NORTH East eateries are bearing the costs as they ride out the latest round of restrictions owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wodonga restaurant Italy on a Plate co-owner Carmelo Cardamone said he had lost $150,000 since the COVID-19 crisis became a reality in March 2020.
He said he had pivoted to takeaway or shut the restaurant over four different lockdowns.
"We're not a computer you can turn on and off," he said.
"We lose $3000 in food every time we have to shut for a short time; then when we reopen we have to clean and re-sanitise everything.
"It's not anybody's fault but it takes a lot out of us mentally and physically to stop and start all of the time."
Beechworth eatery Amandhi's reopened for dining this week after closing for the first week of the statewide lockdown.
Co-owner Amandhi De Silva said they could seat only eight people in line with restrictions.
"Unless we turned over the tables constantly we couldn't make a living from it," she said.
"On the upside, the customers have a more personalised and intimate dining experience; I really enjoy that part of it but on the financial side it's not viable over the long-term."
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Together with husband Martin Kostir, De Silva opened the eatery in winter 2019, having operated an online dinner delivery service - Beechworth Potluck - a decade earlier when they moved to the region.
They still offer a Friday Potluck delivery service.
Having grown up in war-ravaged Sri Lanka, De Silva said her childhood gave her perspective.
"We just want to be able to pay our staff (through lockdowns); they make the place run and fun," De Silva said.
"Whenever I feel like having a moan or groan, Sri Lanka gives me perspective because I know as a nation they're really struggling."
Cardamone said many years ago he met a Cobram man, aged 90-plus, who gave him sound advice.
"If you can adjust to the time and place, you'll live a long life," he said.
"It's chemical warfare and it will be with us for four or five years; the quicker you adjust the better you do."
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