FLOOD COSTS GROOVE TRAIN $1.5M

FLOOD COSTS GROOVE TRAIN $1.5M

GROOVE Train Queensland co-owner Julian Mero says the flood will likely cost his riverside restaurant $1.5 million in damages, as directors meet today to decide on the termination of staff.

Mero is thankful the brand has three other Queensland restaurants to keep the business afloat, but will likely let go of 20 staff as The Groove Train gears up for recovery.


“It’ll cost $1.5 million or in the vicinity somewhere of that, and that’s just the rebuild cost, the loss of stock and labour,” he told brisbanebusinessnews.com.au

“There’s a fine line in the restaurant industry between making money and not making money, and now we have to outlay that again.

“That restaurant’s our number one brand in Australia, and it’s not the loss of income, but the fact that you build the business, you put your heart and soul into it, and then you see that business ripped to shreds.”

On Tuesday the owners met with the landlord for an emergency meeting to discuss flood evacuation plans, moving valuables to the carpark of 123 Eagle Street, but they then realised the waters would reach higher than that.

“The great Brisbane people, we rung around a few of our suppliers and they lent us trucks and human labour and human hands, so we turned up and spent two hours getting as much as we possibly could,” says Mero.

“At that stage it was 10.30am on Tuesday and when we went into the restaurant we were waist-deep in the water already.

“You’re running on high emotion to get everything out of there as quickly as possible, make sure everybody’s safe at the same time, keep positive and strong for all your staff everyone else that’s looking up to you.

“Then you get a moment to think to yourself about the enormity of what’s just happened and emotion-wise it really gets to you, but we’ll rebuild it and you pick yourself up again.”

Mero says a lot of staff will be able to be absorbed by The Groove Train’s other restaurants, particularly in Robina, while he hopes that corporate demand will come back soon to help recovery.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of corporate friends I have that work in the city that have suggested their companies want to get to some normality by Monday, get back to work and back into a positive environment.

“There’s going to be a lot of money put back into the city so there’s going to be a lot of contractors getting work to rebuild the city, so you hope that’s going to have an effect on the retailers as well.”

Mero expects less than 50 per cent of the rebuild cost will be covered by insurance, but the company does hold loss of income insurance to help get people back to work for the cleanup.

“I think it’s an expensive renovation, and we were planning to renovate – you know what happens? You start to see the little silver linings in everything, the small details and you have a bit of a giggle to get yourself through.

“We actually had drawings to get the whole restaurant renovated. Now how blessed are we that we didn’t get it renovated and then lose it straight away.

“We’ve still got three other businesses that are trading very well so we are very lucky that we continue to employ people and we have to be strong to keep those restaurants working.”

Photograph: Inge Pirrie

Enjoyed this article?

Don't miss out on the knowledge and insights to be gained from our daily news and features.

Subscribe today to unlock unlimited access to in-depth business coverage, expert analysis, and exclusive content across all devices.

Support independent journalism and stay informed with stories that matter to you.

Subscribe now and get 50% off your first year!

AI-driven Evitat platform creates pathway to a more sustainable building and renovation industry
Partner Content
Evitat, an AI-driven data platform, is empowering design and build professionals in the...
Evitat
Advertisement

Related Stories

SEEK hit by $141m impairment for Chinese jobs site Zhaopin

SEEK hit by $141m impairment for Chinese jobs site Zhaopin

Online employment marketplace SEEK (ASX: SEK) has taken a hit from ...

"End of an era": me&u founder Stevan Premutico steps down from board

"End of an era": me&u founder Stevan Premutico steps down from board

Stevan Premutico, a pioneer in QR code restaurant ordering and digi...

ANZ is embroiled in allegations it manipulated government bond sales – what exactly does that mean?

ANZ is embroiled in allegations it manipulated government bond sales – what exactly does that mean?

ANZ is being investigated by the Australian Securities and Investme...

ASX biotech minnow Hexima raising $4m to buy and become autonomous intelligence company RealThing

ASX biotech minnow Hexima raising $4m to buy and become autonomous intelligence company RealThing

More than two years after losing 87 per cent of its value in a sing...