Restaurants and cafes are alive with the sound of office workers, with transaction volumes up by nearly 10% following removal of the Government’s recommendation to work from home. Retail spending is also up, albeit a more modest 5%, as Melbournians returned to the office last week (from 28 February to 4 March).
Friday proved to be the biggest day for businesses cashing in on office workers returning to the CBD followed by Thursday. Monday experienced the lowest increase in sales for businesses as the city starts to emerge from the ‘work from home’ order.
NAB Group Executive Business & Private Bank, Andrew Irvine, said the Melbourne CBD was waking up again since the pandemic first hit.
“Not only are we seeing the excitement of people connecting after such a long time, but businesses are coming back to life,” Mr Irvine said.
“With more people expected to return to the office in the coming weeks, we think the best is yet to come. I’m expecting to see these numbers increase as people get into a new routine and make a trip to the office part of their work week again.”
“This is brilliant news for small and medium businesses who have really done it tough over the last two years.”
Miznon owner Ron Lazarovits said they’ve already noticed a boost in bookings from office teams and lunchtime walk-in orders over the last week.
“It’s been the best week we’ve had in quite a long time, and to be honest, we weren’t convinced it would finally happen – it’s such a relief,” Mr Lazarovits said.
“We noticed so much more foot traffic on Hardware Lane which has brought a real buzz to the place.
“In addition to the restaurant bookings, we’ve also seen our in-house catering orders increase for office meetings which we’re keen to do a lot more of.”
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Melbournians back into the CBD. The last couple of years have been tough so we’re excited about getting back to doing what we love – bringing brilliant food to Melbourne.”
Notes to Editors:
- Data sourced from NAB merchant terminal transactions.