OUT TO LUNCH: Restaurants Are Packed On The First Friday After The Federal Election

Photo: Getty/Scott Barbour

Australia’s business community made no secret of its hopes for a coalition victory in last weekend’s federal election.

Many observers have been expecting a confidence boost among business leaders with the end of minority government and today restaurants that cater to the corporate sector in Sydney and Melbourne are reporting an upbeat mood.

“It’s definitely busier than last Friday,” said the maitre’d at Café Nice, a haunt for business types, near the AMP building in Sydney.

The NSW capital’s best-known corporate lunch venue, Neil Perry’s Rockpool, is booked out with private functions. Other top-tier restaurants such as ARIA, Quay and Machiavelli have told Business Insider they are packed.

One hatted chef said that today his Sydney restaurant was taking larger group bookings of eight to ten people for the first time in two months.

Last weekend Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott led the Coalition to victory in Australia’s federal election — a result most in the business community wanted to see.

Many industry leaders had publicly stated they wished to see the conservative victory, an outcome all-but-assured by polling before Australian’s cast their votes.

It is not just the flagship venues which are full. A staffer at Café Sydney — which is agreeable, but no Quay — said the restaurant was “very busy.”

Photo: Getty Images

As did the maitre’d at Italian restaurant Pendolino, and the manager at The Cut.

At Rockpool Melbourne, Samantha Mossat said bookings were “up by 10 from this time last month.”

A staff member at Meat and Co, also in Melbourne said the restaurant had “200 people booked for lunch,” a larger-than-average figure. That number could be inflated by AFL finals.

She also said there was “a table for 40 booked for a corporate lunch for PWC”.

One manager at a top Melbourne restaurant said a former regular customer, who had stopped coming in, had called after the election and said the business “could expect to see a lot more” of him.

Many business leaders will be happy Abbott won the election. The incoming prime minister says his win is a “mandate” to scrap the Labor government’s carbon tax. The Coalition’s industrial relations, and taxation policies also favour large corporation.

Regardless of the outcome, the uncertainty was holding up investment, with both domestic and foreign firms waiting until the government was in place before going ahead with deals.

It would be safe to say that on the first Friday since Abbott was announced as the country’s new prime minister, there will be quite a few long lunches in full swing.

Ben Collins contributed reporting to this article

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