“The lockdown is difficult for business,” Peter Sinadinos, owner of Big Fat Greek, which opened at Woodbine in September 2020, told Neos Kosmos.
He saw his profits dip by 30 per cent, and had to put off opening his next Big Fat Greek in Belmore on 28 July, along with more constructions at Liverpool and Wollongong on hold.
Despite the frustration, he felt grateful the situation was not worse, so he reached out to the Mayor George Brticevic of Campbelltown and donated 20 vouches worth $20 for those “who are struggling” and is planning to dig a little deeper with another $1,200 worth of vouchers for the second stage.
“A good yiros meal combo at Big Fat Greek is about $17, so we found the $20 vouchers were a good start to have the benchmark,” Mr Sinadinos said.
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“It’s been good for Big Fat Greek,” Mr Sinadinos said, stating that he had started the restaurant following his own experience in the restaurant trade while employed in the transport industry and realising that it was hard to get “good food for good prices” so he started a restaurant “for people who are sick of eating bad food”.
It’s done so well that Mr Sinadinos has plans to go interstate with more of the franchise set to open in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and another one for Western Australia once lockdown ends, despite COVID-19.
An optimist by nature, Mr Sinadinos is adamant that things will work out in the end and has started a Facebook Page for suicide prevention.
“I grew up in Macarthur, a working class area, and watching people there was depression, domestic violence and it doesn’t help to have COVID and read about conspiracy theories and people whinging every time you go on social media. That’s why I started a Facebook group to make people feel good,” Mr Sinadinos said.
“I’m a big believer in giving back to the community,” he said, adding that he recently raised $30,000 to help little Alex from Melbourne get a heart transplant and also raised $17,000 during the Australian bushfires at the start of 2020 which he delivered to Kangaroo Island himself.
The vouchers are the least he felt he could do, and there are plans for discounted meals for tradies, also doing it tough, and talks with Sophie Cotsis MP of Canterbury to come up with more solutions. And he doesn’t forget his own staff either, stating that he kept them all on regardless of the drop in business.
“We had to close Defi,” he said, but the entertainment venue was a once-a-week venue.