Alfresco dining on the menu

Cynthia Galle at Red Beetle, Caroline Springs. (Damjan Janevski) 217785_01

Ewen McRae

More outdoor dining options are coming for Melton residents, with council ramping up its assistance measures for local restaurants and pubs.

Council this week launched a streamlined process that will help local hospitality businesses quickly and easily apply for council approvals to develop or expand their outdoor dining areas, as they prepare to reopen once restrictions ease.

Officers will assist business operators with ideas and options for expanding their open-air dining areas and will help with fast-tracking permits and reviewing funding options.

It’s in response to the state government’s new outdoor eating and entertainment package in which businesses can apply for grants of up to $5000 to help them transition to or grow their outdoor dining.

The funding can help purchase new outdoor furniture, barriers, heaters, and more.

Council chief executive Kelvin Tori encouraged hospitality businesses to make outdoor dining their focus as a safe and sustainable way to reopen.

“Outdoor dining is going to be an important part of the post-COVID-19 recovery and we’ll support businesses to make the most of the Victorian government’s new initiative,” Mr Tori said.

“Our new process streamlines assessments so that business owners can concentrate on adapting, thriving and keeping their patrons safe.

“Whether you want to add tables to the footpath and use parking space for dining, or you have your own great idea or need some inspiration, we’re here to help.

“As the weather warms up and restrictions ease, we look forward to seeing residents enjoy the variety of new and expanded outdoor dining options that will pop up across our city.”


Ewen McRae