On any normal evening it's almost impossible to get a table at restaurants such as Akiba and Lazy Su, their popularity built on an eclectic mix of casual food and neon-lit ambience.
But now Canberra diners are taking advantage of the coronavirus restrictions which forced restaurants to move to a takeaway model and ordering in big time.
Akiba opened their online system on March 27 and by 6.30pm had done $9000 worth of deliveries and takeaway before a technical glitch shut the system down.
"But we regrouped on Saturday night and went old school, we had people manning six phones, taking orders and details, we were sending one and a half orders per minute during the peak time," says co-owner Michael Harrington.
"Even though it was crazy, it was nice too to get that personal connection back, being able to speak to someone on the phone."
Harrington said the easiest thing would have been to shut the restaurant down.
"I understand the financial pressures, I understand why some places have decided to close, but we'll fight until we can't fight anymore and as long as we're not going backwards each week then we'll stay open.
"We broke even last week, and that covered the investments we needed to make the switch and we paid everyone."
Akiba put 50 of its part-time staff on as delivery drivers, and the drivers got to keep the whole delivery charge.
"We had 25 of them working on Saturday night and no one was sitting around, they were going out one after the other," Harrington said.
Even with his long history in the Canberra hospitality industry Harrington said there was something quite exciting about having to "basically start a whole new business in two days".
"We kind of knew it would work, we were thinking what is everyone doing, sitting at home, bored as, they're going to have to eat.
"We had this horrible Friday night, it was like watching the business burn, but then we regrouped and Saturday night it worked like clockwork."
At Lazy Su co-owner Jared Calnan and his team are also thinking about how to keep customers happy.
"People are actually saying it's been easier to get our food since we went to this model," he says.
"People have been really supportive."
He says takeaway was something Lazy Su had been thinking about doing for a while but the logistics of the kitchen and the layout of the restaurant weren't very conducive.
Their other outlet Baby Su, in No Name Lane, was set up to cater for takeaway and they too have been trading well since the restrictions went into place.
"Our first weekend of trading went better than expected," Calnan said.
"It's still a huge drop from what we were normally doing, there was plenty of work involved in working out the systems we needed to put in place, but it's functioning well now."
He said the restaurant's accountants were still looking at the government's job package to see what it all meant but he was proud they still had all of the 14 full-time employees working. They hoped to offer delivery options next week.
"And we've told all the casuals if things go back to normal of course we'd have them back.
"But like everyone else we're taking it one day at a time."
Both restaurants have slashed prices by 20 per cent so now you can enjoy your favourite bao buns, dumplings, fried rice and those Lazy Su wagyu cheesesteak springrolls. Both restaurants are also offering an extensive range of drinks.
"We had to rethink the menu," says Harrington.
"We're only doing things that we can do quickly, that will travel well, so we could keep the prices down but people are liking it."
Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. If you're looking to stay up to date on COVID-19, you can also sign up for our twice-daily digest here.