You may have heard a while back that the government is giving out free vouchers for dining and entertainment to lend a hand to certain businesses that have suffered greatly during the Covid pandemic but, thus far, details have been sketchy.
Only snippets of information have appeared in the media, with vagueness surrounding how the Dine & Discover program will work and when the vouchers will be available.
So here's the lowdown on what to know and how to get these freebies -
You need to be a resident of NSW over the age of 18 in order to quality for the vouchers
You will need to open a Service NSW account, if you don't already have one
The vouchers total $100 (4x$25)
The two Dine vouchers (valid for use Mon-Thurs) can be used at participating hospitality establishments (cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs, etc.) where seated dining in takes place
The two Discover vouchers (valid 7 days a week) can be used at participating entertainment and recreation venues/facilities (including the likes of live music, museums, zoos, cinemas, amusement parks, bowling, go-karting, ice rinks and tours, etc.)
Dine & Discover vouchers cannot be used on Public Holidays and cannot be used for tobacco, alcohol, gambling, takeaway food, food deliveries and online only services
The government started a test run of the program (originally called Out & About) in The Rocks and Broken Hill during February 2021 with the goal of rolling out the vouchers statewide gradually by the end of March 2021
Download the Service NSW app to your phone and, once the full rollout goes ahead, you'll be ready to register for the vouchers which will then appear in the app
If you don't have a phone, don't worry as you can visit the website and apply for printable vouchers
If you know of someone who doesn't have access to a phone or a computer, then they can call Service NSW on 137788 or drop into a Service NSW Centre to receive vouchers
To check if you can apply for your vouchers yet, click here
Each voucher will have a QR code for you to scan at a participating business, whom will be reimbursed later by the government
If you find your favourite pub, restaurant or entertainment venue hasn't registered to accept the vouchers, then urge them to jump online and do so before the scheme ends
All participating businesses must have Covid-safe plans in place
Vouchers are valid until the end of June 2021
What makes these vouchers even more worthwhile is the fact that some businesses are doubling the $25 vouchers. Here's some around Sydney that I've come across -
The Imperial Erskineville
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room
Northies Cronulla Hotel
The Australian Venue Co (AVC) is behind many of the above venues (as well as others) and these double-up offers can be accessed through the AVC app. Download it onto your phone and unlock these offers alongside more exclusive perks and benefits at their venues. Just by signing up, you get $10 credit and from every $1 you spend at their venues you earn 10 points, which are turned into further credit.
For non-AVC venues, contact the establishment to see if you need to do anything to access the double-up offer.
The benefit of doubling each voucher to $50 is that businesses can bring more staff back to work and offer more shifts. So it's a win-win for consumers, businesses and the economy as a whole.