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Not all heroes wear capes…some wear aprons

Since the pandemic hit Australia in early 2020, jobs in the hospitality industry have already decreased by a third. Hit harder than most, we’ve encountered a myriad of hurdles to overcome - from adjusted hours, ever-changing government safety procedures, staff furlough to layoffs… but there is always hope!

Out of crisis we’ve seen the best of ourselves and a renewed sense of community. We’ve seen countless charitable initiatives created; helping hospitality workers to keep working - as well as help the wider community, who may also be struggling to make ends meet.

Now more than ever, as normality feels slightly out of arm’s reach, it’s important to spotlight the little moments of good will. Here’s a shoutout to these legends who have crossed our radar so far:

Photography by Nadine Beyrouti

Odd Culture Group

Odd Culture Group are the owners of some of Sydney’s favourite watering holes, The Oxford Tavern, The Duke of Enmore and The Old Fitz. Each pub has been part of Sydney’s fabric for some time and they have come up with a great way to help their community. During the last lockdown in Sydney, Odd Culture offered a “special menu” with free meals for anyone in hospo who were struggling to make ends meet - whether you’d been put out of work or had your hours reduced… keeping bellies full and smiles wide.

Photography: Letícia Almeida

The Taphouse

Speaking of watering holes, the team at The Taphouse in Darlinghurst, NSW are also leading the way for our hospo community! Following a similar model, The Taphouse have free meals available for hospo workers who are struggling for shifts or are unemployed. Springside Brewing have also jumped on board with the team and added some gold trim to the package, donating a free shot and can of beer to help wash it down.

Photography by Anna Kucera


Another Darlinghurst gem, Sagra Italian eatery, offer free meals to anyone that needs them - between 5-6pm every night. Grab your container and the team will sort you out with some delish Italian cuisine.

Bored at home? Watched everything on Netflix? Keep an eye on these guys, as they also offer free online cooking classes during lockdowns, which have proved a big hit in the past!

Scarf Community

Scarf have been paying it forward with great work way before there was a global pandemic, establishing themselves as a not for profit organisation back in 2010. Based in Victoria, they work with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds , helping them get into hospo work by creating workshops and charity dinner events.

Creating experiences like these gives these young people real life experience and invaluable skills to gain a future career in hospitality. In the past, our industry has relied on overseas workers to make up a large portion of the workforce - but with almost 600,000 temporary visa holders departing Australia in 2020, it’s more important than ever to look after those who remain.


For 20 years, Fareshare have been on a mission to make sure that ‘no food goes to waste and not one person goes hungry’. Fareshare operates the biggest charity kitchens in Australia across two locations in Melbourne and Brisbane. When the pandemic hit, these guys hired 100 chefs to cook nutritious meals, specially for vulnerable people across Victoria - most of which had lost their jobs at the start of the first lockdown in 2020.

The kitchen has since distributed over 1.8 million meals out of their Melbourne kitchen and 1.6 million from their Brisbane kitchen in 2020! That's an eye-watering total of 3.4 million meals - which is nothing short of amazing - and a testament to the hard work of Fareshare’s chefs and volunteers.

As the world continues its long walk back to normality, it heartens us to know that not all heroes wear capes…some wear aprons.