Visitors left hungry as shops shut for Christmas Day

TOURIST numbers boomed on the Capricorn Coast over the Christmas break, but a lack of food on Christmas night left a sour taste with one visitor.

Paul Dobbyn was visiting from Wynnum in Brisbane and said he couldn't believe one fish and chip shop was the only shop open.

"I searched high and low for an alternative before accepting there was none," he said.

"Fortunately, I returned just in time to discover I would be lucky last as no further orders were being taken at 6.30pm.

"I had an hour's wait and the owner told me he'd had to turn away more than 100 people."

Mr Dobbyn said like him, many of those people were visitors to the region and the fish and chip shop owner was also baffled that owners of food businesses, in a town that knows quiet times, wouldn't want to take advantage of an opportunity.

"Only the most miserable people would begrudge business owners some celebration time with their families, but surely Yeppoon can do better than this…it is a beach resort town."

One local restaurant owner, who didn't wish to be identified, said Christmas Day was the only day he closed his restaurant.

"On Christmas Day we pay three times the normal wages and we just can't do it," he said.

"If you don't have people turn up, you'll lose even more.

"But it's not about the money for us. Christmas is a family day and I don't like my staff being away from young families on Christmas Day. It's hard to get staff to work and it's hard not to lose money...something needs to be done about penalty rates.

"There has to be a change. Yeppoon should be a place where people come, but businesses choose not to open because they don't want to lose money."



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