Enhanced Outdoor Dining

Eaton Mall Oakleigh

As we prepare to reopen the fantastic cafes and restaurants across Monash, Council is keen to work with our business community to bring these important precincts back to life following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions under the State Government’s Outdoor Dining and Entertainment Package. Information on the package is available at www.business.vic.gov.au

Under this plan, food and dining trading will be very different, with a focus on dining outdoors. 

Plans in place for safe outdoor dining

During COVID, our restaurants, bars and cafes have been doing it tough.  As we prepare to re-open it's been great to hear from traders about what they want. All ideas are welcome and everything is on the table for discussion. 

We've been meeting with traders and reading their ideas and plans in their Expressions of Interest submitted to Council and work on expanding outdoor dining in Monash, in line with the State Government’s proposed roadmap for reopening, is well underway.

We've begun rolling out enhanced dining areas in Monash, setting up areas on footpaths and in some instances in parking spaces and open spaces where practical. We're also beginning to issue temporary permits to businesses.

Whilst confirmation of when restrictions will ease and businesses will reopen is still to be announced, we are working with traders to have hospitality businesses ready-to-go once it’s permitted.

On Thursday 15 October Council installed the first of the expanded areas to be used for outdoor dining at Pinewood Shopping Village in Mount Waverley.

View the plan for the new temporary outdoor dining areas at Pinewood (pdf, 4MB)

The second, at Hamilton Place Mount Waverley, is being put in place on 26 October.

View the plan for Hamilton Place Mount Waverley (pdf, 2MB)

We'll be sharing the plans of the remaining dining areas in Monash once they are completed.

What ideas are being considered for enhanced outdoor dining?

Some ideas being considered are extending outdoor dining areas along the footpath or in some instances temporary use of parking bays with parklets or adjoining/adjacent open space where practical. Temporary and partial road closures may also be considered.

To accommodate the outdoor dining focus, there is likely to be a loss of some parking, and Council will also need to consider how any car parking enforcement is undertaken in light of these unique circumstances.

Be creative!

This is a time for us all to be creative about what this new phase of outdoor dining will look like. This is an opportunity to create something new and unique. Monash is renowned for its innovation and we’re confident our businesses will rise to this challenge.

Council will be setting a minimum standard for the increased outdoor dining during this period to ensure that all establishments are functional, accessible and safe. To ensure our hospitality businesses can open as soon as it is allowed outdoor dining and associated permits such as liquor licensing red line permits will be fast-tracked.

Input from our traders is critical so we want to hear from you - your knowledge, experience and ideas will help us plan the way forward.

To put forward your ideas please email outdoordining@monash.vic.gov.au If you would like to discuss any aspect of your business and getting ready for enhanced outdoor dining please contact Thalia Bennett on 9518 3539.

Hospitality Restart Guidelines

The Hospitality Restart Guidelines assists hospitality businesses to prepare to safely operate in accordance with public health directions, while also ensuring that workers and members of the public feel confident that their health and safety is being protected. This includes workplaces such as: standalone cafes and restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs, RSLs and community clubs or hotels, fast food outlets, cafeterias and canteens.

Read: Industry Restart Guidelines – Hospitality

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund program will provide grants of up to $30,000 for eligible liquor licensees with hospitality venues impacted by the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Eligible licensees will be invited to apply through their Liquor Portal accounts. 

For more information on eligibility and the application process, including Liquor Portal accounts, visit Business Victoria Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

Sole Trader Support Fund

The Sole Trader Support Fund provides grants of $3,000 to eligible non-employing sole traders who are impacted by the restrictions in Victoria’s roadmap for reopening. 

Details on eligibility and applications are available at Business Victoria Sole Trader Support Fund

Third Round of the Business Support Fund

The third round of the Business Support Fund will provide grants of up to $20,000 to eligible businesses, ensuring they continue to receive the support they need to make it through restricted trading. 

For more information on eligibility and applications visit  Business Victoria Business Support Fund

Important next steps

  • Talk  - to your neighbouring businesses and trader groups. Some non-hospitality businesses will not need the space outside their businesses for dining, and that could be used to help their neighbouring cafe or restaurant trader to expand their outdoor dining options.
  • Safety and access - Not all streets are suitable for on-street dining.  Businesses located on streets with speed limits of 50 k/h or with limited car parking may not be suitable. Consider wheelchair and pram access in your planning.
  • Liquor Licensing - Visit vcglr.vic.gov.au/covid-19 to find out more about applying for a temporary Liquor License in an al fresco area.
  • COVID Safe Plan - You must have one and you also must record all patron names and numbers for contact tracing if required. Find out more about a COVID Safe Plan and additional State Government requirements on outdoor trading.
  • Insurance - You will need to obtain Public Liability insurance for your outdoor dining area if you don't already have it. Check with your insurance company.
  • Grants - Visit www.business.vic.gov.au to apply for grants up to $5000 to assist with purchasing practical items including furniture

The $3 million Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program provides funding to Victorian business chambers and trader groups for initiatives that will help support their members as we move into recovery and COVID Normal. Grants of $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000 will be awarded to eligible groups through a competitive application process. Applications are now open (until 5 October. Visit www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business

We look forward to working with you as we re-open Monash for business.


Enhanced Outdoor Dining Permit - Expression of Interest

Council is asking hospitality businesses seeking to enhance their outdoor dining offerings under the State Government’s Outdoor Dining and Entertainment Package to complete an Expression of Interest.

The EOI provides businesses with the opportunity to outline their proposal and for Council to quickly assess if all criteria is being met.

Expression of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions

Which businesses are eligible for the extended outdoor dining permits?

  • Hospitality businesses that already have an outdoor dining permit can apply for an amendment to their current permit so they can extend their dining space
  • Hospitality venues that currently don’t trade outdoors can apply to do so
  • Neighbouring hospitality businesses could apply to work together on an outdoor solution that suits their precinct.

How will permits be assessed?

The exhanced outdoor dining permits will be assessed against the following:

  • Is the business a registered hospitality venue within Monash?
  • How will your venue accommodate patron safety and physical distancing?
  • Will the extension to your trading boundaries still allow adequate access for pedestrians, residents and essential vehicles?
  • What will the impact be on local residents?
  • Does the business have a COVIDSafe Plan?

Please have this information ready when applying so we can process your application as quickly as possible.

How long are the permits valid for?

Permits will be for six months, to be reviewed at three and extended in line with government requirements.

What does the permit allow?

Under the permit, you may be able to:

  • Expand trading onto the footpath outside your premises
  • Expand trading onto the footpath outside neighbouring premises if not currently used, or intended to be used, for trading by that business
  • Expand trading into on-street parking spaces immediately in front of your business and potentially adjoining businesses (depending on the location and availability)
  • Expand trading into adjoining laneways.

How quickly can my application be processed?

We’re working to fast-track the application process to make sure eligible businesses have their permits approved and are ready to trade on 26 October. To help this to happen, businesses need to make sure they have everything in place including a COVIDSafe Plan.

When using parking bays for dining, what streets wouldn't be suitable for outdoor dining?

All applications will be considered individually, but some streets aren’t suited to outdoor dining due to safety and access issues. As a guide, ineligible streets could include:

  • Some arterial roads and roads owned by VicRoads 
  • Areas where extended trading would hinder access for deliveries, essential and emergency vehicle access, access to commercial carparks, buildings and residences
  • Roads with clearways
  • Streets with service/utility access panels or storm drains within the parking space (unless furniture is movable and no platforms are involved)
  • Construction zones
    • less than 10 m from an intersection
    • less than 20 m from a signalled intersection
  • Spaces designated as loading zones, no stopping zones, bus zones and disabled parking will require special consideration.

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Last updated: 21 October 2020