Touching gesture for frontline workers
AN initiative to help drive sales for struggling Chinese restaurants on Brisbane's southside has been turned on its head, with restaurants deciding to instead use money raised to provide more than 2000 free Taiwanese bento box lunches for hospital staff.
Sunnybank Hills resident Paul Shih, president of the Australian Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce (Qld) Inc and a real estate consultant, said he originally wanted to support struggling restaurants by donating the fee for an online seminar he hosted for 100 real estate agents.
However, when he approached the restaurants, the restaurants said there was a better use for the money: providing lunch for frontline medical staff at three major hospitals, Princess Alexandra, QEII and the Royal Brisbane and Women's.
Mr Shih has partnered with three restaurants, Sunnybank's Glamorous Wok, Hana at Rochedale, and Yuan Bao Taiwanese Cuisine at Pinelands Plaza, and will deliver 2150 lunches to the three hospitals between now and the end of next week.
He said it was a "really touching gesture" by the restaurants to volunteer their kitchens and labour to make the bento boxes possible despite the difficulties they each face financially.
Glamorous Wok is closing for a fortnight, Yuan Bao has reduced its hours and Hana is doing takeaway only.
Hana owner Tony Cheng says his sales have dropped by 80 per cent since the crisis hit.
He says the business is still losing money each week, but if we "hold each other's hands" we can pass through this difficult time.
Glamorous Wok's owner says sales have dropped by 70 per cent, leading to the decision to close for two months.
The first delivery of bento boxes was Wednesday, and yesterday Mr Shih enlisted the help of MacGregor Ward councillor Steven Huang to make the deliveries.
Mr Shih said the boxes were a gesture of loyalty to Australia amid reports of racist behaviour fuelled by coronavirus fears directed at ethnic Chinese residents.
Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD
A spokeswoman for Metro South Health said staff were grateful for the lunches and directed people who wanted to help support the community throughout the coronavirus health crisis to volunteer with the State Government's Care Army program.
Originally published as Touching gesture for frontline workers