BALLARAT restaurant owners have seen a boost in customer numbers, thanks to a sunny start to spring.
More people were out enjoying the city’s food scene at the weekend and yesterday, and business owners hope it continues.
Jacksons & Co general manager Travis Povey said the sun had already made a difference to the number of people dining at the venue.
The renovated historic venue reopened its doors to the public in December last year with a rooftop terrace bar.
“The warm weather will get more people using the rooftop. On Saturday night and Sunday it was busy,” Mr Povey said.
“Myself and other business owners have discussed when people are sitting outside it creates a certain atmosphere that brings more people in the doors.”
Mr Povey said although business had been slower than summer, they had not struggled.
“We’ve been OK over winter because we’re a new business. People are more inclined to try you out.”
This summer, Mr Povey hopes to start utilising the venue’s second-level balcony for drinks and nibbles
Commerce Ballarat executive officer Jodie Gillett said there had only been a few days of good weather, and it was too early to know the full impact it would have on retail.
“There have been a few things affecting business lately – the weather as well as the election, with people not knowing what it’s going to be like in the future,” Ms Gillett said.
She said she would love to see the CBD bustling over the coming months.
“People need to be thinking about B2B – making sure they’re thinking about where they’re purchasing and who they’re supporting and making sure they’re supporting local businesses.”
The Boatshed supervisor Larissa Ragatz said it had been busy over the weekend, which was normal for a Father’s Day weekend.
Ms Ragatz said although it was generally quieter in winter, they still had busy days.
“We have the odd days where it’s busy,” she said.
“We’ve got a log fire and lounge area which customers enjoy in the cooler weather.”
Golden City Hotel and The Western Hotel co-owner Simon Coghlan said it was too early to tell if there had been much of a difference in customer numbers.
He said Golden City’s footpath dining was busy yesterday, but on Sunday it was a quieter Father’s Day than last year.
“We put that down to the fact it was good picnic weather,” Mr Coghlan said.
“We look forward to having warmer weather as it draws people outside.”
The Western Hotel co-owner Dan Cronin said although it had been busy, it was only in the past few days the new outdoor area was really utilised.
“We’ve experienced strong figures over winter. In July it was just our bistro open and we still experienced strong numbers then.”
The venue was relaunched three weeks ago, ending major renovations including the new courtyard.
“We’re looking forward to summer weather with longer days and warmerevenings.”