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Bank of Melbourne is proud to contribute more than $250,000 to support Melbourne’s much-loved hospitality industry this December. As part of the contribution, Bank of Melbourne is spreading some Christmas cheer by distributing restaurant vouchers to 2,000 pre-selected customers, in a show of support to Victoria’s hospitality industry. Some of the hardest hit restaurants in the CBD will also be profiled on Bank of Melbourne’s social media over the coming weeks. Support will also extend to SecondBite, with a donation that will provide 100,000 meals to vulnerable Victorian’s experiencing food insecurity this December.

Melbourne’s vibrant hospitality scene has had a really tough year - and it’s never been more important to step up and back local restaurants. Bank of Melbourne is encouraging Melbournians to do just that and that this contribution will also inspire other Melburnians to support their favourite venue this festive season by booking a table or buying a voucher.

The 2,000 customers will dine at one of 10 restaurants across Melbourne – these restaurants are also valued business customers of Bank of Melbourne who have had a challenging year. In addition to the vouchers, four of the restaurants in the CBD will also be profiled across Bank of Melbourne’s social media channels.

Bank of Melbourne Chief Executive Mark Melvin said the Bank hopes the initiative will lead to a flow of diners.

“It has been a challenging time for small businesses, and hospitality has been one of the most impacted industries. We wanted to do our part in helping some of our inspiring hospitality customers get back on their feet after a difficult time, through giving back to their businesses while rewarding some of our Victorian customers. We would encourage all Melburnians to think about ways to support small businesses and the hospitality sector this Christmas, if they are in a position to do so,” he said.

Bank of Melbourne is embedded in Melbourne's food and wine scene as a proud partner of the iconic Melbourne Food & Wine Festival for almost a decade.

Anthea Loucas Bosha, CEO of Food & Wine Victoria feels the hospitality sector needs all the support it can get:

“The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, unable to trade in any meaningful way for more than six months. One of the most difficult aspects for them trying to navigate a post COVID-world is the uncertainty around a revenue pipeline. The Bank of Melbourne Christmas initiative has the ability to be a shining light in a difficult time to give businesses hope, and confidence, as they reopen and rebuild,” she said.

Hope is something these businesses need.

Take Kirk’s Wine Bar for example. Part of Melbourne’s food and wine scene for more than six years, this CBD venue had to overcome some unprecedented challenges this year.

“The impact of the extended lockdown has hit the hospitality industry hard. We’ve had to streamline our business model, which has involved running on a reduced capacity and transforming one of our venues into an event space where we can supply catering,” says co-owner Ian Curley.

However, despite the hardships, Curley is quietly optimistic about the future. “Now is the time to recuperate and look after each other,” he says. “We’re extremely grateful to be part of the Bank of Melbourne festive initiative and it’s nice to know somebody’s out there thinking of us. We look forward to seeing Melbournians come back through the doors and enjoying their dining experiences.”

So, whether it’s pasta or phở, seafood or steak - this holiday season, make sure to eat out with friends and family and help bring Melbourne’s much loved dining scene back to life. Book a table. Buy a voucher. Support Melbourne hospitality.