Redcape chief executive Dan Brady said he was excited to be able to open, to get his staff back working and the business back on track.
He also praised the NSW government’s “progressive leadership” in reopening venues.
Mr Brady said some loyal customers had left cards and notes asking when pubs will reopen at Redcape venues.
During the lockdown, Redcape had become a communications company, keeping staff well-informed of the new measures needed when pubs reopen, the chief executive said.
That involved extensive training and the updating of its digital platform, which covers 120,000 members. Walk-up patrons are welcome, but they will be unable to enter if there are already 50 people inside.
“We are very excited to be reopening 13 venues on Monday and it is important we have an excellent customer experience,” Mr Brady said.
“We have been contorting ourselves training our people in the new way of operating.”
Mr Brady said that with an innovative mindset, aided by the financial support provided by our lenders, supply partners and the federal, NSW and Queensland governments,” we now have the opportunity to open and operate again, providing a renewed sense of certainty around the manageable affects of COVID-19 and optimistic for future prosperity”.
“Since shutdown occurred, our cash and liquidity has remained strong. We’ve secured certainty on our lending facilities into the future, kept a good portion of our workforce stood up and the vast majority of our workforce connected to each other and the business,” he said.
Despite the shutdown, demand among investors for regional pubs has remained strong, with property sales reaching $22 million.
HTL Property’s Xavier Plunkett has sold a handful of pubs, including the Post Office Hotel in Moree, the Royal Hotel in Condobolin, the Neath Hotel in the Hunter Valley and the Yenda Hotel in Griffith. They went to a mix of local, regional and Sydney-based buyers.
“Agriculture, logistics, infrastructure and mining related industries have been particularly resolute in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, and we feel that regional markets that have an overweight exposure to these industries will likely respond very quickly post June 1, Mr Plunkett said.
Carolyn Cummins is Commercial Property Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.