Canberra Southern Cross Club CEO Ian Mackay says opening venues for dining-in is like a “pre-season” for the clubs, to ensure they are ready once restrictions lift further to allow more patrons. Photos: Kerrie Brewer.

Reopening the three major Canberra Southern Cross Club venues with the ten-diner limit per site is like ‘pre-season’ training for them, according to CSCC CEO Ian Mackay.

CSCC made the decision to re-open venues at Woden, Tuggeranong and Jamison for the limited number of dine-in patrons following the first stage of restrictions easing from midnight last Friday 15 May.

Mr Mackay says while it might seem odd for a club with an enormous seating capacity to serve only 10 patrons at a time, it’s a great opportunity for the venues to prepare for when restrictions lift further and dining capacity increases.

“We think it’s good to get ready for when we can [open further] and it’s a really nice ‘pre-season’ training I suppose; to get the opportunity to get your procedures right whether you’ve got 10 people or 99.”

He says while “it’s not that hard” to book out sessions with a 10-person capacity, the team have been “pleasantly surprised” by the demand for dine-in experiences.

“We’ve been surprised by the demand, and at this stage, it hasn’t taken away from our delivery service demand. They’re working together.

“There is no doubt there is demand – people want to get back out and about again, and so, I mean here we are!”

He says while the club is available for takeaway delivery via Uber Eats, the option for customers to order directly from the CSCC website has proven much more popular, with direct orders amounting to 10 times more takeaway sales than via the food delivery giant.

“We definitely will [keep the home delivery going]. It will be interesting to see, as more and more people come back into the venue, does it drop away? But we’ve bought two little cars already and we’ll get two more … So we do think it’s got a future.”

The club has strict hygiene measures in place for those wishing to dine in, with every customer’s temperature taken on arrival, and ample hand sanitiser available throughout the venues.

Mr Mackay says clubs also have a unique advantage over other venues, with the requirement for members and guests to sign in on arrival meaning that, should contact tracing be required, customers’ details have already been collected.

For more information, visit Canberra Southern Cross Club.

Patrons can once again enjoy their club favourites while dining in at Canberra Southern Cross Clubs in Woden, Tuggeranong and Jamison.

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