As some restrictions are eased from Friday, Armidale's Royal Hotel will be opening its restaurant for dine-in meals.
There had been confusion earlier in the week when the list of restrictions to be eased was released.
The state government had listed cafes and restaurants, but did not specify if a restaurant operating under a hotel licence would be included. While their restaurants can start trading for 10 customers at a time, their bars and gaming facilities will remain closed.
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As they get ready to welcome customers back inside at the Royal, hotel manager Nardie Gream said all customers would have to book, as they carefully planned how to seat 10 customers at a time within the restrictions.
"That way we can juggle where to sit people at an appropriate distance," Nardie said.
"It will be interesting to see how it evolves, but hopefully (the restrictions) will gradually keep increasing the capacity over the next weeks and we'll get up to an acceptable limit."
When the coronavirus restrictions shut the doors at their premises, the hotel immediately started offering takeaway meals, including deliveries, and Nardie said this trade, which has kept 22 of their 38 employees in work, is the only reason they are in a position to offer dine-in meals.
"I wouldn't open the kitchen, if we weren't already trading, just to have 10 people at a time, that would be no benefit whatsoever."
Nardie said it would be full table service so customers would not be approaching the counter in front of the kitchen.
"It's not going to be a game changer for us, 10 people is not going to make or break our business, but given that we're already doing takeaways, it's going to be a little flexibility," Nardie said.
"Some businesses that have previously been closed, whether they will open just to have 10 people at a time, I'm not sure."
She said it was thanks to the JobKeeper payments and their meal delivery service that the Royal had been able to keep 22 staff members rostered on.
"I think most of them are pretty happy with JobKeeper, keeping their income and paying their bills and their rent.
"They were all a bit stressed about it when it all first blew up," she said.