Atlas Dining in Melbourne's South Yarra is an energetic restaurant owned and run by Charlie Carrington, one of Australia's youngest hatted chefs. Carrington founded the restaurant to reflect his passion for global cuisines, but at the end of March a global situation of another kind caused significant downturn in reservations and mass cancellations, with the unimaginable about to happen.
“We went from a buzzing, bustling restaurant to one that was avidly being avoided, losing 80% of bookings in just one week,” recalls Carrington. “I was devastated. For the first time since leaving school at 15, I felt lost.”
“I have carved my identity from being an ambitious chef and founding Atlas Dining - a concept restaurant that changes cuisine every four months. I’m constantly keeping busy by pushing myself and our team to our absolute limits. To think we could no longer remain open left me stumped.”
“It’s one thing when you’re facing a challenge because of decisions you’ve made,” Carrington says. “It’s another feeling altogether when those decisions aren’t within your control. You feel like your hands are strapped behind your back, and there’s nothing you can do to stop your business from being critically impacted.”
“Worse than that, you don’t know how you can keep your staff - who have helped you keep your own dream alive - stay financially stable and secure.”