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vol. 35 no. 5 - JUNE 2018


GET ON TOP OF YOUR BUSINESS ANZ BLADEPAY ™ DESIGNED FOR HOSPITALITY ANZ BladePay™ together with the right POS vendor app allows you to take orders and payments, split bills, manage individual customer requests and send orders directly to the kitchen - all from the restaurant floor. Being compact and mobile, this new device eliminates unnecessary back and forth to the counter or time spent entering orders into the system. You can even open up additional service lines by taking orders and payments from customers standing in a queue. With the right POS vendor app, you can now provide a truly integrated, seamless service for your customers, from order through to payments. ANZ BladePay™ is just one way we can help you get on top of your business. Find out more about our range of business tools and insights.

1300 309 434 ANZ Business Talk to us in branch

Available POS vendor apps

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply to ANZ BladePay™ and third party apps developed by POS vendors. Use and potential benefits of ANZ BladePay™ require an app built by a POS vendor with appropriate functionality. ANZ is not responsible for apps developed by third parties. ANZ BladePay™ is a trade mark of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ABN 11 005 357 522.


Vanessa Cavasinni

Editor’s Note


he pub industry has always been dynamic, with daily news of acquisitions and sales; revamps of venues; new additions to offerings; and changes in compliance. But the onslaught of big news in the last month has shown just how fluid and expansive this industry has become. In Queensland the Comiskey Group has partnered with BIG4 holiday parks to open a resort next to its acclaimed Sandstone Point Hotel, while ALH Group has launched a national budget accommodation brand, Nightcap Hotels. In the most shocking news, the Zagame family has put its entire gaming pub portfolio on the market. You cannot call this industry a stagnant one. With that in mind, we soldier on with plenty of content to keep you thinking about how to improve your business! We have the latest in gaming news, products and events on page 10. In our Pub Dining section, we find out why some operators are adopting delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo (p 28). Elsewhere we invite you back to the 50s with the glamourous revamp of the Shoal Bay Country Club (p 36). Enjoy! Cheers,

36 28

Vanessa Cavasinni, Editor P: 02 8586 6201 | E: vcavasinni@intermedia.com.au


Draught Beer • Screens, Sounds and Entertainment • Spirits

Food and Beverage Media Pty Ltd 41 Bridge Road GLEBE NSW Australia 2037 Tel: 02 9660 2113 Fax: 02 9660 4419

Special Features 10 Gaming: The latest news, products and events. 18 Pizza: From GP to ease of prep, pizzas are a pub favourite. 22 Social at Verandah: How Tilley and Wills transformed a Sydney CBD corporate haunt. 26 Peter Doyle: The legendary chef is taking on Merivale’s training program. 28 Delivery: Why some operators are ED’S PICK partnering with delivery apps. 32 Pies: Chefs get creative with this Aussie favourite.



Jason Wild Tel: 02 8586 6213 • jwild@intermedia.com.au



Contents | June

PUBLISHER: Paul Wootton EDITOR: Vanessa Cavasinni PUBLISHED BY:


35 POS and Op Tech: ANZ’s BladePay™ is making ordering and paying even easier.

Regulars 6 News: The latest happenings around the country. 36 Design and Build: Shoal Bay Country Club will transport you to the 1950s. 42 Sports Calendar: We bring you LIVE! sporting highlights for June.


Kea Thorburn kthorburn@intermedia.com.au


Chris Blacklock cblacklock@intermedia.com.au


Jacqui Cooper jacqui@intermedia.com.au

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NEWS The Finsbury Hotel in northern Adelaide


ALH LAUNCHES NIGHTCAP HOTELS ALH Group has launched a national accommodation brand – Nightcap Hotels – attached to several of their hotel properties across the country. Nightcap Hotels is an affordable accommodation option, currently attached to 28 ALH Group venues across the country. Current locations include the Finsbury Hotel in northern Adelaide, the Kawana Waters Hotel on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, The Cheeky Squire in south Melbourne, and the Caringbah Hotel in south Sydney. “Our incredibly talented and passionate team have been working tirelessly for the last three years to build the Nightcap Hotels brand and values,” stated ALH Group’s national accommodation manager, Brett Salter. Each room within the Nightcap Hotel offering includes King Koil bedding and free wi-fi, within a hotel that also offers F&B services. Salter believes that what differentiates Nightcap Hotels from other affordable accommodation options is the level of quality of the offering, with locations across the country, including in suburban and regional areas. “We are able to provide our guests with a unique offer, quite different to any other group around the country. Our hotels have extensive food and beverage facilities and now offer a great accommodation experience at a very competitive price in mostly suburban and some regional locations. “There’s a lot of niche brands with personality and consistency in the upscale segment, we will provide this niche along with our signature King Koil beds in our professionally designed rooms in the economy and midscale segment.” With 28 properties already operating, Nightcap Hotels plans to extend its network each month with new openings, as Salter says that current occupancy rates have shown that the demand for economy accommodation options is out there. “With many of our hotels re-opening at more than 90 per cent occupancy levels, we’re all very excited for what is to be an incredible journey ahead.”


The Australasian Hospitality Industry Exhibition, also known as Hospex, will be relaunching in Sydney in 2019. First held in 1985, Hospex is making a comeback in response to the growing demand from the hospitality industry to source a multitude of products and services from a variety of suppliers within the one location. Hospex will be held at Sydney Olympic Park in March 2019 and will showcase the latest innovations, products and services for every provider of hospitality services, including pubs, accommodation hotels, motels, clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and more. The trade exhibition will attract thousands of Australian visitors together with international hospitality providers seeking to source leading products and services from around the world, in a professional, one-stop environment. A major conference and seminar series will be held in conjunction with the exhibition, addressing issues of development, design, fit-out and technology for new and existing properties – with industry experts presenting on every facet of hospitality operations, including front-of-house, back-of-house, technology, kitchens and guest amenities. Hospex will be managed by the Australian Gift and Homewares Association (AGHA) – organisers of the Sydney and Melbourne Gift Fairs – in conjunction with other peak industry associations in the aim of providing business-tobusiness opportunities to the widest possible audience. Food and Beverage Media (and its various titles including Australian Hotelier, Hospitality Magazine, TheShout, and BARS&clubs) have also been announced as major media partners, ensuring that the exhibition is supported and promoted to key decision markers in the industry. AGHA CEO, Wayne Castle, welcomed the relaunch of this important exhibition and conference, commenting: “In addition to several new projects that AGHA will be managing in 2019, the Australasian Hospitality Industry Exhibition is by far the most exciting new development that will benefit many industry sectors. “With AGHA’s extensive experience in organising large-scale trade exhibitions, the fit with this exhibition is perfect. It is timely that industry bodies and associations work together to support Australian business. The Australasian Hospitality Industry Exhibition is a great solution.” Exhibition, conference and sponsorship opportunities are now open with expressions of interest being sought from Australia and overseas to be part of this important industry-led event.


ZAGAMES TO SELL ENTIRE VENUE PORTFOLIO The Zagame family, one of the most respected publican families in Victoria and Australia, has placed their entire pub portfolio and Vanuatu casino on the market. The portfolio consists of six of the top-performing gaming pubs in Melbourne – Zagame’s Reservoir Hotel, Zagame’s Caulfield Club, Zagame’s Boronia Hotel, Zagame’s Ballarat Club, and Zagame’s Berwick Springs Hotel, the latter of which is ranked fourth in terms of Victoria’s gaming venues – as well as the four-star Grand Hotel & Casino in Vanuatu. The portfolio, which is expected to sell for more than $300 million cumulatively, is being offered individually, in any combination or as a whole. CBRE Australia and Cropley Commercial have been appointed to sell the venues and are expecting significant interest both locally and internationally. The decision to sell the high-performing pub portfolio comes six months after the death of family patriarch, Victor Zagame. “Victor Zagame was an innovator and leader of the Australian hotel and hospitality industry with a product that immediately captured a loyal clientele at The Albion Charles Hotel more than 46 years ago (1971) for what became the Zagame Corporation – one of the Australian hotel and service industry’s most respected and well-known businesses,” stated Mark Wizel, national director of CBRE Australia. “The successful purchaser or purchasers will have the significant advantage of buying into that success story.” Victor Zagame Jnr, director of Zagame Corporation said the purchaser/s could be confident in the businesses that have been successful for almost half a century. “Our venues are exceptionally well presented, our staff are leaders in the industry, and our product is second to none. These successful businesses are well placed to continue to deliver substantial growth.”

Zagame's Boronia

Zagame's Caulfield

GAMING GOLD MINE The five freehold going-concern Victorian pubs represent one of Victoria’s most substantial gaming machine holdings, with 490 gaming machines, which cumulatively generate $94 million of revenue on an annual basis. The Grand Hotel & Casino in Vanuatu comprises a waterfront four-star hotel with 74 accommodation rooms, and the casino includes 16 table games, 136 EGMs and food and beverage facilities. Placing the Zagame pubs up for sale makes this the largest gaming portfolio in Victoria to ever hit the market, at a time when there is a premium on gaming entitlements in the state. “The State Government’s decision to extend gaming licenses until 2042 has provided operators with certainty and has made Victoria’s 13,750 pub gaming entitlements that much more sought after and valuable in Australia’s fastest growing state,” explained George Iliopulos of Cropley Commercial. With recent State Government gaming reforms also freezing the number of poker machines in the state for the next 20 years and extending current ownership licenses from 10 to 20 years, Iliopulos also suggested that an incoming purchaser would have over two decades of certainty in regards to their share of the 490 EGMs they acquired. Such a rare and ample offering is likely to attract varying levels of interest from national gaming groups such as ALH and Redcape, but Wizel suggests there will also be plenty of interest from international parties. “These sites offer future mixed-use development options adding significantly to the potential upside available within a portfolio of quality and scale that very rarely comes to market. “We are very confident of attracting a high level of interest from international buyers, particularly from Asia and North America.”


Caption: L-R: John Kelly (Asahi), Myles Munro (100 Burgers Group), Matt Mullins (Sand Hill Road), Frank van Haandel (Van Haandel Group) and Peter Lalor (100 Burgers Group)

ASAHI EXPANDS THIRD SPACE PLATFORM FOR ON-PREMISE CUSTOMERS BY JAMES WELLS Asahi has expanded its Third Space Platform for selected on-premise venues launched in mid-2017. The 2018 Third Space Platform was launched recently at Paramount Recreational Club in Surry Hills, attended by a number of leading on-premise operators including Red Rock Leisure, the Van Haandel Group, Sand Hill Road, Coats Group, Solotel, Momento Group and 100 Burgers Group. Asahi Premium Beverages' national on-premise group business manager, John Kelly, told TheShout that the Third Space Platform has the sole focus of improving the guest experience within venues. “This is how we define a Third Space – there are three spaces in your life, the First Space is at home with your family, your partner, your kids; your Second Space is where you work, and the Third Space is basically where you go to get away from the First and Second Spaces,” Kelly said. “It’s where our customers in the hospitality space operate in – it’s bars, pubs, hotels, clubs, restaurants, cinemas etc. Having a Third Space to meet outside of home and work provides us with an escape, an opportunity to socialise and, of course, imbibe. “Until recently we have had three key partners – The Drink Cabinet, Seven Sense Consulting and Tiger Pistol and we have now added Qsic to the platform. Enlisting the services of Tiger Pistol provides Asahi Premium Beverages with a real competitive edge, assisting businesses to leverage the power of social media to drive foot traffic into their premises. Seventh Sense Consulting helps Asahi’s clients design beautiful, yet operationally effective venues. The Drink Cabinet provides exceptional hospitality training focused on enhancing the guest experience. We’ve also partnered with Qsic, the world’s first commercial music streaming service that uses AI to positively influence the mood, mindset and behaviours of guests. These services can all form part of the overall support package offered to Asahi’s customers. “We want to grow the program through these four partners, all of whom epitomise what a great Third Space is all about – either through an exceptional entertainment product, amazing guest service or through


beautiful design and from here we will gather feedback from our customers to explore what other services we might introduce. We think there is a huge opportunity to help our customers drive more consumers into their venues because the couch is now our biggest competition – so how do we get people off the couch and into their local venues to experience something special in the on premise? “We know that the capital cities in Australia are going to double in size in the next 25 years. We know that there is a huge rise in the Asian population which isn’t going to change. So, we need our customers to be thinking about this, what their venues look like and need to offer in the future to cater for that changing demographic. “When you have high-density urban living – people’s lounge rooms inevitably decrease in size and some can be really cramped, so their escape is generally to get out to the local bar or pub; it’s a release to get away from their 50 sqm one-bedroom apartment. So the importance of the social environment provided by local pubs, bars, restaurants is increasing, maybe even more so for those generations that have grown up staring at their phones, hooked on social media. Their Third Space can offer them an opportunity to get away from technology and really engage with people around them. Kelly also thanked the loyal Asahi Premium Beverages customers in Australia for their support in the trade. “We really appreciate the customers we have and we’ve grown significantly in the last few years from their continual partnership, but there is still a lot of work to do as our portfolio grows. We offer a wide, exciting choice of beverages for consumers within our premium international beer portfolio of Asahi, Peroni, Estrella and now Pilsner Urquell alongside the Cricketers Arms, Somersby and Mountain Goat ranges; not to mention our premium spirits range of VDKA 6100, Untold Rum and Tequila Blu. There will be more news from us later in the year as we introduce new brands, but we encourage our customers to work with their local account managers to ensure that the right brands are represented in their venues.”

MADE BY LEADING BARTENDERS, PERFECT FOR MIXING. Untold Spiced Rum was borne from a passionate collaboration between bartenders, artists and spirit experts. Bartenders Dave Kerr (The Beaufort), Nathan Beasley (Black Pearl), Oscar Eastman (ex-Eau de Vie) and Andres Walters (ex-The Lobo Plantation) developed the spiced rum by selecting a blend of 2-3 year aged rum from Trinidad. They then infused it with subtle natural spices that produced a flavour which is sweet on the nose but has a smooth, dry taste, letting the rum base shine through. For cocktail recipes visit: UntoldRum


To order contact Asahi Premium Beverages on: 1800 090 378



RESEARCH New research from Roy Morgan has shown that while sports- and horserace betting have a high profile, it is poker machines that still command the majority of Australia’s gambling dollar. The research showed that pokies, including the online version, account for 56.7 per cent of all the dollars gambled in Australia. This is more than double all forms of betting at 20.7 per cent (sports betting 5.2 per cent and horse racing, harness racing and greyhounds 15.5 per cent). Lottery/scratch tickets make up a further 14.2 per cent of Australia’s gambling dollars followed by casino table games (including online) at 5.0 per cent and Keno at 3.4 per cent. These results are drawn from Roy Morgan’s Gambling Currency Reports which delve into Australian gambling habits in depth including detailed analysis of betting and sports betting, poker machines, casino table games, keno, lotteries and scratchies. Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine, says it highlights how important poker machines are to pubs and clubs across the country. “Poker machines are a controversial part of Australia’s pubs and clubs, but there’s no doubt the machines are an important revenue source for many pubs and clubs – including for professional sporting clubs that own licensed venues with ‘pokies.’ “Over 2.7 million Australians aged 18+ (14.2 per cent) have used a poker machine in an average three months, significantly higher than the two million Australians (10.5 per cent) who have placed a bet on a horse race, harness race, greyhounds or sporting event covered in last week’s release. “The popularity of poker machines is highest in Queensland (17.2 per cent of Queenslanders have played a poker machine in an average three months) and NSW/ACT (15.7 per cent). Both of these states have a strong history of licensed ‘leagues clubs’ associated with sporting teams drawing the punters in.”


Levine added: “It’s worth understanding that over three-quarters of Australia’s 200,000 poker machines are located in NSW/ACT and Queensland. “The southern States have lower levels of penetration led by South Australia (15.3 per cent), Tasmania (14.0 per cent) and Victoria (13.3 per cent), however the laws preventing poker machines being installed in Western Australian pubs and clubs mean only 4.9 per cent of Western Australians have played a poker machine in an average three months. Poker machines in WA are restricted to Crown Casino Perth. “There is much less of a gender imbalance for playing pokies (14.5 per cent of men aged 18+ and 13.8 per cent of women) than betting (13.9 per cent of men aged 18+ and 7.3 per cent of women) and the machines hold strong appeal for older Australians. Nearly a fifth, or 17.5 per cent, of Australians aged 65+ play pokies, clearly higher than any other age group.” Lottery/Scratch Tickets


Poker Machines (inc online)


5.2% Betting 20.7% Racing




3.4% 5.0%

Casino Table Games (inc online)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, Gambling Currency Reports, January 2017 - December 2017. Base: Australians aged 18+. n=14,422


New products GET CONNECTED WITH SG’S NEW GAME FAMILY Following the highly successful Locked & Loaded series, SG Gaming is rolling out a brand new standalone progressive game series called Cash Connection® into hotels across New South Wales and Queensland this month as one of its exciting new titles in the lead-up to this year’s Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE). First previewed in Brisbane at the AHG show in March, Cash Connection features two new titles Sweet Tweet® and Wild Country,® with both games featuring the ultimate combination of innovation and proven popular game elements to deliver an engaging gaming experience. Introducing the new ‘drop-and-lock’ free game feature with high frequency, Cash Connection games add a twist to the ubiquitous holdand-spin style play that also gives players opportunities to keep collecting credit or jackpot prizes. There are lots of re-spins and chances to double or triple the Mini, Minor and Major progressive wins. Offering game play from 1c to $2, the local game design team behind this exciting series has focused on ensuring that these new games can bring a thrilling entertainment experience in hotel gaming rooms from the big rewards for players. Sweet Tweet and Wild Country are now available on SG Gaming’s Dualos cabinet, with a third title currently underway to be ready for AGE in August.


Cash Connection's Sweet Tweet


PROPELLING GAMING IN HOTELS As an hotelier, one of your challenges is maximising your limited gaming entitlements to ensure patrons have a good level of variety and choice. This means that the games you offer need to be flexible so you can target different players’ needs for volatility or entertainment at different times throughout the day. IGT has taken these into consideration with its revitalised game development strategy to deliver a flexible choice for hotel players. Nigel Turner, IGT’s head of marketing, explains: “We know that the need to maximise floor space in hotels is essential – that is why our multi-game, multi-denomination products are a big part of our product portfolio for hotels. “Our recent release, Multistar Dazzling Diamonds not only offers six games with player selectable denominations but also provides a frequent hitting bonus feature and denomination-driven bonus prizes which targets multiple player types. “We also know that hotel players like classic games too, which is why we’ve launched a mid-denomination pack, called Multistar All Stars. This has four of our most successful mid-denomination games including the ‘father of 2-level progressives’, Pot of Gold. Plus, it has a two- or three-progressive jackpot option, giving you a way to tailor the game to your players.” Turner continued: “With our renewed game development strategy starting to deliver results, we have also introduced a new big screen cabinet, the Crystal Curve-i. It has a stunning 42” full HD screen and suite of games with new styles of game play like Wild Fury and Fortune Fury, with a five-bonus tower for frequent wins and a mystery jackpot that can hit at any time. “We are constantly evolving and adapting our game design strategy so that we have the right games and cabinets to propel gaming – and revenues – forward in the hotel market.”

The Multistar All Stars


Events The Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) is the next big event on the gaming calendar for operators looking to optimise their gaming offering. Last year AGE introduced a seminar program to its event, which will run again for this year’s show in August. This year’s program takes a look at the future of the gaming industry in Australasia, covering topics related to new technology, gaming, hospitality, service, and the customer – all of which are aimed at helping you get more from your hospitality venue. There will also be a seminar specifically tailored to the interest of hotel visitors. ‘How gaming operations affect pub valuation’ will be held on day three of the expo. The Australasian Gaming Expo is on 14-16 August at ICC Sydney.

A seminar with global gaming CEOs at AGE 2017

Get connected with

Adding more variety to the launch of this new game family, CASH CONNECTION SWEET TWEET includes a new free game feature and another spin on the Cash Connection feature – this time it’s a canary that will deliver the Golden Eggs!

Look out for a stampede of action with CASH CONNECTION WILD COUNTRY. Underpinned by a highly entertaining new “drop-and-lock” style feature, Cash Connection titles deliver lots of fun, plenty of rewards and a few interesting twists.

Head Office and Showroom 4 Newington Road, Silverwater NSW 2128 Phone: 02 8707 6300 www.sggaming.com/australia *Note: For the complete range of jackpot paremeters please contact your local SG Sales Rep for further information.



MONDAY 30 JULY 2018 PARK HYATT HOTEL, MELBOURNE Tickets are available now at

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INTERESTED IN SPONSORING THE SUMMIT? Contact Dan Shipley: 02 8586 6163 E: dshipley@intermedia.com.au


Foodservice Inspiration For Your Pub





The Margherita at Al's Pizzeria




ublicans love pizza. It’s good for business in so many ways – it’s quick and cheap to make but you can still charge a premium on it, it’s a convenient eating option, it’s familiar enough to be a comfort food but your chefs can also get creative with their toppings. It’s an all-round top performer for any pub menu. “Pizza has been around for a long time and it’s an easy favourite of many. It’s quick to make and we make a great GP off it. We sell roughly 450-500 per week,” espouses Max Fox-Andrews, general manager of The Windsor Hotel in South Perth. As such a staple of pub menus, we take a look at the advantages and opportunities surrounding the humble pizza.

TRADITIONAL V CONTEMPORARY STYLES There is plenty of scope within pizzas to decide whether you want to present a very traditional pizza offering, more contemporary options, or a bit of both. When Lewisland Group opened the Al’s Pizzeria offering at The Fiddler in western Sydney last year, it allowed head chef Alfonso Santaniello to focus on the traditional Italian style of pizza with only a few simple toppings per pizza. Best sellers include the classic Margherita, with San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte style cheese from Victoria, fresh basil, parmesan cheese and cold-pressed oil. The Naples native said it was a risk to steer away from the topping-heavy, supreme-style pizzas, but it was one that paid off. “We risked offending the pizza-pie and loaded-topping lovers from the beginning – but the quality and flavour always wins.” At Hotel Canobolas in Orange, New South Wales, there is an extensive pizza menu that is divided into the popular Australian favourites like meatlovers and ham and pineapple; and gourmet creations like


asparagus and ricotta and Moroccan lamb. Both sections of the menu do exceedingly well. At The Lansdowne in Sydney, Detroit-style square pizza makes up 60 per cent of the menu. Mary’s Group head chef James Garside decided to go ahead with this style because of the crispy caramelised cheese around the edges that differentiates it from other styles of pizza. “Instead of going down the route of a massive menu with heaps of things on it, we have just done a few things really well,” states Garside.

OVEN ENVY Not only is pizza a favourite among patrons, but the ovens used to cook it also make for a great aesthetic addition, as evidenced at The Fiddler where Al’s Pizzeria and it’s Italian-imported oven sit separately from the bistro. “Al’s Pizzeria has really added value and a new dynamic to the venue. Creating a buzz at the entrance of the venue, something interesting to watch and experience and of course revenue are some of the value additions it has introduced,” states general manager Sara Belling. Glen Taylor, head chef at Hotel Canobolas agrees, stating that the hotel’s pizza oven has tongues wagging in many ways. “The wood fired oven is an amazing centrepiece which imparts such an amazing natural wood smoke to the dishes we prepare in it. It gives a crust to the pizza which only a wood fired oven can achieve.”

QUALITY OF INGREDIENTS While there are excellent profit margins to be made on pizzas, many operators and their chefs are willing to decrease that a little in order to use higher quality ingredients. “Margins on pizzas as a rule are very good but, with anything, once you start using premium products and keeping things in house rather

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FOOD TRENDS than outsourcing the food costs go up. It’s a decision you make to have a superior product and try to cause the least amount of damage by using ethically sourced, local produce,” states Garside. Taylor places a lot attention on both toppings and the base of pizzas at Hotel Canobolas. “We hand make all our sourdough bases here over a two-day process. All of our sauces, marinades and toppings are made here in house, we even shred our specialty cheeses.” At the Mansfield Hotel in the Victorian Alps, the bistro supports local businesses by having the local bakery make all of its pizza dough, which is then cut and rolled in the pub’s kitchen.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free pizza options are now starting to pop up on several menus, as operators want to ensure as many patrons as possible can enjoy the menu. The Windsor Hotel, for example, includes three vegetarian pizzas and a vegan pizza on their menu, plus the option of gluten-free bases to meet consumption trends. “We have noticed an increase of vegetarians/vegans recently with also a slight decline in meat sales too. So along with increasing our offering vegetarian-wise, we also have gluten-free options available which do seem more popular every week,” says Fox-Andrews. Taylor makes a point of the importance of also taking into account dietary requirements due to allergies. While the hotel makes its own traditional bases, it externally sources its gluten-free bases, so as to ensure that there is no contamination from wheat-based products in the kitchen's mixers.

TARGETING TOURISTS The Australian Heritage Hotel – situated in Sydney’s The Rocks – has been serving pizza since the 1980s. It started as a point of difference from several other pubs in the area that were all serving up steaks and schnitzels, but has now evolved into a way of attracting the many tourists that frequent the harbour-side locale. Included in the pizza menu are pizzas that use Australian proteins such as kangaroo, emu and crocodile. “The kangaroo, crocodile and emu pizzas are definitely the most popular items on the menus. Tourists travel from far and wide to try our unique pizzas as well as our locals and Sydney-based crowd keen to try something new that you can’t find anywhere else,” says Charlotte McDonald. The pub’s best-selling, signature pizza is the Coat of Arms, a pizza using emu, pepper kangaroo, bush tomato, capsicum and lemon myrtle mayonnaise. McDonald says it will always be on the pub’s menu. “When tourists visit Australia, they undoubtedly learn about our Coat of Arms as a symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia. To envisage it as something you can eat is pretty exceptional and an altogether different historical experience!”

TAKEAWAY Pizza has always been a big hit as a takeaway fast-food option. But pubs are now getting in on the act to serve at-home customers. At The Mansfield, the wood-fired pizza menu is available from 10am to 10pm as an extension of the bistro menu when it is closed. It is also available in the bar, and as a takeaway option, which all adds up to about twenty per cent of all food sales for the venue. As the venue sits at the foothills of the Victorian Alps, it acts as a thoroughfare for travellers into the mountains who will pick up a pizza on the way. It’s also a popular option for local residents. “Takeaway is very popular as travellers like to call and pick them up on their way through without waiting. We also have a lot of repeat local customers, so we make around 150 to 200 pizzas per week to take away,” says Craig German. Between their popularity, variety and ease of creation, no wonder so many pubs include pizza on their menus.


One of several vegetarian otaian options at The Windsor Hotel

NICE AND CHEESY Following a significant investment in rebuilding its Stanhope cheese facility in Northern Victoria, Fonterra Australia’s Perfect Italiano™ Traditional and Ultra Mozzarella cheeses will once again be made in Australia. The Perfect Italiano™ range, consisting of Traditional Mozzarella, Ultra Mozzarella and Pizza Plus cheese, now also includes Perfect Italiano Traditional Mozzarella in a 5kg block, replacing the former 10kg block. “Foodservice professionals have told us that a 10kg block was too big to safely handle, so we’ve moved to the new 5kg format. The smaller pack size is lighter making it easier to lift and carry, and also fits well in the fridge,” says Jeff Dhu, Director of Foodservice, Fonterra Australia. “These features mean less handling time – resulting in greater efficiency and improved freshness. “To make sure our new Australian-made mozzarella delivers the same great quality and performance that foodservice professionals expect, we conducted extensive internal product testing as well as external enduser trials. “Both Perfect Italiano Traditional and Ultra Mozzarella deliver the three key attributes essential to an authentic, memorable pizza dining experience – stretch, consistency and coverage,” says Jeff. Perfect Italiano Mozzarella has the ideal stretch, ensuring a great first impression when the initial slice of pizza is picked up to eat. It will impart a consistent appearance, flavour and texture to your pizza – complementing but never overwhelming the other ingredients. Its melting properties not only secure toppings in place, but provide greater coverage, meaning you can use less cheese per pizza, equating to lower cost per serve.

The Coat of Arms pizza at Australian Heritgae Hotel

The pumpkin anfd yabby tortellini





oteliers Nick Wills and Simon Tilley have launched a new pub group, Tilley and Wills, which opened the restaurant portion of Verandah in the heart of Sydney’s CBD last month. The two publicans struck up a partnership after Wills’ Balmain Pub Group – which is no longer active – sold Tilley the Greenwood Hotel in North Sydney. Tilley had also recently purchased Verandah Bar in Martin Place from Dean Haritos, who decided to exit the pub industry to focus on other business pursuits. Nine months on since the CBD pub was purchased, Tilley and Wills has re-opened the restaurant portion of the venue, now known as Social at Verandah. The duo and executive chef Brad Sloane have entirely rethought the concept of the restaurant, both in terms of design and menu. Sloane has worked as Will’s executive chef for several years, heading up the menus for beloved Sydney suburban hotels such as The Riverview Hotel. Prior to that the chef worked in prestigious restaurants around the world, including the Belvedere Restaurant in London, and Balzac and Sugaroom in Sydney. The chef says that, while always focused on excellent quality, having worked in both types of environments has helped him become very strategic in menu planning when it comes to a good pub menu – particularly when working on both a bar snack and restaurant menu. “You have to get really good at making menus that work elements in there that work for both the bar and the restaurant. And also just your speed. You’ve got to be able to push it all out really quickly,” he explains. These skills have come in handy for his latest project at Verandah, where he is in charge of two kitchens that need to produce different styles of food at a quick pace. Sloane explains that the way Verandah is set up it is almost two separate businesses in one venue. There is the main public bar area, which includes gaming and TAB areas; and the higher-end restaurant, Social at Verandah. The venue has been reworked around these two areas, with greater emphasis placed on Social, as in the past the restaurant portion of the venue had struggled. Sloane suggests a lack of visibility from the street and a lack of internal signage had made patrons previously unaware of the restaurant offering. This has been rectified by the Tilley and Wills team, with a revamp of the space, and greater activation of balcony seating.

DEMOGRAPHIC DECISIONS Situated in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, on the corner of Martin Place and Castlereagh Street, the move to Verandah also meant a change in demographic for Sloane. Rather than local residents, the main patrons of the venue are white-collar workers in the CBD, who frequent the venue on their lunch breaks and for afterwork drinks. This influenced how Sloane put his menu for Social together. “I’ve worked a lot in suburbs where it’s a bit more financially orientated. They don’t want to spend too much. They are always wary of how much they spend, whereas I guess in the city they are a bit more frivolous. They just want high quality and they don’t mind paying for it. They don’t mind the price tag that comes with it. That’s part of the reason I was excited to come here, the ability to play with some higher quality ingredients.” One such example is Sloane’s favourite dish on the menu – a pumpkin and yabby tortellini with a spicy yabby bisque and avruga caviar. “You don’t usually get to play with yabbies anymore because they’re too expensive, so it’s a good change.” The menu focuses on modern Australian fare, with a hint of Italian and British influences. Sloane says it was a collaborative effort between himself and owners Tilley and Wills, who had a good handle on the clientele. “They’ve got a lot of friends that work in the city and have a good insight into what they’re looking for. And they don’t want it to be a one-faceted business, they want it to be open to a lot more women coming into the business. So they didn’t want to just project it towards steaks or anything like that. They wanted to have a good range of everything to really open the door to everybody.” While steaks do not dominate the menu, they are indeed still present with a focus on high-quality cuts such as a 450g Cape Grim rib on the bone and a Little Joes MB 4-6 New York cut. There are plenty of lighter, more feminine dishes on the menu as well focused on fillets of fish and light pasta dishes. More substantial dishes include a nettle gnocchi with osso buco ragu, or a whole suckling pig with all the trimming for groups.

The New York cut

Simon Tilley and Nick Wills

Executive Chef Brad Sloane

KITCHEN STRATEGY Having two separate kitchens to work with – one for Social and one for the main bar – is a luxury that Sloane hasn’t taken for granted. While it means he is less constrained in his menu choices, pace of


VENUE PROFILE The suckling pig porchetta offering for groups

Light dishes entice the after-work crowd Social at Verandah's cocktail offering

service is still a factor when including dishes on the menu. “You’ve got that midday rush where everybody just comes out of the office and sits down and has 15-20 minutes to eat and get back to the office. It’s all a bit of a push so you have to revolve that menu around what you can do out of that kitchen in that time frame. And this new kitchen will allow us to do a lot more in terms of speeds and also in terms of what we’re actually offering.” Only a few adjustments were made to the restaurant kitchen, which was in very good condition, but the public bar kitchen has been completely gutted and fit-out to Sloane’s specifications. A new stone pizza oven was installed, as well as a dough mixer. A char grill for steaks and burgers was essential, and anew combioven was also purchased to allow more options with steaming. The public bar venue, which will push out the more traditional pub food such as pizzas and burgers, will also include healthier fast-dining options such as salads and poke bowls. In another departure from the norms of a suburban pub, lunch is the busiest time of the day for Verandah, as well as the five o’clock after-workdrinks crowd. Sloane and the Tilley and Wills team have thought long and hard about how to keep the business busy for dinner service – utilising a small lounge and bar area in the restaurant to keep patrons around until dinner. The restaurant offers a range of cocktails and lighter, tapas-style dishes so that the five o’clock crowd will linger. “People can come across at five o’clock and just sit there and have a drink and some light nibbles at the bar, and then hopefully we can keep them around until dinner time as well and stretch it out a bit.” The other main difference for Sloane in working in the CBD? The hours. “It’s Monday to Friday for me, which is a bit of a unicorn of chef jobs. It’s been really good.”


Social's management team


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eter Doyle, regarded as one of the founding fathers of contemporary Australian cuisine, retires this month from his lead post at est. after 15 years in the role. Instead, he will be heading up Merivale’s internal chef apprenticeship program, which will launch in early 2019. “It was a matter of timing. Merivale wanted to start their own apprentice program for their in-house apprentices and I was ready to accept a new challenge. Alongside Allara Learning I will be responsible for creating the course and making sure the scheme is officially accredited.” Doyle knows all about the importance of a good apprenticeship, having graduated from TAFE in 1974 as ‘Apprentice of the Year’. It was the beginning of a culinary career unmatched in Australia. The chef started his in-kitchen learning in pubs, gaining skills at the Argyle Tavern in the Rocks, the Macquarie Inn, and Sacha’s at the Newport Hotel, under Raymond Kersch and Peter Bemrose. “From there the Nouvelle Cuisine Chefs of France had a big impact on my career as they were leading the way and influencing the world with their new produce-based, lighter cuisine.” The executive chef will now be heading back to TAFE to attain his Certificate IV in training and assessment so that he is qualified in the necessary skills. “Heading back to the ‘classroom’ will be interesting after all these years but I’m looking forward to learning new skills,” he states. Having Doyle lead Merivale’s new apprenticeship program is a natural fit, with many of Australia’s most lauded and up-and-coming chefs having spent the early years of their career in his kitchen, including Karl Firla (Oscillate Wildly), Adam Wolfers (ex-Yellow and Monopole), Jordan Toft (The Newport, Coogee Pavilion) and Josh Niland (Saint Peter). The success of such chefs has spurred on Doyle’s want to teach the next generation of culinary masters. “Seeing the success of chefs you have helped train as they advance their careers is very satisfying. You always want the generation following you to be better than you were during your career. That’s why you invest the time in educating and influencing them to think about all aspects of their careers. You send them out into the world to help advance it and their enthusiasm and talent enhances the future of the industry.” As a long-term training partner of Merivale, Allara Learning is thrilled to partner with the hospitality group and Doyle to bring this apprenticeship program to fruition. “Allara Learning and Merivale’s partnership has grown substantially over the last six years. We are both committed to making positive changes within the hospitality industry. We have already had great success with the Merivale Bronze and Silver Development programs,” explains CEO Andrew Lewis. “We are really looking forward to being involved in Merivale’s new internal chef apprenticeship school. We believe it will be an innovative and forwardthinking program. Having Peter Doyle, one of the most influential and celebrated chefs in Australia, leading the initiative is truly exciting.” The program is still in the early stages of planning so there are few details to share. However Australian Hotelier has learned that it will be a fully certified course covering the complete cooking curriculum. There are also plans to have cultural and guest electivs as part of the course. Merivale is looking to build a custom culinary school where the program will be run.


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Uber Eats at St Kilda Burger Bar

Alcohol can also be delivered through Deliveroo



he Australian hospitality industry is continuing to feel the effects of premiumisation across all segments. Pubs have carved out a niche by offering more than just a good feed – while menus have moved beyond a stodgy counter meal, pubs remain an important community space, giving their patrons a warm and comfortable place to come together. However, as the dining market becomes increasingly competitive, many businesses are looking to diversify their revenue streams and offering delivery is one of the most popular ways to do so. Given dining experience and atmosphere are such a central part of pubs’ identities, can the delivery movement offer publicans the same opportunity to generate additional revenue that it provides to neighbourhood diners, cafés and pizza parlours? According to some operators who’ve already taken the leap, the answer is yes.

COMPETING WITH THE COUCH In the past decade pubs have had to reposition themselves in response to changing diner expectations. With more restaurants offering relaxed and affordable, yet high-quality meals, pubs have had to do the same. Once able to rely on patrons loyal to their local watering hole and happy with a $10 steak, pubs are now expected to provide restaurant-quality meals


without the restaurant-level price tag. Just as they’ve found their footing in the shifting landscape, a new competitor has arrived on the block – the humble couch. For shrewd operators, the best way to adapt to change is to embrace it. “We’re competing with the couch, so embrace the technology, grow your business and move forward,” says Rabih Yanni, owner/operator of The Grosvenor in Melbourne. “The couch customer is still a customer, just with a different dining requirement for that afternoon or evening.” In Yanni’s view, delivery platforms are just another shopfront and they come with extensive exposure, designed to help businesses get in front of stay-at-home diners. But does facilitating the couch diner’s penchant for ordering in mean that delivery will eat in to dine-in business? For The Australian Heritage Hotel, which implemented delivery late in 2017, this has not turned out to be the case. “It’s certainly more a way to generate additional revenue,” says general manager Lincoln Baker. The same is true for another Sydney stalwart, the Rose of Australia. According to owner Scott Leach, dine-in revenue has continued to grow in tandem with the addition of home delivery. Keeping the balance between dine-in and delivery revenue is simple: it comes down to the invenue experience, as Leach explains. “Our belief is that in-venue experience needs to be far superior to what people can get in their homes, otherwise bottleshops and fast food deliveries will kill us in the end. This is not just about the location of the meal and the price, the best operators we watch all reach and

FOODSERVICE achieve ‘experience of venue’ as the benchmark to keep people coming back to venue.” Ultimately, couch diners have surfaced as a new category of spenders. “We determined within our local market, [which has] a concentration of medium-to-high density living, that households were choosing to have home delivery 1-2 times per week,” states Leach. “Regardless of how many times they ate in venues, this home market has emerged as a new consumer trend in our area.” For the Rose of Australia, which rolled out both Uber Eats and Deliveroo, food revenue was up 15 per cent in the first month, afterwards falling back to an average of 10–12 per cent increase over previous years. The Grosvenor experienced a similar pattern, with an initial honeymoon period leading into consistently good revenue. Delivery can go beyond reaching couch customers too. According to Uber Eats, many Aussie pubs have used Uber Eats to gain new customers in their neighbourhood and build a new following of regulars. The delivery service app has seen its partner venues experience positive growth by reaching new customers – a trend Leach has experienced first-hand. “As an inner-city Sydney pub, certain nights can be a gold mine for this new market,” he says. “Mardi Gras weekend saw a 40 per cent increase in food revenue over three days – the venue was at capacity, all new business.”

BALANCING ACT With the in-venue dining experience a crucial safeguard against losing customers to the lure of home delivery, making sure the new business stream doesn’t impact dine-in patrons has been a key consideration for The Australian Heritage Hotel. “We don’t advertise Uber Eats in-venue at all. We want the people who are coming in to venue to keep coming in for a beer. We’re more looking for the diners who have decided to order in and are scrolling through

“Don’t be afraid to embrace a digital partner. Do your homework. Understand their value and how to leverage it; it’s not just about the per cent they charge.” Scott Leach, The Rose of Australia

The Rose of Australia chose dishes that travel well for its delivery menu


Between 500-1000 pizzas are delivered per week from Australian Heritage Hotel


Uber Eats looking for something to order,” says Baker. Adopting the platform has been more a case of capitalising on an existing take-away pizza arm of the business, with Baker stating that the pizza bar allows for quick service to customers ordering delivery – “It’s normally with the customer within 20 minutes of them ordering” – without negatively affecting wait times for in-house meals. In-venue meal times at The Rose of Australia at peak capacity have been affected by no more than 3–4 minutes while wait times when the in-venue capacity is below 85 per cent remain unaffected. With three years’ experience offering delivery under their belt, the team at The Grosvenor now has enough data to assist with rostering in order to combat the extra workload. “The average wait is 20 minutes, which the kitchen manages as they would any situation… should there by an upcoming promotion that we need to be mindful of, [we can] manage, prepare and roster accordingly. “We find that popular delivery times generally sit outside peak times and when it does coincide with busy service periods, you just need to manage the trade as you would if it were walk-ins, or any other peak or trough for that matter – it’s called managing your business.”

A FRESH APPROACH Making the most of delivery also requires careful planning – what menu items to offer for delivery and coordinating with the courier efficiently are of utmost importance – to ensure that diners who order-in get the same quality meal as those dining at the venue. “When we first started we’d wait until everything was packaged and looking perfect, before we’d order the driver. But obviously sometimes it can take the driver or cyclist 15 minutes to get there, so it’s more of a come now and we’ll make sure it’s ready in 10 minutes or as you’re arriving set-up,” explains Baker. The Rose of Australia also manages production of meals to make sure they come together as the driver arrives or within a minute or two of their arrival. It took just three weeks for the venue to iron out any kinks. “Some peak nights see shortages of drivers, which can create issues [but] capacity constraint management is a part of every business,” states Leach. Pubs might have made a name for themselves serving up steak, parmas and fish’n’chips, but when it comes to delivery these classics don’t necessarily travel as well as more modern pub fare like pizzas and burgers. “Our choice of menu is directly related to items that travel well and are easily kept hot,” says Leach. “We don't offer all our menu via delivery partners. Prior to commencing we trialled all our menu via delivery and found certain items could not translate to the service.” Customers who come across The Australian Heritage Hotel the Uber Eats app will notice a tightly-curated menu, selected based on different dishes' ability to keep well during transportation.


“The menu is limited to what would travel well – pizzas, chips and wedges, stuff like that,” says Baker. With all of The Grosvenor’s burgers, pizzas and groceries available for delivery, Yanni has also drawn the line at parmas and steaks. “Some ingredients are still best enjoyed within the walls of your local pub,” he says.

MUTUAL BENEFITS When it comes to choosing a delivery partner there are a few things to think about. “Don’t be afraid to embrace a digital partner. Do your homework. Understand their value and how to leverage it; it’s not just about the per cent they charge,” says Leach. While The Australian Heritage Hotel prefers not to actively market the service, Leach argues in favour of promoting the service to patrons via social media, leveraging both the delivery service’s and the venue’s brands to bring in the most customers possible. Like implementing any new business development, choosing the right partner requires research. As Leach says, it’s not just a matter of picking the platform that charges the lowest percentage. The Rose of Australia took a number of things into account, using social media, in-venue intelligence and conversation enquiry to identify their preferred delivery partner. The team settled on Uber Eats, which is popular because it has no minimum spend and offers quick service; and Deliveroo, which was the first to market in Sydney’s inner west, where The Rose of Australia is located, and provides strong local marketing. In other words, it could be worth the cost to jump onboard with a well-established partner. “We’re doing 500-1000 take-away pizzas a week. It’s not worth employing our own driver to cover that,” says Baker. “I’m not sure about the others, but UberEATS is really good in that the set-up costs are structured to be paid over a period, it’s not up front, so it’s not a large outlay upfront so I’d jump on it, it’s certainly worthwhile. “The support and walkthrough processes are really good, they make sure you understand the system.” Yanni took advantage of the support processes by trialling three delivery partners – UberEats, Deliveroo and Foodora, all of which he says are leaders in the space, thanks to their ability to innovate and curate an audience. After three months, The Grosvenor onboarded with all three. Three years later and Yanni is unequivocal in his advice to publicans when it comes to adopting delivery: “Do it, [but] take charge of the process. “This is another aspect of your business which if managed well can pay good dividends and make a difference by increasing productivity of both personnel and real estate. It is your product and your responsibility, just manage it as an extension of the business.”


FILLINGS OF FANCY Pies are only available at lunch at the Clarendon Arms



ustralia’s pie obsession stems from the British culture of a good savoury pie, but in fact the meat pie’s history did not start in the United Kingdom. It was the ancient Egyptians who first created a meat-less precursor of the pie around 9500 BC, before the ancient Greeks and Romans began stuffing it with various proteins. It was found as a great way to transport food – something that still rings true to this day. “A pie is a meal in your hand. It’s the banana of the savoury world,” states Omar Crawford, venue manager of the Edinburgh Castle Hotel in Melbourne. Toby Wiche, general manager of the Woolwich Pier Hotel in says Australians and pies are a match made in heaven. “Australia’s quality produce makes pot pies popular in showcasing the best ingredients like meat, poultry and seafood. The British culinary influence also plays a part in the pie’s popularity since historically, pot pies are not only served in a common house hold but also in royalty.” Pies are a big part of the offering at the Palace Hotel in South Melbourne, and publican Mark Pratt says that it is essential that certain styles of pubs have at least one pie on their menus. “If you call yourself a traditional pub then a pie is a must on your menu in my view.” The pie of the week at the Duke of Clarence


GETTING CREATIVE While the traditional beef filling is standard fare, there are so many things that can fill a pie – something that excites Lyn Brooke, owner of the Munster Arms Hotel in Ballarat. “Our cooks are so inventive, so competitive and not bound or restrained by tradition. We have so much rich food culture from so many countries here. We’ll try anything really.” In fact, Brooke makes her own duck pie which the hotel is renowned for. It is only served in winter as she uses a cold-water lard crust which is too hard to get right in warmer weather. Since first putting the duck pie on the menu a few years ago, people travel from far and wide to try Brooke’s creation, with one long-time patron frequently ordering a dozen at a time. At the relatively new Duke of Clarence in Sydney’s CBD, there is a new pie every week, which has covered everything from beef cheek and Guinness to venison and mushroom, and the more unorthodox filling of ham hock, cider and black pudding. “We wanted to offer a different pie each week so we become known for our homemade pies, but also it adds some creativity to the kitchen team,” states owner Mikey Enright. New pie fillings are placed on the menu every couple of days at the Palace Hotel in South Melbourne and cover most bases. They also are sometimes based on a beer on tap, such as a nice stout, making it an easy and complementary F&B pairing. There are always two pies on the Edinburgh Castle Hotel menu – one meat based pie and one vegetarian pie. At the time of writing, the venue had a roast vegetable and haloumi pie on the menu. “A very large number of our patrons are vegetarian or simply choose to eat less meat-based food. We also find that vegetarians and vegans are often the ‘deciders’ when it comes to a group choosing where to eat so it’s important we provide options for all dietary preferences,” explains Crawford. How you serve your pie can also make it appealing, with many venues opting for the mushy peas, mash and gravy topping, or a side salad. At the Kings Head Pub in Adelaide, the venue serves ‘pie floaters’, a dish it is famous for. Basically, a pie floater is savoury pie – meat or vegetable – that is traditionally served in a mushy pea soup. The Kings Head version is also topped with a chutney. “It’s definitely something that the Kings Head is known for and word tends to get around. We get numerous enquiries and even large bookings that all just want to eat a pie floater,” says hotel manager Ben Sampson. The pie floaters have been on the menu at the pub for almost a decade, and it is the only menu item that has not changed within that period of time.

PARTY PIES Smaller pie servings, or party pies, are also a fantastic and easy dish to prepare as part of any functions package. To make them even easier, you can also purchase quality, pre-prepared party pies that just need to be popped in the oven for a consistent product. Mrs Mac’s is an Australian family owned company that has been making savoury pastries since 1954. It’s an exciting time for Mrs Mac’s as they undergo a transformation with a new logo and new look pack. What hasn’t changed is the company’s commitment to make hearty, nourishing food by ensuring quality is at the forefront. This leads the company to mincing and dicing all their own steak on site, supporting Australian producers by using local ingredients wherever possible and making pastry the traditional way, layer upon flaky layer. Mrs Mac’s is the only Australian pie manufacturer with BRC Global Certification – one of the highest international food safety certifications available. In line with the Mrs Mac’s rebrand they have just released a range of eight delicious new savoury premium party products which are creating excitement within the foodservice industry. Mrs Mac’s Executive Chef Wayne and master of pastry John were excited to work on a range that has been specifically developed for their entertainment and catering customers. The range was developed with both the operator’s demands and consumer trends in mind, which combined to give a perfect mix of innovative and indulgent fillings encased in premium pastry. Big or small, meat or veg, It doesn’t matter how you serve your pies – as long as it has quality ingredients, it’s likely to be a winner with your patrons.

The Palace Hotel's pie of the day




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ew technologies offer exciting ways for Australian hotel and hospitality business owners to tailor and enhance the way they serve and interact with customers. In recent years we’ve seen many changes to the way restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars provide services to customers, from online bookings, options to order ahead of time, paying for orders using an app and in-seat kiosks for self-ordering and payment. The growing number of food trucks and pop-up stores has seen increased demand for mobile point of sale (POS) and payment solutions to help run businesses effectively, while still benefiting from the advantages traditional POS systems offer including order management, reconciliation and reporting. The security of a cashless business is a growing trend with paperless receipts and kitchen dockets another logical step in this evolution. While businesses understand the need to innovate their dining experience, it can be difficult to know where to begin and how to integrate new technologies. This makes partnering with service providers such as POS vendors and banks essential. ANZ is working with leading POS vendors to build an ecosystem of business and payment apps for restaurants. It has set the standard in mobile payments technology, officially launching its secure payments system, ANZ BladePay™, alongside POS vendors

that have developed customised apps for the platform, reinvigorating the way restaurants, pubs and cafés serve customers. ANZ BladePay is an Android™ based payment device and, together with a POS vendor app, can allow hospitality businesses to take orders and payments, split bills and manage customer requests. With the right POS vendor app on ANZ BladePay™ hospitality businesses can: • Take customer orders at the table, directly linking to the POS, sending orders straight to the kitchen, removing the need to go back and forth to the POS terminal • Manage customer requests to split the bill, making it easier to add a tip to their payment • Open additional service lines by taking orders and payments as customers queue With ANZ BladePay integrated with the right POS vendor app, business owners can provide an integrated and seamless service to their customers, from order through to payment, making for an improved dining experience and enabling restaurants to be more efficient. The open-source nature of the platform means new opportunities will continually be developed into the future.








ndrew Lazarus, known for his operation of The Eastern Hotel in Sydney’s Bondi, views Shoal Bay Country Club as his retirement project. He spends most of his time up in Shoal Bay now, loving both the venue and the lifestyle. In mid-2016, Lazarus had bought his first regional New South Wales venue, acquiring the Exchange Hotel in the Newcastle suburb of Hamilton. With Shoal Bay being in close proximity, when the opportunity presented itself, he was happy to consider it. “I saw value with Sydney hotel prices going up the way they did. I think there’s regional opportunities that are certainly good value. It’s a great lifestyle as well – I feel like I’m on holidays up here.” And once he visited the property, it was love at first sight. “The country club is just a unique property. It’s on the water, it’s just beautiful. And I could see what could be done with the hotel in terms

of transforming it into a large-scale, familyfriendly venue – which it certainly was not.”

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE At the time of the purchase, the venue was slightly dated in terms of its facilities. The clientele was very much the schooner-drinking tradesmen crowd, with hardly any females frequenting the hotel. So Lazarus set up about targeting families to get a much broader demographic visiting the hotel. “It had a very narrow clientele, whereas I wanted to build something that catered to everyone from the area. That’s been the most satisfying thing about the transformation, that we’ve managed to attract 18-80 year olds with these facilities.” The Port Stephens population swells during summer, school holidays and long weekends, as tourists – mainly from Sydney – holiday in the area. The pub is also situated next to a 200-room Ramada Hotel (the two venues were originally owned and developed by the same

LOCATED AT THE MOST NORTHERN POINT OF NEW SOUTH WALE’S PORT STEPHENS REGION, ANDREW LAZARUS HAS RESTORED THE SHOAL BAY COUNTRY CLUB TO THE BEAUTY OF ITS 1950S HEYDAY. person) which does not have any F&B facilities of its own, so Shoal Bay Country Club supplies all of the F&B services for the hotel’s guests. While there was definitely the possibility of attracting tourists to the area, Lazarus wanted to focus primarily on appealing to locals, who would bring the venue steady patronage all year round. The hotelier engaged Rachel Luchetti, co-director of award-winning architecture and interior design firm Luchetti Krelle, to re-envision the pub. The brief was to build a large-format hotel that offered a wide range of facilities, could cater for families, had multiple food offerings, excellent live music facilities and function areas. “You’ve got a big local community there that you can draw from, but it is as at the end of the line, with Shoal Bay being the last stop in Port Stephens. To get people motivated to go past Nelson Bay, to your destination venue in Shoal Bay – obviously the views help, but you also need to draw them on other levels,” states Luchetti.



COLOUR PALETTE Shoal Bay Country Club is full of different colours – so how does Luchetti ensure that all of that colour won’t date? “We just made sure that the colours were 50s inspired, and that way they will never date because it will always look 50s. That’s why Andrew got on board with the concept, because he could see this was vintage classic. So we’re not using some new panelling product or material that will be in for five minutes and then out. It’s more about going back to basics. A lot of what you see is just carpentry work and real genuine materials. And interesting tiles done in retro, mid-century styles, plus classic furniture, classic shapes.”


DESIGN & BUILD THE GOLDEN ERA The concept for the venue that developed quite naturally was to return the hotel to its heyday of the 50s and 60s, when it was a particularly glamorous venue for high society to frequent, when overseas travel was unaffordable. “In those days people didn’t jump on planes and go to Europe, they came to Port Stephens. Being a country club it was pretty posh. So a lot of the ideas in terms of décor came from the original fit-out from the 50s,” explains Lazarus. Luchetti agrees, adding of the era: “Shoal Bay was the closest you had to one of those European coastal resort towns, where there was a bit of grandeur about it. It was tapping into that nostalgia and the 50s sensibilities of what a coastal holiday destination is.” So a 50s Riviera aesthetic was agreed upon. Luchetti had recently travelled to Santa Margeherita, a small coastal town in Italy, replete with lots of candy coloured buildings and oldworld beauty. She took the stately homes in the area, and locations like Santa Barbara on the west coast of the United States, for her inspiration. And with such a sprawling venue that had so many different offerings within it, the designer was able to interpret this 50s Riviera look in many different ways.

“Even though all the various spaces in the complex are different, they all tie together around that 50s theme. So you’re in the sports bar and it’s still got a 50s vibe, but it’s not the same as upstairs in the kitchen or in Mermaids Café where it’s just a different take on it. I think certainly that residential quality has come through, particularly upstairs in the kitchen.”

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE The pub trades almost 20 hours a day, opening at 6:30am for breakfast, and closing at 2am. As the day progresses, different areas within the hotel are activated over the 2000 sqm pub, which houses 730 seats and has a maximum capacity of 2000 people. Mermaids Café, located on the ground floor, is Shoal Bay Country Club’s dedicated café venue, serving up breakfast, takeaway coffees and fresh juices. There is some seating in this take on a 50s diner, as well as a kiosk window that is active from the street. This more casual milk bar setting is pared back with polished concrete floors and booths made of bright blue leather and timber, subway tile bars and little nautical touches throughout. The Beach Bar is the main public bar of

the space. The actual bar itself is the main attraction of the space, using a retro patterned tile in marble, with the curved corners of the bar in plywood. The bar also features turned legs made with brass feet, and a terrazzo top. “The terrazzo is definitely a throwback, but it’s also very much of the now. It certainly suits that spot. The back bar we really had fun with. It’s inspired by mid-century bookshelves with the threaded rod separating the shelves,” describes Luchetti. Past the Beach Bar is the Cane Lounge, a more feminine space, that is named after a section of the hotel that existed in the 50s. The lounge is almost a pavilion, with fresh white walls, blonde timber window fitting, cane furniture and velvet cushions. Tropical wallpaper adds to the elegance of the space that is perfect for an afternoon cocktail. Also located on the ground floor is the revamped gaming room, with carpeted and patterned tile flooring, and walls that feature black subway tiles and teal quilted velvet. This leads you through to a large TAB section, and the sports bar. Lots of thought was put into the sports bar, which had one of the most significant structural upheavals in the venue. Where previously it was a warren of gaming,



DESIGN & BUILD TAB and back-of-house areas, now it is a purposeful sports bar that doubles as the pub’s live music space. “By moving the gaming to the front corner and then cleaning up this huge space at the back of the sports bar to do live music – we had great success with that. So now we have this really good live music venue which the Bay really needs. It’s certainly doing really well. That’s something that the client really wanted to introduce and it’s been a real hit,” states Luchetti. The courtyard is the venue’s main outdoor mingling space. It also encompasses a kids’ play area with an interactive projection that goes on the floor that kids play with. There is also table tennis and pool tables to keep kids of all ages entertained. One detail in the courtyard that is one of Luchetti’s favourites of the whole venue, and is indicative of just how much thought has gone into every aspect of Shoal Bay Country Club – the trelliage surrounding the space. “All the trelliage that has gone in there is something that we really worked on getting right. It wasn’t just lattice from Bunnings that you stick on the wall; it was carefully worked out to be the right scale and proportions to be that 50s-style trelliage.” The second floor is dedicated to the venue’s bistro, known as the Kitchen Patio, which trades until 10pm serving lunch and dinner. As the name suggests, it comprises not only a large indoor space, but also a large patio where patrons can dine in the open air looking out onto the picturesque bay views. The original terrace was quite small, so the patio was doubled in size. Even the indoor space is light and airy and reaffirms the idea of the bistro as the extension of a grand residential dining space. “[It’s] full of 50s Ercole furniture, original pieces from the UK. It was certainly worth the investment because it just sets the tone. The whole idea in there is like going into a residential kitchen. So even the detailing on things like the waiters’ station is like a 50s kitchen.”

FUN FOR ALL Since opening on Christmas Eve, the venue has already reached capacity on several occasions – not only on public holidays but also when there is something on. Thanks to Lazarus, live music has been a big part of Shoal Bay Country Club’s social calendar. “We’re doing some big concerts now. There was a night when we had The Radiators playing, the whole place was at capacity. We’re doing a lot of those big shows. That certainly helps fill the place up. We’ve got Pete Murray coming up. He’s doing a national tour and we’re the first venue that has sold out on his tour. We’ve had Thirsty Merc, we’ve got Daryl Braithwaite coming up. The Angels, Dragon – a lot of those older bands that were very popular in the 80s.” Kids concerts, activities and petting zoos are also a big drawcard for families, especially during school holidays. On the day that Lazarus spoke to Australian Hotelier, the venue had just finished holding a kids concert for 500 little ones and their parents – who no doubt enjoyed a meal at the venue for the first time. “A lot of those people are being exposed to the place for the first time, because it’s not the sort of place that they would have come to at all.” Six months into trading, and Lazarus could not be happier with how his vision of the venue is faring. This is compounded by the amount of grateful patrons who often thank him for bringing more F&B and entertainment options to the area. For the hotelier, it’s a dream scenario for his ideal venue. “There’s just always something going on, there’s something for everyone. And every day just looking out to that beautiful view, it’s amazing. This has kind of been my retirement plan, because it doesn’t feel like I’m at work when I’m up here.”


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Aussie legend Jeff Horn takes on American Terrence Crawford at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to defend his WBO welterweight title. Can the Brisbane school teacher keep his title intact? When: Sunday 10 June, 12pm. Channel: Main Event.

A mid-year public holiday in Australian means some top-notch footy clashes, and the Queen’s Birthday holiday is no exception. AFL will be kicking off the Monday afternoon action with Melbourne v Collingwood, while in the NRL the Bulldogs will take on the Dragons. Melbourne v Collingwood: Monday 11 June, 3:20pm. Channel 7 and Fox Footy. Bulldogs v Dragons: Monday 11 June, 4pm. Channel 9 and Fox League.



The beleaguered Australian cricket team will be heading to England for a series of five ODIs and one Twenty20 match. It will be Australia’s first international campaign since the now-infamous South African test series. When: Starts Wednesday 13 June, 10pm. Channel: Fox Sports.

The World Cup makes football fans out of those who don’t normally follow the sport, so expect a lot of traffic in your venues for the matches played in the evening. The Socceroos matches in particular will fill up your pub, starting with their first match against the youthful France. When: France v Australia: Saturday 16 June, 8pm. Channel: Sky Racing 611, SBS, Optus Sport


UFC’s current light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier, looks to add the heavyweight belt to his collection at UFC 226. To do so, he will have to beat current champion Stipe Miocic. If Cormier pulls off the feat, he will join Conor McGregor as the second fighter to hold two concurrent belts in differet weight classes. When: Sunday 8 July. Channel: Main Event. *All times are AEST


Profile for The Intermedia Group

Australian Hotelier June 2018