FOOD HEAVEN: Cafe Murgon workers Rochelle Dorman, Daya Parmar and Dhiren Parmar with the soldiers who are working at the Cherbourg checkpoint as they pick up their catering. Photo: Contributed
FOOD HEAVEN: Cafe Murgon workers Rochelle Dorman, Daya Parmar and Dhiren Parmar with the soldiers who are working at the Cherbourg checkpoint as they pick up their catering. Photo: Contributed

Burnett cafe caters for hungry squadron

ONE South Burnett business has been working around the clock to provide meals for some very important guests  during the coronavirus crisis.

Cafe Murgon has been catering for the Army squadron, which are currently manning the checkpoint into Cherbourg.

Owner Dhiren Parmar said he couldn't believe the timing of how one phone call changed the shop's future.

"It has been a hard couple of months," Mr Parmar said.

"Since January they have been upgrading the footpath so we had no car park out the front.

"Now, with the coronavirus threat and only being allowed to do takeaways, these things have severely impacted the business.

"People like to come to our shop and sit down for a meal, especially the elderly.

"We usually do the catering for the PCYC and the Army has been staying there," he said.

"Either someone there reccommended our business or the defence force found us on Google, but they asked me if we could do the catering for them until they sent out a chef.

Four weeks on, Mr Parmar and his small team are still providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for the squadron of 18 men every day.

Cafe Murgon owner Dhiren Parmar with workers Daya Parmar and Rochelle Dorman with the boxes of food for the Army squadron. Photo: Laura Blackmore
Cafe Murgon owner Dhiren Parmar with workers Daya Parmar and Rochelle Dorman with the boxes of food for the Army squadron. Photo: Laura Blackmore

He said they don't mind the early wake up call, starting at 5.15am, if it was going to be the thing that saved his business.

"It was initially just supposed to be for one week," he said.

"But they decided not to send a chef and continue using us.

"It's essentially given us an extra 54 customers per day," he said.

"I am also having to buy extra produce from the IGA, so the money has been spent around town.

"At breakfast we have been serving up things like bacon and egg rolls and juices," he said.

"For lunch and dinner we change the menu with different meats and vegetables.

"The men are really happy with the food and have been giving us great feedback."

As the threat of coronavirus seems to be easing across the region, Mr Parmar said he was hopeful business would be able to go back to usual soon.

"We are a small town, so we are okay for now," he said.

"But if it drags on for much longer, it's only going to get harder.

"We are just extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity to help keep our business running, so we will be here on the other side of the virus."

Cafe Murgon would like to thank the Department of Defence and the Murgon community for their continued support. 

"Many thanks to the department of defence who gave us such a great opportunity to serve them since the start of April till to date," he siad. 

"We are very lucky being super busy in this Pandemic time and employees got to keep their job.

"It's happy days for the business and employees even in a very unusual time."