Table Talk

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					Table Talk
A newsletter for hospitality and food businesses

Hearty meals heal the wintery blues

As the cooler months breeze into Melbourne, the city‟s 700,000 daily visitors turn to
hearty meals and warming experiences to ward off the wintery blues. The city‟s
restaurants, cafes and bars are essential to that unique Melbourne winter experience
which has interstaters flying in and locals seeking out cosy new haunts.

Responses to the first edition of Table Talk were positive and we thank business
owners for their feedback. Promoting the city‟s hospitality experience and ensuring
city businesses continue to thrive is a team effort. With this newsletter we‟re keen to
respond to industry needs, providing useful information and updates on Council
opportunities, research and initiatives. I encourage readers to suggest topics for future
editions. We want to remain aware of the issues of importance to you.

We‟re also now online! Sign up and receive future editions of Table Talk via email.
Not only will it save paper, it will also allow us to communicate with you more
efficiently and provide you with the option of forwarding the information onto other
industry contacts.

Melbourne is Australia‟s major events capital and there‟s a lot going on this winter.
Stay in touch with events and activities to drive visitation and spend. Work on ways to
market your business to new audiences.

We hope you enjoy the second edition of Table Talk.
Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor

green light, eat right

A new City of Melbourne nutrition program was recently launched at the QV Urban
Market. This pilot program titled „green light, eat right‟ helps food outlets to improve
the nutritional value of their menus and enables consumers to make better food

Participating food outlets worked with Nutrition Australia to improve the healthiness
of their food. Simple steps such as changing to healthier cooking oils, switching to
low fat
dairy products, using more lean meats and adding more fruit and vegetables to menus
made a big difference. Foods have been classified according to their nutritional value
using the program‟s traffic light system.

Foods are labelled as:
• green healthiest choice
• amber OK choice
• red less healthy choice

Consumers who choose „green‟ meal options can now feel confident that their take-
away lunch is a healthy choice.

The campaign is being supported with a variety of marketing and promotional
materials, including brochures, posters, stickers for menu boards, counter signage and
a reward card program.

Head down to the QV Urban Market to see the program in action.
For more information contact the City of Melbourne:

(03) 9658 9658 or visit

Did you know? Labelling

All packaged food must include a statement or list of ingredients on the label. If food
has insufficient or incorrect labelling, it may be consumed in error by someone with
an allergy or a special dietary requirement. Not good for your customer – and not
good for business.

Sustainable business practices - Green tips and hints

Want to introduce some sustainable business practices but don‟t know where to start?
Here are a few easy tips to get the ball rolling.

Stay frosty
Fridges are essential to most hospitality businesses. Are your fridges the right size for
your needs? If they are too small and therefore overloaded with food, they will not
work as effectively. Ensure fridges are placed in cool and well-ventilated areas, away
from ovens. Check fridge and freezer seals to ensure they‟re working. Basic
maintenance such as defrosting and dusting condensing coils will also help your
fridge to stay frosty.

Getting smart with stock
Only buy as much stock as you need for your food prep and cut down on waste. Some
businesses are successfully growing their own foods for use in their cafes and
restaurants – vegetables and herbs are grown at some city businesses.

Big turn-offs
Rinse dishes or vegetables in a sink filled with water rather than under a running
tap. Switching off fans and lights when they are not needed, and turning off
appliances at the power point when you are not using them will help you to save on
electricity costs.
Be seen by thousands of city visitors

Attracting more than 100,000 visitors each month, is a free
marketing channel for city businesses. is the City of Melbourne‟s number one spot for information
on what to see and do in the city. It includes information about what‟s on in the city,
places to go, dining and nightlife, shopping as well as information on how to get

You can create your own business listing on and be seen by
thousands of visitors each day. It‟s free to create a listing and once you are listed your
information can be highlighted within the site and via our weekly That‟s Melbourne
eNewsletter, now with more than 10,000 subscribers

Create your listing
To add your business to

1. Go to
2. Download the relevant submission form.
3. Complete the form and email it to:
Please include up to seven landscape images with your submission.
4. Your listing will be added to the
website within three working weeks.

For more information email

Food Sampling Process

Victorian councils are legally required to conduct routine investigatory food sampling
at all food premises. In the City of Melbourne, sampling is usually conducted by
Environmental Health Officers as part of a routine food safety assessment.

This sampling helps ensure that food being prepared and sold complies with the
requirements of the Food Act 1984, and that it is fit for human consumption.

Sample testing
Food samples taken from your premises will be tested for contaminations
that could render food unfit for human consumption, including:
• microbial growth (such as salmonella)
• chemical contamination
(such as cleaning products)
• physical contamination with foreign
objects (such as band aids).
Food samples are tested by a qualified food analyst, who will classify the food
as satisfactory, marginal, unsatisfactory or potentially hazardous. Test results
are then forwarded to the City of Melbourne.

If test results are not satisfactory, you may receive another inspection by an
Environmental Health Officer to discuss your preparation and storage processes.
Further action will be taken if required.

For more information on the food sampling process please do not hesitate to contact
your Environmental Health
Officer on (03) 9658 9658.

Menu Prices

A Cornell University (New York) study has found that menus that drop the dollar sign
from prices, that is 20.95 rather than $20.95, yield more money from customers.

“Perhaps the act of repeatedly reading the word „dollars‟ activated concepts of cost or
price, initiated a pain of paying and subsequently caused the guests to spend less,”
said one of the authors of the study. Something to consider next time you‟re updating
the menu.
(Source: The Australian, September 06, 2008)

Use by / best before

Food products generally contain one of two different types of date markings – either a
„best before‟ date or a „use by‟ date.

A „best before‟ indicates how long a food will last before it loses quality. Food is
often still safe to eat after a best before date has expired, provided the food has been
stored correctly (as per its packaging). Businesses may sell food that is past its best
before date, as long as they make customers aware.

A „use by‟ date indicates that the food may pose a health risk if consumed after this
date. Selling food that is past its use by date is illegal. The use by date applies even
when food has been frozen upon receipt.

Winter in the city

In winter, Melbourne‟s creativity and innovation lights up the city. Think blockbuster
musicals, art exhibitions, festivals and dazzling theatre performances and you‟ll
understand why slipping into your favourite coat and hitting the streets is a great idea
this winter.
Calendar of winter events

Avenue Q – A new breed of musical
Comedy Theatre
From 30 May to 2 August

Harbour Town’s White Winter
Harbour Town Shopping Centre, Waterfront City
30 May to 31 August

Maxims of Behaviour
Melbourne’s new after dark public art light work
By artist Alexander Knox
On the façade of Royal Mail House, 255 Bourke Street Melbourne (corner of Bourke
and Swanston streets)
Visible every night from dusk till late
1 June to 31 August

The Light in Winter
Federation Square
4 June to 5 July

Laneway Commissions 2009
Public artworks, various city
From 15 June

Nutcracker – The Story of Clara
The Australian Ballet
The Arts Centre, State Theatre
5 to 18 June

Break a Leg: Stars on Melbourne’s Stage
City Museum at Old Treasury
6 June to 23 August

Sunday Chillout Sessions
Queen Victoria Market
7 June to 2 August

Melbourne Winter Masterpieces
- Salvador Dali: Liquid Desire
NGV International
13 June to 4 October

Melbourne Winter Masterpieces
– A Day in Pompeii
Melbourne Museum
26 June to 11 October
Buddy The Musical
The Palms at Crown
26 June to 19 July

JERSEY BOYS Australian Premiere
Princess Theatre
Premieres 4 July

Regent Theatre
Ongoing throughout winter
Celebrating one year in Melbourne

Circus Oz
Under the Big Top, Birrarung Marr
17 June to 12 July

Melbourne International Film Festival
24 July to 9 August

Raise the Red Lantern
The Arts Centre, State Theatre
5 to 9 August

CHICAGO The Musical
Her Majesty‟s Theatre
From 15 August

Melbourne Writers Festival
Federation Square and
throughout the central city
21 to 30 August

Taste of Melbourne
Royal Exhibition Building
27 to 30 August

Melbourne Day
Locations throughout the central city
Sunday 30 August

For more information on everything the city has to offer during winter,

Mobile free zone
Some restaurants are placing an interesting request on their menu, “For the comfort of
other patrons, please turn your mobile phone off”.
Chateau Yering‟s General Manager says it works. “People do tend to respect it.
Dining is all about the atmosphere and the ambience....”
(Source: The Age May 12, 2009).

Get Table Talk delivered fresh

The next edition of Table Talk will be available during spring 2009.

We encourage you to share your copy of Table Talk with your colleagues and
employees – and tell us what you think. You can also view this newsletter online at

If you‟d like to receive this newsletter by email, please let us know.

Contact the City of Melbourne
(03) 9658 9658
TTY (Hearing Impaired):
(03) 9658 9461
In winter, Melbourne’s creativity and innovation lights up the city.
Think blockbuster musicals, art exhibitions, festivals and dazzling

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