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Since October 2020 we’ve helped over 280 cafes, bars and restaurants in Merri-bek to expand outdoor dining as part of their COVID-19 recovery.  

The Love Merri-bek, Dine Local program has made Merri-bek a more attractive outdoor dining destination by supporting businesses to serve customers on footpaths, streets, carparks, and private land. 

Applications are now closed for Love Merri-bek, Dine Local but options to expand outdoor dining are still available to Merri-bek businesses and are listed below. If you'd like to discuss what options are available to your business or need help understanding permit processes please call our Business Support team on 9240 1111.

Options for outdoor dining

  • Set up outdoor dining on the footpath in front of your business and/or a consenting neighbouring business. This is the simplest and fastest option for outdoor dining. We encourage you to explore this as an option and apply for the relevant permits as a first step.

    If you have a footpath trading permit for the front of your business, you can apply to extend your footpath trading area. If you do not currently have a footpath trading permit, and your property fits the criteria, you can apply now.

    To be eligible for footpath dining the area must meet teh guidelines identified in the Moreland Footpath Trading Guidelines (PDF).

    More information and instructions on how to apply are available on our Other permits for businesses page.

  • You may be able to expand your outdoor dining onto previously unused private land, such as a carpark or a neighbouring property.

    To make it easier for hospitality businesses to do this, the Victorian Government has made some temporary exemptions to planning permits.

    To find out if you qualify for these exemptions, read through our Planning permit exemptions factsheet (PDF). More detailed information is available in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's Updated Planning Scheme (PDF). You can call our Planning Team for more information on 9240 1111.

  • Permits are available for new food truck or mobile food businesses and existing businesses can apply to trade in new locations on public land (if you are operating a food truck on private land this does not apply to you).

    More information about these permits is available on our Food businesses page.