Staff at The Great Northern Hotel in Kempsey are looking forward to the next few months as restrictions are eased further for hospitality venues from today.
Like many local businesses, the Great Northern felt the impacts of tough restrictions over the past few months.
"It has been tough for our staff and for business, but also for our customers as they adjust to the regulations which were put in place by the NSW government, especially having to sign in on arrival at venues," general manager Ben James said.
"We were hoping that restrictions would ease following the school holidays, and they have."
Although patrons are still required to sit while at hospitality venues, booking numbers have increased from a table of 10 people to a table of 30.
"Having 30 to a table will allow people to book their Christmas drinks and celebrations and will make it easier to plan for the festivities over the next few months," Ben said.
Restrictions on capacity rules for venues with outdoor spaces were also eased last week, with one person per two square metres if venues have a digital sign in process in place.
"We're able to have a total of 136 people in our outdoor spaces and 105 internally, we are also excited to be able to use our outdoor Cabana as a space for larger bookings", Ben said.
"It's great to be able to have more people in the venue at one time."
The Great Northern also has a number of events coming up to encourage locals to get out and support local businesses as restrictions are eased.
"We'll be having a Halloween Trivia Night on October 31, VIP Melbourne Cup Experience on November 3, three back to back State of Origin games, a mega Christmas raffle and a Kids Christmas party weekend," Ben said.
"With a larger patronage brings the requirement for more staff so we're currently looking for more staff as business ramps back up again and things get busy.
"We're really just looking forward to having more people at the venue and seeing locals be able to get out and enjoy themselves while supporting local businesses."
Locals can find out more about the upcoming events by visiting the Great Norther Hotel's Facebook page.