RESTAURATEURS are capitalising on tourists visiting the city during the summer, while Ballarat locals flock to the coast.

With a number of inner-city restaurants and cafes shutting up shop until the end of this month, clever caterers and cafe owners remain open for business.

Red Peppa co-owner Sheree Allen said her Sturt Street eatery remained open over the summer holidays and only closed on public holidays.

“It does work a lot in our favour by not closing during this time,” Ms Allen said.

“Ballarat does empty out, most people go to the beach.”

Ms Allen has noticed since 2010 that since tourists were more common customers than locals during summer.

“There’s quite a few tourists around town, most Ballarat locals disappear,” she said.

“But it wouldn’t be our quietest month.”

Caterer Peter Ford is also reaping the benefits of tourism.

The owner of Peter Ford Catering said the catering industry was growing in Ballarat.

“We’re definitely up on last year,” Mr Ford said.

“It’s interesting really with the election (last year) and there (were) more weekends (last) year.”

The former AnsoniA chef said the silly season was the busiest time of year for the catering industry.

“Catering is a growing industry in Ballarat,” Mr Ford said.

“There are more people doing private functions than before.”

Jackson’s & Co head chef Travis Ray agreed it was the trend for people to head out of town in summer.

“I think people head down to the beach … Ballarat goes pretty quiet during January and February,” Mr Ray said.

Mitchell Harris Wines co-owner Craig Mitchell said they had closed their bar over the Christmas period for a chance to prepare themselves for this year.

“This is the only year we will do it though,” Mr Mitchell said.

“We took time out to plan how we could take our business to the next level.”

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