Hog’s Breath finds an unlikely saviour

It was a restaurant chain on the brink of collapse, but now many Hog's Breath Cafes are again booming, with COVID-19 credited for bringing customers back.

The iconic steakhouses have been recording strong sales since the pandemic started with diners returning in droves for a taste of the familiar.

"Hog's holds a special place for many people who wanted a sense of nostalgia and comfort through the surreal experience of COVID-19. People were remembering the good times and where they had those good times," said Hog's chief executive Steven Spurgin.

Among the top performing stores were Airlie Beach, Mackay, Hervey Bay, Gladstone, Rockhampton and Toowoomba, with sales up as much as 35 per cent.

Hog's Breath Cafe in Airlie Beach has recorded a massive rise in sales.
Hog's Breath Cafe in Airlie Beach has recorded a massive rise in sales.

"Our family-owned restaurants stayed open throughout, wherever possible, so that made them dependable as well. And I think people in general just really felt for the hospitality industry and wanted to support locally owned and operated restaurants and see them survive the pandemic," Spurgin said.

After the franchise had a dozen outlets close across the country in 2019, the increased sales have proved reassuring for a brighter future, with the Carindale restaurant reopening last week and Redcliffe to reopen soon.

"The pandemic really showed the meaning of true customer loyalty and the restaurants that have that will survive," Spurgin said.


Originally published as Hog's Breath finds an unlikely saviour