How are Aussies celebrating Australia Day this year?
Australia Day is the largest national celebration every year. From beach barbecues and backyard cookouts to dining in restaurants, find out how this day will be celebrated by Australians this January 26
Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. It commemorates the day in 1788 when Arthur Phillip landed the First British Fleet at Sydney Cove and raised the Union Flag.
Australia officially became a nation in 1901 to form the Commonwealth of Australia and include former British colonies like New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania.
In modern-day Australia, Australia Day is celebrated on January 26, which officially became a public holiday only in 1994. The festivities include the Australian of the Year Awards ceremony on Australia Day Eve, the release of the Australia Day Honours list, and speeches by the Governor-General and the Prime Minister. Every state and territory observes it as a public holiday. Several festivals, concerts, and citizenship ceremonies will be happening across the country. During the week of Australia Day, immigrants throughout the country participate in citizenship ceremonies to formally become citizens of Australia.
A summer celebration
Australia Day occurs during the height of summer in the country. An insightful Tourism and Transport Forum Australia report suggested that most Australians would spend money on domestic tourism during the peak summer season in 2023, with Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane being the most popular holiday destinations. So, this year's Australia Day celebrations may include beachside cookouts, fireworks displays, parades, and visits to local eateries–all excellent news for local businesses. The fact that Australians spent 8.9 percent more on restaurants during Christmas in 2022 than they did in 2021 adds to the optimism for Australia Day. This is especially good news for the restaurant industry, which can anticipate a successful summer season.
“People will come together to celebrate Australia Day. As a national holiday on January 26, Australians will look for places to dine out to celebrate. Not only will this help boost restaurant reservations, but many restaurants will also be ramping up their marketing activities by offering promos which can help drive more profit and business.” – Shweta Singh, TableCheck Consulting Supervisor for international clients
Take a peek at the festivities planned for Australia Day in several of the country's most populous metropolises on January 26.
Sydney is famous for its magnificent fireworks display over Sydney Harbor. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to watch the spectacular fireworks displays. The free concert at the Opera House is a must-see event. Sydney hosts many events on the harbor, barbecues at Bradfield Park, backyard festivities, and boat races. People can enjoy themselves with their friends and relatives with all the festive atmosphere in the air.
Hyatt Regency Sydney's dining options are where people can celebrate Australia Day. At Sailmaker restaurant, locals and visitors can eat Australia's best produce. Right after, head out to Zephyr right, the hotel rooftop bar, where people can enjoy drinking summer cocktails while watching Sydney's skyline and all the festivities at the Darling Harbour.
Even though the Australia Day parade has been scrapped this year, families and tourists can still enjoy an event at a host of activities at the Government House and Federation Square. There will also still be a gun salute at the Shrine of Remembrance, a flag-raising event an aerial show.
A great place to dine in during Australia Day is at La Madonna Bar and Restaurant at Next Hotel Melbourne. Check out their new summer menu below.
Melbourne has been making deliberate efforts to boost foot traffic in restaurants. With the Midweek Melbourne Money program launched last year between March to April 2022, locals and visitors have dined in restaurants while getting a rebate. This campaign has had a spill-over favorably benefiting other sectors. As a result of the campaign, almost 160,000 customers said they went shopping, visited museums, watched sporting events, or attended live music events.
The celebration of Australia Day in Brisbane is as significant as in any other Australian city. People enjoy chugging beers while barbecuing snags, making meat pies, snacking on traditional vegemite toast, and gorging sausage rolls.
Numerous activities in Brisbane add zest to the festivities. The first is Great Australia Bites, an annual festival featuring pop-ups from local restaurants, food vendors offering high-quality produce, live entertainment, and local performers. Many people show up to this lively and entertaining gathering. In addition to the usual celebrations associated with Australia Day, there will be a Flag Raising Ceremony, Citizenship Ceremonies, and an Awards Ceremony.
The City of Perth Skyworks, the annual tradition during Australia Day, will have a new twist this year. There will be six City of Light Shows and a concert at the Supreme Court Gardens to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Culture. There will be a host of entertainment activities at Langley Park for kids of all ages.
How can restaurants attract footfall on Australia Day?
Throughout the country, people are searching for exciting activities to partake in with their loved ones in honor of Australia Day. How can eateries make themselves more appealing to the revelers so that they can draw in more of the holiday crowd?
1. A menu that celebrates Australia Day
On Australia Day, Aussies feast on traditional fares such as meat pies, snags, lamingtons, pavlova, and sausage sizzle. That's why it's a good idea for restaurants to create a special Australia Day menu with all the dishes patrons often cook on January 26. Beers, which are always a crowd pleaser, might also be included in the drink selection apart from expensive wines and cocktails.
2. Australian music nonstop
It's only fitting that the day's traditional cuisine accompanies local Aussie music. Make a playlist of iconic Australian songs or just tune in to the radio. The local music will make the festivities as authentic as possible and would be a lovely touch.
3. Live performances to jazz up the evening
Amplify the festive mood at the restaurant by hiring a local musician or inviting a local stand-up comic to perform. The restaurant can also create an email marketing campaign to inform clients about the January 26 live performances to make plans to be there.
4. Hoist the National Flag
To get into the spirit of Australia Day, restaurants can fly their flags outdoors in a visible but dignified location. It's the eatery's way of showing its patrons that it joins them in celebrating this historic occasion.
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