Yes!, The hospitality venue that bucked the trend

In Business Resources, Editorial, Featured Home Page News, Food, Harmonisation, Momentum, New South Wales
Yes Pizza Mona Vale

“We started the fit out the week before the (first) lockdown.” – Yes Pizza proprietors

The Tourism News Editorial, By Michael Holani

From a rough start in 2020 to surviving three lockdowns, Yes Pizza’s success has shown that hospitality can be successful in crushing and unstable economic circumstances. 

The covid pandemic has been tough on the hospitality industry, with lockdowns causing havoc and news outlets reporting on hardships and closures. However, In Mona Vale, on Sydney’s northern beaches, Yes Pizza’s success story during the pandemic and surviving three lockdowns is a welcome ray of light.

What makes this story truly remarkable is the business’s early stage with the backdrop of Covid. The shop fit-out had started in the week leading up to the announcement of the first lockdown in 2020.

The Tourism News spoke with one of Yes Pizza’s owners, Jason Cavallaro, who spoke of the agonising decisions to be made in the early days of the first lockdown.

“We had already signed the lease and begun fitting out the shop when the Covid news came about.

“We had two options; push forward or turn back. There was no turning back in our minds, as we believed that, if we could conquer business throughout the course of a pandemic, then most other challenges wouldn’t seem as challenging as they otherwise would have.”

Jason Cavarallo

(Yes Pizza Owners Jason Cavallaro and his fiancee Kelyn are pictured)

The pair continued the development of the shop and opened their doors in May 2020, With the shop gaining a loyal following that would blossom into a success in the area. The couple is now seeking to grow their business by expanding around Sydney. 

Surviving Lockdowns

The lockdowns have been a measure that has decimated the hospitality industry over the past two years, which has seen businesses forced with capacity restrictions and restricted to takeaway and some have opted to close.

When asked about the effects of three lockdowns, Mr Cavallaro said “It came as a bit of a shock, as the restrictions were tight and enforced with heavy penalties.

By the second lockdown, we already knew what to expect and, by the third, it became routine. We had to stock a supply of masks and display our QR code, as well as continually update our Covid Safety Plan when requested.”

The lockdowns did see a surge in orders and deliveries. “The lockdowns caused an influx in deliveries as you could imagine since restaurants were forced to close and residents ordered to stay at home,” says Mr Cavallaro.

Mr Cavallaro identified staff shortages and venue limits as issues that stood out.

Staff Shortages 

Closed due to Staff Shortage

The closing of international and domestic borders resulted in a shortage of staff in industries that are generally heavily reliant upon international workers, students and backpackers.

Even though the shop was experiencing an industry-wide staff shortage, the couple stayed positive,

“Despite having been affected by the staff shortage, we continued to grow and worked extra hard to push through.” Mr Cavallaro

Venue Limits 

A notice regarding the stressful lockdown period through which Yes Pizza actually thrived

“Yes Pizza has a limited seating area, so we did not feel the effects of this restriction as severely as other businesses may have“, said Mr Cavallaro.

What has led to the success of Yes Pizza?

The success of Yes Pizza over the last two years is great news for the industry and a fantastic example of bucking the trend. TTN asked Mr Cavallaro what has driven Yes Pizza’s success “Sheer determination, passion for what we do and a strong business model are just a few factors”

“We have operated seven days per week since we opened on 6th May 2020 and have only closed for a few days over the Christmas period.”

TTN would like to wish the very best to Jason and Kelyn in the future. We look forward to seeing a Yes Pizza venue in a suburb near us soon.

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