, marketing teams, events teams, cleaning staff, writers, publishers – the list goes on.’

To donate, visit the tip jar charity.

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