A catering service in Tamworth estimates a loss of $400,000 in business and has been forced to slash casual staff as tighter restrictions are implemented to combat the coronavirus crisis.
Corey's Catering owner Corey Walmsley said the hit to his restaurant Connor's by Corey, and his functions service, has been "huge".
He said the downturn really only started last Friday but has been dramatic, with an estimated 80 per cent drop in business over the week.
Massive contracts for occasions like the Tamworth Rescue Ball, which was expected to have 550 guests, conferences at TRECC, and large weddings have folded, Mr Walmsley said.
"Many of them are trying to postpone, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens."
Even the events that haven't yet bitten the dust are calling in with reduced numbers, he said.
Mr Walmsley said catering companies rely on casual weekend staff, and these employees make up a significant chunk of the 80 to 90 staff members on his books.
The business simply cannot keep them on.
"A lot of our casual staff won't be getting the hours they want ... some will go from 30 to 40 hours per week to zero," he said.
The service also does catering for the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre and the sports dome - but both facilities have events on the chopping block to stem the spread of COVID-19 cases.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a ban on non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people on Wednesday, dealing another blow to companies like Corey's.
"The phones have been ringing hot but it's mostly people canning or postponing or checking our refund policy," Mr Walmsley said.
Amid the chaos, Mr Walmsley is looking for the silver lining - he's hopeful the postponements will rake in business once the pandemic has passed.
"The end of the year is going to be a corker," he said.
The company is also in the process of exploring ways to generate income through a home-delivery catering service.