Australian Hotelier November 2021

Page 1



Vol. 38 No. 10- November 2021

Raising the Bar in Pro Audio


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Sales Enquiries 1800 00 77 80 .au







10 Audio Solution: Cali Beach resonates Ed’s

6 News: What’s happening in pubs

14 Indoor Air Quality: The latest hygiene

26 Design & Build: Huntlee Tavern is a


with the coastal crowd.

gadgets to protect staff and patrons. 18 Human Resources: Staffing tech solutions

and how they give venues an edge. 22 Tech Focus: The latest on bots,

across Australia. Hunter Valley haven with something for everyone. 30 Tales from the Top: Harvest Hotels

launches its second pub fund.

customer loyalty, and locallydeveloped innovations.

Back to indoor environments – a few new

hopeful than they have

the last time Aussie pubs emerged from

in many months. Covid

lockdown, and you can read about some of

restrictions should

these, and their pros and cons, on p14. up to meet Australia’s pent-up demand for

strong summer trade as we finally put the

their favourite pub remains a big challenge

worst of the pandemic behind us.

for the industry. In this issue, we take a look at some of the latest software and apps to

the first time, or reopening after a significant

help not only recruit staff, but also to retain

refresh, that it’s hard to keep up, which is

the ones you have. Read all about it in our

a great problem to have. In this issue, we

tech wrap starting on p18. Cheers!

such, it’s more of a massive open-air beach club featuring numerous pools and nightlife

Amanda Bryan, Editor

options, all located on a Gold Coast high-


rise. It’s called Cali Beach and its operators share their lessons on how to conquer outdoor audio challenges on p10.

4 | Australian Hotelier


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And finally, it’s no secret that staffing back

creep higher, and most are predicting

take a look at one of these – it’s not a pub as

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hygiene solutions have popped-up since

So many venues are currently opening for

EDITOR: Amanda Bryan


starting to feel more

slowly give way as our vaccination rates

PUBLISHER: Paul Wootton


Editor’s Note THINGS ARE certainly

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

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DISCLAIMER: This publication is published by Food and Beverage Media Pty Ltd (the “Publisher”). Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials. The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher’s endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. Copyright © 2021 - Food and Beverage Media Pty Ltd


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WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PUBS ACROSS AUSTRALIA Bruce Mathieson Jr steps away from Endeavour Endeavour Group’s managing director of Hotels, Bruce Mathieson Jr, will leave his role at the helm of the pub operations of the listed giant in December to pursue other interests. Mathieson decided now was the right time to step down and take a break, Endeavour Group CEO Steve Donohue said. Donohue also said Mathieson had made an enormous contribution to the success of the Hotels business since taking on the role of CEO of ALH Group in 2011.

Kitchen staple gets classic makeover

“Bruce has been instrumental in leading the Hotels business through a significant period,

The well-known Praise brand

which has included the successful completion of the merger of ALH Group with Endeavour

of mayo has welcomed a new

Drinks to create Endeavour Group in July 2019, the demerger of Endeavour Group and

arrival called Classic Mayo

Woolworths in June of this year, and navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

that’s been given the thumbs

Donohue said that during his time with ALH, Mathieson had significantly grown the business from 200 to 341 hotels and had led several large transformation initiatives, including the rollout of new technology to enhance the customer experience across the Hotels portfolio. “Bruce’s expertise and unwavering commitment has been of immense value to Endeavour

up by independent Aussie chefs who tested it. The latest recipe is made from fresh, free-range eggs,

Group and he leaves the Hotel business in a strong position as it enters the next exciting phase

has no artificial colours or

of growth,” he said.

preservatives, and has a

The search for a replacement for Mathieson has commenced, Donohue said.

neutral taste profile, making it a good base for chefs who wish

TABCORP WAIVES ALMOST $200M IN PUB AND CLUB FEES Tabcorp and its gaming services provider MAX have jointly provided $195 million in fee relief to its pub and club customers nationally to September this year. The bulk of this relief – $165 million – comprised of waived fees from MAX, which provides a range of gaming products and professional services. MAX said it has been providing fee relief to its venue partners since the start of the pandemic last year, while continuing to provide services where possible. “To be equitable, fair, and within the spirit of current and future partnerships, we suspended financial obligations,” MAX said.

to add their own flavour twist, says Goodman Fielder brand manager Natasha Raina. “Launching Praise Classic delivers a delicious and quality mayonnaise that is an economical workhorse in the kitchen,” Raina said. “Being time poor, chefs are always looking for products

“The impact of COVID-19 has been challenging for many and continues to affect our

that deliver on convenience

everyday lives. The gaming and hospitality industries have experienced these impacts like

without sacrificing on taste

few others.

and quality. Praise Classic is

MAX said its venue partners had expressed just how critical this support has been to

the perfect base for chefs to

them. “Several have said without the suspension of fees, their businesses would have

build and customise their

struggled to emerge from lengthy and repeated lockdowns.”

own recipes.”

Paul Carew, MAX’s chief operating officer of Gaming Services said, “We’re here to help

The Praise mayonnaise range

them build a plan to get their business into the best possible position, stabilise and grow. I

now includes the Classic 21kg;

extend an open invitation to all our customers and everyone industry-wide to get in touch

Classic 3kg; Whole Egg 3.5kg

with our team. We’re here to support you through these uncertain times and ready to work

and 99% Fat Free 3.5kg.

with you.”

6 | Australian Hotelier



MARGARITA Redcape reveals buyback results Eighty per cent of Redcape’s non-institutional investors have chosen to stick with the pub group according to the results of a share buyback undertaken as part of the group’s ASX delisting. Under the delisting plan, Redcape shareholders were given an option to either remain invested in Redcape as an open-ended unlisted fund or exit in an off-market buy-back at $1.15 per security. Redcape says it received applications for 126.5 million ordinary securities, which was well below the maximum amount of 215 million shares that Redcape was permitted to buy back. The low take-up means those Redcap investors choosing to exit will do so at a premium price as no scale-back will apply. Redcape announced its plans to delist in August which it attributed to difficulty in obtaining broader institution and retail investor support despite its strong performance. “The result of the buyback demonstrates the strong ongoing support of Redcape’s investor base,” Redcape chairman Nick Collishaw said. “Over 80 per cent of non-institutional investors able to retain their holding in the unlisted fund have elected to do so, thus allowing the remainder to exit in full at a significant premium to historical trading prices.” Redcape CEO Dan Brady said, “The outcome of the buy-back together with investor feedback is a clear endorsement of the delisting proposal.”

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Hostplus taps into pub power and clean energy Hostplus CEO David Elia discusses the industry super fund’s latest moves to invest in pub assets and clean energy.

INDUSTRY SUPER fund Hostplus recently

a major clean-energy breakthrough. CFS

employer otherwise. Further details about

joined Charter Hall’s Long Wale REIT

successfully tested a high-temperature

the Your Future, Your Super legislation are

(CLW) in a bid for 78 pub assets owned

superconducting magnet.

available on the Hostplus website.

by ALE Property group – a move that aims to generate strong returns for members. CLW and Hostplus will each hold a

According to Elia, this breakthrough

“Our team of dedicated Key Account

marks a significant milestone in the

Coordinators and Account Managers is

world’s transition to renewable energy.

ready to help employers understand and

50 per cent stake in ALE on completion,

The test established that the magnet

meet these new requirements,” Elia says.

Hostplus CEO David Elia says, and the

could create a powerful enough magnetic

“Support is available face-to-face, online

properties will provide Hostplus with

field to achieve net positive energy through

and over the phone.”

an attractive rental income profile,

fusion technology – the same energy that

and because they’re leased on a triple

powers the sun.

net basis, capital expenditure is the responsibility of the tenant. “This investment is an incredible opportunity for Hostplus members to gain exposure to a large-scale portfolio of

CFS is now on course to establish

Importantly, businesses will still need to nominate a default fund. However, only staff who are new to the workforce

the first test plant, and the company is

– those who haven’t had a super account

looking to achieve sustained fusion energy

previously and haven’t elected a fund

generation by 2025.

themselves – can be allocated to the

“Climate change is one of the biggest

employer’s selected default fund.

high-quality hospitality assets,” Elia says.

challenges facing the world today.

“This investment is another way we

Our investment in CFS is just one

employers to make sure your default fund

can work towards delivering retirement

element in our commitment to support

is a top performer,” Elia says.

income security to our members. These

the development of renewable and

are well-located properties with a high-

sustainable forms of energy,” Elia says.

quality tenant. “As well as being a good investment

Supporting reopening

“So it’s even more important for

APRA performance test Hostplus also recently received confirmation from the Australian

for our members, it’s also great that it

As Australia begins to open up in line

Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA)

supports the hospitality industry, which is

with vaccination rates, Hostplus is also

that the Fund has passed the regulator’s

significant to our origins.”

keen to support reopening hospitality

MySuper performance test.

Clean energy breakthrough

businesses, Elia says. This support is

“Our pass mark from APRA is another

especially timely, as changes to super

indicator that our MySuper Balanced

Hostplus members’ funds are also

default arrangements and administration

option is achieving its long-term

being invested in a range of innovative

took effect on 1 November 2021.

investment outcomes,” Elia says.

opportunities to maximise future growth

The changes, under new legislation

You can read more about the APRA

and capital returns – in fact, the Fund

known as ‘Your Future, Your Super’,

performance test, as well as Hostplus’

is one of Australia’s largest institutional

require employers to determine if new

recent investment performance, on the

investors in venture capital funds and

staff members already have an active

Hostplus website –

start-up companies, according to Elia.

super account. If they do, their super

One of these start-ups, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), recently achieved

8 | Australian Hotelier

contributions must be paid to this account, unless the employee directs the

The information in this article is intended as general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.


w.h o

stp lus .c

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HOSTPLUS DELIVERS A PERSONAL BEST RETURN OF 21.3%^ IN 2021 Not only has Hostplus delivered its best ever single-year return for its Balanced (MySuper) Option, we’ve delivered top returns over the long term . Good numbers however you read it and a real WIN WIN for our members’ retirement savings. #

^Hostplus’ Balanced (MySuper) Option net annual return 2021. #20-year investment returns as reported in SuperRatings Accumulation Fund Crediting Rate Survey – SR50 Balanced (60-76) Index, 30 June 2021. Host-Plus Pty Limited ABN 79 008 634 704, AFSL 244392 as trustee for the Hostplus Superannuation Fund (the Fund) ABN 68 657 495 890, MySuper No 68 657 495 890 198. This information is general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if this information is appropriate for you in light of your circumstances before acting on it. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and should never be the sole factor considered when selecting a superannuation fund. Please read the relevant Hostplus Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD), available at before making a decision about Hostplus. HP1548


Cali Beach resonates with the coastal crowd A newly opened $10m rooftop venue called Cali Beach has installed a cutting-edge all-weather audio solution that’s in tune with its elevated, open-air environment – and doesn’t keep the neighbours awake. CALI BEACH is a brand new multi-

It’s more than an adult party venue,

faceted rooftop venue located on a

though, according to Keegan. “Sound

Gold Coast high rise. The first-of-

is critical for a venue like this. When

its-kind open-air beach club, which

you’re so focused on live entertainment

sits on the fourth floor of a high rise

and acts, and operating right

in the heart of Surfers Paradise,

throughout the day, you need to have a

opened its doors in September with a

fantastic sound. That’s what resonates

footprint of more than 5000 sqm.

with customers.”

This new style of venue development

a dozen Gold Coast’s nightclubs and

court, several bars, and outdoor deck

restaurants, so Keegan understood

areas and cabanas – all with ocean views.

the audio challenges that would be

Cali Beach is also a night-time party and entertainment hub, and offers multiple dining options, a DJ area, and an outdoor cinema. “We have DJs booked every single

10 | Australian Hotelier

Artesian Hospitality operates half

boasts four pools, a beach volleyball

involved in running open-air parties in the middle of a high-rise precinct. “We have neighbours right at our doorstep but no walls or rooves that traditionally assist in containing noise,

weekend, and a superior audio-visual

so we had to work very hard from an

offering as well. The upbeat party

acoustic engineering perspective.

atmosphere is something else under

“We had to make sure we had

the stars,” says Matthew Keegan, a

correct placement and the correct

partner in Artesian Hospitality, the

style of loudspeaker system in order

owner and operator of the venue.

to mitigate dispersion and maximise


MADISONAV SPECIALISES in the distribution and support of professional audio-visual products and solutions to AV integration and broadcast companies. The company’s national business development manager for audio, Benjamin Page, says it wasn’t the size of the Cali Beach project, but more its unique location – on a Surfers Paradise rooftop, totally exposed to elements, and close to residential areas – that set it apart. “We had to meet two requirements, and the first was weatherisation. JBL is the only manufacturer offering a tropicalrated weatherisation on timber loudspeaker products. “Secondly, because it was an exposed venue with residential high-rises all around it, we had to control sound exposure, and the JBL products gave us the directivity and control we needed to meet council requirements the quality of the sound within the venue,

outdoor coastal location, which meant that

and at the same time offer a

which is absolutely critical to the customer

selecting the right speakers would be key.

nightclub-style atmosphere.”


Sound control Given the crucial role sound would play in the equation, and in light of the elevated,

“Getting a very tight pattern control,

Page says this was achieved

making it sound great, and weatherproofing

using special acoustic modelling,

– given we’re right next to the beach – were

a free service that MadisonAV

the three crucial elements,” he says.

offers all clients, whether

JBL Professional’s range of weatherised

they’re fitting out boardrooms or

open-air environment, Keegan says they

loudspeakers with high levels of pattern

football stadiums. It conducts

also needed a solution that could be

control were chosen for the task, he says.

this modelling inhouse using

relied on to perform even when subjected

“JBL ticked all the boxes. Its weatherproof

DDA (Digital Directivity Analysis)

to winds, salt air and high levels of

range of speakers are designed for these

software from Harman.

competing noise.

harsh environments, the range has the right

“The brief to Prestige Group, who were

“We were able to map the

SPL specifications for the project, and the

entire block using that software

our AV consultants on this job, was that

JBL product range has all of the speaker

and look at the different

we wanted to take the experience you can

dimensions, dispersion characteristics and

frequencies and how they

typically expect inside a venue, for example

frequency responses that we needed.”

penetrated other structures. That

in a nightclub or in a bar atmosphere,

way we could see the exposed

and have that same experience here in an

Hardware selection

outdoor environment.”

“The beauty of the JBL product range is

with loud-speaker placement to

areas and then address those

Prestige Group’s GM Nathan Wright says

there’s a speaker for every eventuality,”

avoid the audio getting out of the

the main challenges in fulfilling this brief were

Wright says. “Predominantly, we used a

venue,” Page says.

the nearby residential high-rises, and the

combination of CBT column and AWC full-

November 2021 | 11


range coax speakers. They combined seamlessly to create the right experience for everyone.” There are around 80 loudspeakers in total in the Cali Beach project, many operating in nearfield mode to restrict spill outside the venue. Crown CDI series amplifiers, along with BSS processing and BLU Link networking, were chosen for processing and amplification duties. “We’re running about 40 different channels of audio output zones here, and it’s just one Ethernet cable linking between the amplifiers. That makes life from a patching and installation point of view just so much easier,” Wright says. MadisonAV, in partnership with JBL, assisted on the project, Wright says. “They helped us with the 3D modelling and in recommending speakers. They were here through the whole process to answer any questions. And it put everyone at ease having the team from Madison on board to help support us during the installation process.” Keegan also praised the sound, the installation, and the collaboration. “We’ve been very happy with JBL,” he says. “It’s been an extremely smooth experience dealing with both Prestige and MadisonAV. “We got a lot of feedback from them in terms of modelling and speaker selection and things like that which were obviously very important to us here at Cali, given the conditions that we’re operating in and the challenges that we face. “And since we’ve had our opening weekend and we’ve been able to test the system, I think everyone says they’ve had a great time, and from my perspective as a venue owner, we’re very happy.”

12 | Australian Hotelier

We wanted to take the experience you can typically expect inside a venue, and have that same experience here in an outdoor environment.

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The elephant in the room With indoor air quality sharply in focus this summer, Carl Pavett of Hunter Technologies discusses some of the methods available to venues for a safer reopening.

As vaccine roadmaps are met and venues open

NSW schools are relying on ventilation, following

up around the country, many are contemplating

an audit that showed schools could operate safely

investments in new types of technology that can

with the proper use of fresh air ventilation only.

cleanse their indoor air spaces to keep staff and patrons as safe as possible. Air quality is not something many of us have

The NSW government has since conducted a state-wide review of all windows, fans and ventilation systems in more than 150,000 spaces

thought too much about until now, says Carl Pavett,

2200 public schools to ensure they can be operated

managing director of Hunter Technologies. Even

as intended. This included checking more 650,000

last year, he says, it was not really a big part of

windows, 200,000 ceiling and wall fans, and 19,000

people’s post-pandemic planning.

extractor fans.

“All around the world, schools, bars, hotels, pubs

However, at times when maximising natural

and any indoor venues are now looking at the best

ventilation won’t work, say due to bushfire smoke

ways to make sure the air we breathe is clean and

or poor air quality, air purification systems will be

safe,” he says.

provided to schools, with a number of air purifiers

The main types of anti-viral options open to these groups come in three categories, according to

being purchased with this in mind. Many venues are also embracing ventilation

Pavett – ventilation, purifiers, and air treatment. So

as an air quality strategy, and to this end have

what are these technologies and what are the pros

upgraded, expanded and spruced up their rooftops

and cons of each?

and beer gardens. In NSW, restaurants, bars and cafes can also gain access to government grants

14 | Australian Hotelier


to expand alfresco dining into their car parks and

Ventilation could be as simple as keeping doors and

gardens temporarily over the summer, and outdoor

windows open. Its advantages are obvious – it’s easy,

dining exemptions on footpaths for small bars

it’s free, and it allows fresh air to enter the venue.

and pubs will also be made permanent under the


government’s $66 million Alfresco Restart Initiative. Despite its many advantages as a standalone air quality solution, however, ventilation is not always practical, Pavett says. “Some indoor areas don’t have enough windows and doors to open, or they may not be practicable to open, as this will make the room to hot or cold for the people inside, and can also have a major effect on heating and cooling costs for the building. “The ventilation approach is okay with typical

All around the world, schools, bars, hotels, pubs and any indoor venues are now looking at the best ways to make sure the air we breathe is clean and safe.

weather, but after Christmas on those 40-degree days, we’ll want to shut the doors and use an


air conditioner.”

Air filter technology that purifies the air is now being

These systems also don’t work well when the air quality outside is poor, such as during bushfires or for bars in located on busy city streets. There are also mechanical options, such as

adopted around the world to curb the spread of Covid in indoor settings, including public transport. These systems suck in air and run it through a filtration system. Victorian schools are a

fresh air ventilation systems that suck air in from

high-profile adopter of this purifying tech. In

outside, Pavett notes, however these systems

September the state government announced

are expensive and have the same limitations as

51,000 air purification devices from Samsung

windows and doors.

would be delivered to every state, and low-fee

Ventilation can be achieved mechanically, or simply by opening doors and windows.

November 2021 | 15


Air purifiers suck in air and run it through a filtration system. Their success hinges on the quality of the filtration and the time it takes to purify the room.

Catholic and independent school in Victoria at a

Air treatment

cost of $190 million.

Air treatment is another option that many venues are

In another example of this type of technology,

looking at. Treatment systems work by pushing safe

Aeris Environmental is an Australian company that

substances into the air that are capable of reacting

has patented an air filter treatment technology. The

with and removing specific aerosols such as Covid,

treatment is sprayed onto deep bed HVAC filters

and it is this type of tech that Hunter Technologies

to help prevent microbial pathogens from passing

is backing.

through the system and spreading to other areas of the building or indoor space. Another purifier that has been designed to kill the

Healthier air is a heathier room.

says Pavett, is that they can improve the quality of the air quite quickly compared to purification, and

virus in poorly ventilated indoor spaces comes from

can also be used alongside heating and cooling,

Rentokil Initial which has partnered with Radic8 to

unlike ventilation.

bring a product called Viruskiller, to Australia and New Zealand for the first time. Many venues are using these types of solutions,

The units are also versatile, coming in portable and wall mountable variants, or for larger venues, they can be installed directly into the heating,

Pavett says. “These systems will improve the air

ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) to

quality and make a nicer indoor environment and

treat the air in a large venue.

that is a great thing for everyone involved. Healthier air is a heathier room.” The success of purifiers largely hinges on the

Hunter Technologies’ air treatment product is called HQAir and it works by releasing a charged Ion called a Hydroxyl into the air which can break

quality of filtration, he says, as well as the time it

down contaminants such as Covid and other viruses

takes to purify a room.

within an hour.

“It’s important to ascertain whether the filters in

Pavett says the cost of installing HQAir ranges

the system have been designed to remove Covid.

from $5,000-8,000 for the average small bar and

And because the air must first travel through the

up to $15,000 for a multi-room venue.

filter, it can take a while before the air in all parts of the room moves through the system.”

16 | Australian Hotelier

The advantages of this approach for venues,

Independent Bar Association president Karl Schlothauer recently announced that several


Sydney bars had installed HQAir, including Pocket Bar in Terrigal, Stitch Bar in the Sydney CBD, Jacobys Tiki Bar in Enmore, Earls Duke Joint in Newtown, Fortune of War at The Rocks, and The Bearded Tit in Redfern. “The hydroxyl technology has been embraced by bars in the USA because it’s currently the only air purification system that stands up to FDA (Food and Drug Administration) level testing to actively reduce viral contamination in occupied spaces, which is why it suits our venues so well,” Schlothauer says. “The same systems are now being installed in a variety of other Australian venues, including schools, hotels, hair salons and churches, so I’m really pleased that small bars are leading the way in Sydney.” The small bars initiative has been applauded by NSW 24-Hour Economy Commissioner Michael Rodrigues. “We know that safety is a key consideration for many people when it comes to going out,” he says. “Industry-led initiatives like this one that build consumer confidence are not only welcomed – they are much needed.”

A HQAir unit in use at Jacobys Tiki Bar in Enmore

Hydroxyl Technology HQAir produces Ions and Free Hydroxyl Radicals, is more efficient at removing pathogens –including COVID-19 – from the air and hard and soft surfaces

Significantly reduce the risk of airborne and surface viruses and bacteria with HQAir. Making the pub, club and hotel world a healthier place to work and play in by sanitising any indoor space effectively and naturally.

FDA approved technology

An exceptionally fast, safe and effective air and surface treatment system which removes 99.99% of surface and air pathogens within one hour, including COVID-19. Using powerful hydroxyl treatment technology, HQAir is a 24/7 treatment system – reducing the risk and spread of viruses and bacteria and providing a safer working environment for customers and staff.

Long term effective solution

Eliminates 99.99% of COVID-19 from surfaces and the air within one hour Drastically reduces surface / air infection potential Safe, environmentally friendly and effective Far reaching benefits Tested by ATS Labs

Hunter Technologies

Call 1300 6693 357 MARKET LEADERS SINCE 2007


Staffing apps that give venues an edge Post-pandemic recovery for pubs hinges on successful recruitment and retention. Software developers say their solutions – and some edgy new features – can help venues navigate this pivotal issue. 18 | Australian Hotelier

SINCE THE start of the pandemic in Australia in

workers on visas who had to return home during

April 2020, there has been a 90 per cent drop in

the pandemic, and staff who have made the move

worker shifts in Australian pubs as a direct result

into new ‘more stable’ industries like construction,

of restrictions, lockdowns, and border closures,

one of the main concerns for the coming months

according to data from scheduling app Deputy.

is being able to adequately staff to suit demand as

Pubs were hit harder than the broader hospitality industry – which saw a 75 per cent decline – as

Australia reopens.” Drawn directly from Deputy’s pooled and

they were less able to pivot into alternative revenue

anonymised customer data from 7,000 hospitality

generators such as takeaway.

businesses, these statistics demonstrate the

These numbers show that pubs had to let go

challenge pubs face in the coming months as

of more staff members than any other segment

they try to staff up and recover from the toughest

in the severely impacted hospitality sector,

conditions many have ever faced.

according to Deputy’s general manager for APAC, Shanthy Thurailingam. “We know that part of the fallout from Covid has

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. During the Covid hiatus, many pubs have also taken the opportunity to make improvements, and in many

left the hospitality industry understaffed across the

cases, this has included implementing new software

board,” Thurailingam says. “Between international

systems to help them tackle staffing issues.


RECRUITING TIKTOK-STYLE A game-changing recruitment app that serves up video CVs is taking off in the hospitality space, with two Sydney-based pubs, The Golden Sheaf in Double Bay, and Kings Cross Hotel, among those benefiting from the tech. The app, which is called Zapid Hire, was developed in Australia last year and promises big time savings for recruiters in hospitality and other “deskless” sectors. 20,000 Australian job seekers and more than 300 organisations have already subscribed to the app in less than eight months, according to its creators. Zapid Hire was designed to appeal to Gen Z and young Millennials as it allows job seekers to apply for work via short, personality-driven videos. Hiring managers also post video versions of job ads, with Zapid Hire connecting job candidates with employers via a swipe system and chat feature. Ari Shapurkar, assistant manager at The Golden Sheaf, says hiring staff is his responsibility, and prior to Zapid Hire, he would have to sift through 50 to 80 resumes to find suitable candidates to interview. “I don’t want to read a boring resume,” he says. “I’m not trying to hire a GM, I want banter, and it only takes a few seconds of conversation to make that judgement.” Joshua Smith, assistant manager at the Kings Cross Hotel, said he was introduced to Zapid Hire at a time when the pub was struggling to find and onboard staff. “The video CVs allow me to gain a better understanding of candidates’ personalities, allowing for more streamlined recruitment.” Thurailingam says these efforts will pay off.

Zapid Hire co-founder and CEO, Andrew Dewez, created the app in

Deputy’s staff scheduling software and apps are

collaboration with Sam Prince, the founder of Mexican food chain Zambrero,

already in use in around 30 per cent of Australia’s

who found the hiring process “ridiculously costly, repetitive, inefficient and

pubs, and these tools not only simplify the


management of shift work for the hospitality industry, they can also help venues with staff retention – a crucial capability in the current climate. The imbalance between supply and demand means that business owners may lose staff to other workplaces that are able to make a more enticing

“There is such a shortage of labour, you’ve got to find an applicant and get through the process quickly,” Dewez says. Zapid Hire doesn’t just wait for job seekers to come to the app, it pushes job ads onto Instagram and TikTok to reach more potential candidates. The app is now launching in the US and has already signed on a few locations including Park Hyatt Hotels in New York.

offer, she says, either with above market wages or

For applicants, Zapid hire is free. For employers, it costs $99 per ad or per

with better conditions, so it’s critical that business

month. The Zapid Hire app is available for free download on Google Play and

owners think about how they can continue to be a

the Apple Store.

business that their staff want to work for. Workplace culture, morale and engagement all significantly contribute to staff retention, and Thurailingam points to some of the features developed by Deputy that can make a big difference when it comes to staff choosing whether to go or stay.

FAIR PLAY Deputy provides high visibility around rostering, which makes it easy for managers to spot potential problems, such as whether the same staff members are always being given shifts at unsociable hours or being given

November 2021 | 19


fewer shifts than others, or if they are being rostered

“This type of communication improves a

on for ‘clopening’ (closing and opening) shifts that

venue’s inclusiveness, and this boosts morale,”

don’t give them enough time to rest and recover.

Thurailingam says.

“In an industry that has made it commonplace for staff to work long hours on their feet late into the


night, managing these small rostering changes can

Deputy has recently introduced a new feature,

make a huge difference to the motivation of your

a sentiment check, that is now rolling out which

team,” Thurailingam says.

shows how satisfied staff members were with a


shift or workplace. The app asks them at the end of their shift or

Deputy can support venues in paying staff fairly,

their week to score how they felt, ranging from

and in making it easy for staff to track their

terrible to amazing. The sentiment check also gives

remuneration, as well as their leave entitlements.

them the option of commenting on their score. That

The software can also help remind managers

way their employer can spot potential problems

to celebrate the small things like birthdays and

early and do something to fix them.

“workiversaries”, says Thurailingam. “These are the things that lead to creating a great

“It’s a tool for business owners and managers to use to keep their finger on the pulse of how staff are

team culture by increasing trust and transparency

feeling, and potentially identify any trends or areas

between management and the team.

that they can action to improve staff engagement,”

“These things can be hard to do manually, but with

Thurailingam says.

the right technology, you can easily and efficiently

“You should be listening to your staff now, to

make your pub or bar a place where staff want to

find out what they’re looking for, and how you can

work, because of the culture you’re able to build.”

support them.” Pubs need to start thinking about how to be an


employer of choice, in attracting and retaining the

Deputy software also provides a central place

best staff, particularly in an industry that has had

where everyone can stay up to date and remain

notoriously high turnover rates, even pre-Covid,

connected with one another, says Thurailingam.

Thurailingam says.

Through a news feed, staff members can find

“The right technology can play a really important

out about events – such as team meetings or social

role in this, ensuring that you’re providing fair

occasions – that they may otherwise not have

schedules, have a streamlined system for annual

heard about if they weren’t in on the day it was

leave, and have an easy way to stay checked in with

announced, resulting in feelings of being left out.

the team.”

20 | Australian Hotelier

You should be listening to your staff now, to find out what they’re looking for, and how you can support them.

If you enjoy your rosters like you enjoy your whiskey (nice and neat) try Deputy

https://www.deputy .c


/adroster apting-app to-new Scan to take our for-w a ay spin. free. s-of-For work in g


Building customer relationships Fifty Merivale venues, including pubs, will soon be dipping into their customer data to provide a more personalised service to patrons.

MERIVALE IS rolling out SevenRooms software across 50 venues between November and March in a bid to build brand loyalty, provide a more personalised service, and enhance its reputation post-COVID. SevenRooms is a data-driven guest experience and retention platform, and Merivale will use the software across its reservations, waitlist and table management, review aggregation and marketing automation operations. Importantly, the software will provide Merivale with a single view of a guest’s spending and preferences across the entire

features that Merivale will benefit from,

the world including local restaurants and

portfolio, regardless of where they dine.

but two capabilities in particular stand

bars, and international, multi-concept

out, Whittaker says.

hospitality groups.

Insights drawn from approved customer data will allow Merivale to offer a more

“The first is being able to better profile

The software company says its product

personalised service that recognises

our guests. SevenRooms will give us

increases operator profitability by leveraging

a guest’s preferences, rewards their

tools to profile them and capture their

guest data to build direct relationships,

patronage, and builds customer loyalty

preferences so we can deliver an even

deliver exceptional experiences, and

and advocacy.

more elevated experience.

increase repeat visits and orders. Last year

“The challenges of the last 18 months

“The second is to provide a more

SevenRooms opened an Australian office,

have demonstrated how vital hospitality is

seamless booking journey, so customers

and pub operator Australian Venue Co. is

in our lives,” Merivale’s food & beverage

can book into any one of our venues

among its local customers.

director Frank Roberts says.

across our entire portfolio.

“As the industry gets set to reopen and

“This will give them a global view of all

“Few industries have been hit harder by the pandemic than hospitality, with

move forward, Merivale is excited to bring

our offers, so they can see what else is

even the biggest established operators

together best-in-class technology with our

available. It will open up the entire world

like Merivale identifying the importance

outstanding talent to create unique and

of Merivale in a more enabled way, and it

of data and technology as the foundation

magical experiences for every person who

will do all of this online, which is the way

for which operators can stand out and

steps into our venues.”

of the future.”

build brand loyalty,” Paul Hadida, general

Laura Whittaker, Merivale’s head

According to Whittaker, the system does

manager APAC at SevenRooms said.

of reservations, says the business had

all the heavy lifting. “That means behind

grown beyond the need for a basic table

the scenes we can trust the system to work

continue to offer guests the experiences

management system. “We needed and

its magic and maximise every single service

they desire by making more informed

wanted so much more.”

the way we do currently via our staff.”

decisions through 360-degree insights

As a data-driven, guest engagement platform, SevenRooms has numerous

22 | Australian Hotelier

SevenRooms software is used by venue operators in more than 250 cities around

“Through SevenRooms, Merivale can

across their customers’ journey, on- and off-premises.”


At your service The emerging tech known as RPA can enable some major efficiencies, prevent errors and reduce the potential for fraud for venues.

ROBOTS HAVE been embraced by the

efficiency with a bot undertaking a process

although although our team still do the

industrial sector the world over and are

compared to a human,” Barber says.

reconciliation,” Barber says.

now being introduced into the business

“This allows us to redeploy that time into

world to automate digital tasks.

higher-value activities and better serve

for hundreds of clients, he says, that’s a

our customers.”

full-time role for one person. Thanks to

Colloquially known as ‘bots’, RPA is simply software that automates mundane

The use of a bot to conduct highly

When you’re downloading statements

the bot, that staff member can now be

rules-based processes. A bot can take

sensitive activities, especially around

information, interpret it, and undertake

finance, can also remove the chance

follow-up action.

of human error – or worse, fraud, he

is an error-prone stage of the supplier

says, which together cost the Australian

payments process that Quantaco

economy as much as $100 million per day.

undertakes on behalf of clients.

The origins of bots can be found in banking to remove repetitive tasks. RPA has evolved and is now being used in

“We help create time by reducing

repurposed into higher-value activities. Another process that’s been automated

At the stage after a final approver signs-off

many industries and has grown into a

administrative tasks and providing

on a payment, the process is open to error

$3bn industry.

easy access to informative data on the

and fraudulent activity, as the file sent for

business’s operational success. We also

approval can potentially be manipulated,

is no stranger to bots, having this year

Professional services firm Quantaco

help increase compliance and security

according to Barber.

invested in automation to serve its

while reducing the risk of fraud and

hospitality clients better.

personal liability.”

Quantaco provides its clients with a

Quantaco is now using RPA on behalf

“We now use a robot, so after the payment is approved at a venue, a robot takes that approval and uploads the payment file into

range of hospitality-focused solutions and

of its hospitality clients, Barber says.

the bank. That gives absolute assurance that

services, and it has begun using bots to

“This is quite new for us – we’ve been

the number you press is the number that

boost the efficiency and reduce the chance

working on it for the last six months and

goes out, and it’s also much faster.”

of error or fraud in some of these tasks.

we’ve now got four processes live, which

“We have always been at the forefront

doesn’t sound like much but in terms of

after the pay run has been approved,

volume, it’s massive.“

he says.

of technology, and we feel RPA provides

A similar process is now used in payroll

significant benefits to our customers

One area in which Quantaco is using

“We’ve always used tech in our business

including accuracy, speed as well as

RPA is in reconciling bank statements.

to enable better outcomes for clients – we

security,” says Scott Barber, Quantaco’s

“Historically every single day we would

gave them enterprise technology ten years

chief commercial officer.

download a statement and reconcile every

ago, and we are again ahead of the curve,

“By embedding RPA in our workflow, we

line. We now have a robot that logs in to

embracing better tech to create better

have seen an up to 80 per cent increase in

the bank and downloads the statement,

outcomes for our clients.”

November 2021 | 23


Local solutions to common problems We take a look at how the latest digital offerings are helping Australian pub operators solve some of their trickiest business problems. Digitising daily takings

into the Wirely hub, the cash up process

Booking solution ticks boxes

Sydney Collective has found relief from

is simple.”

Publican Chris Deale from the Dove &

the dreaded daily takings sheet with a new

Olive in Sydney’s Surry Hills has been

Computerised compliance

using the Resdiary online table booking

Collective Heads, a fast-growing

system for its dining offering for five years,

specifically to help Aussie pubs and clubs

Australian pub operator with venues

and he recently renewed his commitment

manage daily business transactions and cash

in Victoria and Queensland, has

to the platform when it launched

movements more efficiently and effectively.

implemented a workforce management

independently in Australia this year.

digital solution called Wirely. Wirely has been locally developed

According to Sydney Collective founder Fraser Short, by streamlining the daily

platform called Ento. The group is rapidly growing and has

Resdiary was originally the back-end technology for Dimmi (which later became

cash up process, Wirely saves the group

plans to open three to four new venues in

The Fork), until things changed this year

hours of valuable labour costs.

the next six months. Prior to Ento, however,

and Resdiary and The Fork went their

it found managing, securing and onboarding

separate ways.

“We wanted to lessen the burden on our management team in cashing up. We did

its growing workforce a challenge.

“We had a choice at that time to stay with

a trial run for a couple of months at a few

Last year, the group turned to

The Fork and move to its global software

venues and it went very well so we signed

Melbourne-based Ento for a new

booking solution or migrate to Resdiary,

up to take it across every venue.”

workforce management solution, and the

which was becoming a direct booking

business has benefited from a number of

solutions company. We chose to migrate to

in time. “Wirely has probably saved

Short says the major saving has been

features, according to Collective Heads

Resdiary as it met our pub’s needs.”

three and a half hours per pub per night,

CEO Duncan Thomson.

especially in the bigger gaming pubs.

The contactless onboarding feature

According to Deale, unlike most pubs, even before Covid, the Dove & Olive used

Also, there was a manager in each venue

enables the business to communicate with

compiling reports, so that’s another eight

new starters in an engaging way as they are

“We always needed this as our trivia is

hours per week per venue saved.”

setup as an employee, providing them with

popular, so we may have 80 to 100 people

all relevant documentation and a setup on

pre-booked, and the only way to manage that

payroll through the Ento platform.

was with a table booking software solution.”

Excel spreadsheets are still widely used in venues across Australia for everything from performing safe counts and

Labour management, roster forecasting

a table booking solution.

According to Deale, when The Fork

movements, recording daily sales, gaming,

and upskilling are other useful features,

began foreshadowing the platform

Tab & Keno and petty cash transactions.

he says, as well as having the reassurance

change, the Dove & Olive took the

that staff compliance is covered.

opportunity to look around, and opted

Wirely’s CEO Simon Etchells says the industry has been operating its daily

“We need to be in touch with the changing

for Resdiary’s fixed-rate monthly model,

takings with these outdated systems that

world of awards and the like,” he says. “A

rather than the monthly charge plus a per

are both time-consuming and prone to

modern system like Ento has the AI and solid

cover change on offer from The Fork.

errors for too long.

back-end around that to make sure you don’t

“Wirely has digitised the daily takings

get caught out by new changes.

“What we wanted was a ‘Book with Google’ feature, which sees a Google ad

spreadsheet to make it easier and faster to

“As we come out of lockdown, we want

record the many different transactions that

to take ownership to develop our people.

take place in pubs and clubs every day.

We want to be an employer of choice, and

monthly fee and they also had ‘Book with

we want to be confident we are paying

Google’ so they ticked the two boxes, and

people correctly.”

it’s worked really well for us.”

“By connecting multiple systems such as POS, Gaming, ATMs, CRTs and CRs

24 | Australian Hotelier

pop up whenever you Google a restaurant. “Resdiary was offering a fixed flat

Mermaid Tavern Mermaid Beach QLD

61 2 9660 8299 ww.paulkellyde

The bar makes use of recycled materials including old bridge timber to add the character of the area


A Hunter Valley haven FIVE YEARS ago, the land where

Bergstrom Architects, is a Sydney-

Purpose-built from the ground up to serve the budding local community in style, Huntlee Tavern in the NSW Hunter Valley has something for everyone.

fabric to define the different spaces, and

Huntlee Tavern now stands was just an

based business that works around the

they used a lot of recycled materials, such

empty paddock near a soon-to-be-built

state as well as interstate. They were

as fence palings, bricks, and wood from

residential hub called Huntlee in the

tasked with helping to tweak the design

demolished bridges.

Hunter Valley when experienced pub

and internal fitout with the brief to create

operator, Jason Gavin, first spotted

a hotel that looked new but still had the

to add that character of the area,” Gavin

an opportunity.

characteristics of the area – an old country

says. “The bar is my favourite feature of

hotel but brand new.

the pub. It’s a work of art.”

a look at the site, liked what he saw, noted

Something for everyone

lighting was project-managed by Gavin.

Coles was moving into town, and decided

The finished hotel has a bistro area which

Different types of lighting are used in

to buy the land.

includes a large three-storey childrens’

different areas, and his choices reflect the

playground, a kids entertainment room,

recycled theme.

Introduced through a friend to the area, Gavin, an experienced pub operator, took

Gavin says he always intended the

“The bar uses recycled bridge timber

The furniture, the bar finishes, and the

venue to become a destination pub as it’s

as well as seating for functions and an

“It’s very warm and inviting and I’ve

off the main arterial road in the gateway to

outdoor terrace that holds 100 people.

been getting good feedback from other

Hunter Valley, with regional towns such as

The other side of the hotel includes

Maitland, Singleton and Cessnock nearby.

hoteliers and architects,” Gavin says. “We

a lounge bar which doubles up as an

wanted to fit in with the environment, so

And after 25 years in hospitality

entertainment area and dance floor,

we’ve used lots of greens and heritage

and with a degree and experience in

a public bar, a gaming room with 15

colours, and it seemed to fit with what the

construction, Gavin knew what he wanted.

machines, and a second entry.

architects proposed.

“I knew it would have to be big and it

“Bergstrom Architects were fantastic

“Bergstrom Architects really nailed

would have to have all the functions of a

and nailed the interior and the design,”

it with their choice of materials and

tavern,” he says. “I designed a footprint

Gavin says. “It’s such a pretty hotel, and

colours. They understood what I was

for a big open plan hotel with an L shape

functionality-wise we put a lot of effort

after on the project.”

to give the frontage to each main street,

into the different spaces within it so it

with a carpark to make a rectangle.

didn’t look like an RSL.”

“We had the DA approved, and then we

Many small touches also contributed to

Local flavour Bergstrom Architects director Tom

took a look at a few different hotel designs

the hotel’s appeal, Gavin says. Chairs in

Bergstrom says that the tweaks they

and selected Bergstrom Architects.”

each of the different areas had different

suggested to the design included

26 | Australian Hotelier


Lighting and fabric tweaks have been used to define the different spaces.

The pub’s L shape gives it two street frontages.

improving the flow at the entry points and also creating some contrast between different spaces in the pub. “It was one big open room, so we wanted to create separation between the different

live entertainment once or twice a month. “We needed to create a space that suited these different demographics, so adaptability around the entertainment offering was key.

The brickwork links the interior and exterior design.

you can watch sport, hang out with friends, and Jason did great job of the furniture, and that fitted into that aesthetic. “When designing a venue, to have a publican who’s worked in building and

areas and provide definition without

in the pub industry is great – he brought

isolating parts of the pub,” Bergstrom says.

ideas to the table and challenged us.”

In terms of layout, the bistro, kitchen and outdoor terrace on the far end attracts diners, families and kids. At the opposite end is the gaming area and sports bar, and a main bar that converts into a live entertainment space. “It’s a nice mix, with the sports bar packed on State of Origin, while on weekends and Mother’s Day, the bistro is packed with diners. This creates a venue that gets those ebbs and flows so it always feels

Bergstrom says the interior design brought

There is a strong connection

the outside in through the use of recycled

between the interior and

brickwork. “There is a strong connection

exterior, and a warm character due to the use of natural materials, warm finishes, and lots of texture to create a rich environment. – Tom Bergstrom.

comfortable but busy,” Bergstrom says.

between the interior and exterior, and a warm character due to the use of natural materials, warm finishes, and lots of texture to create a rich environment.” The outdoor area has also evolved, he says. “The original design was for a big open deck which was weather dependent, and we worked with Jason to develop it, and now it’s got a cover over it and a kids play area,

They also needed to create a venue

and that really creates a real family zone on

that suited the different demographics


of the local area. Huntlee is a brand

“We’ve done a few new-build pubs, and

Another challenge was the acoustics,

new neighbourhood, which means its

the trick is to make something new look

given the pub’s plan to run entertainment

population includes first home buyers,

warm and inviting and lived in, and we

and big rock bands, according to Bergstrom.

young families, and tradies working

did that by using natural materials and

around the Hunter and in Newcastle.

textures to give it that lived-in feeling that

assess that risk and to create a building

everyone loves but they don’t know why

envelope to contain that noise. This was

they love it,” Bergstrom says.

one of our bigger challenges and was

This meant the pub needed to have good pub dining and kids entertainment for families, as well as a sports bar, and good

“It’s like an extended living area where

that side of the venue.”

“We hired an acoustic engineer to

something we worked through.”

November 2021 | 27


The outdoor area has evolved into a family zone that includes covered dining and a childrens’ playground.

The busy bistro operates all day long.

this enabled us to open in October just

an entertainment venue. We open for

heavy double-glazed, and the roof has

To do this, the windows have been

before Melbourne Cup, two months

breakfast at 7am and serve lunch and then

extra layers of fibre cement sheeting to

ahead of schedule.”

dinner until 9.30 at night,” Gavin says.

create mass to contain the noise in the

The pub’s opening, which featured

That said, the popularity of the pub

venue. A black acoustic padding was also

Cessnock-bred Newcastle Knights legend

meant they struggled early on to staff up,

used to insulate the ceiling to stop noise

Andrew Johns, was the culmination of

especially the kitchen.

from escaping.

five years of planning. “It was a great time to open, just before

“We started with five in the kitchen and we went straight into doing over 500

Ahead of schedule

Melbourne Cup, although we were booked

covers per sitting, and it was full on. I’ve

The building work started in February

out and we had yet to sort out our teething

now got 22 in the kitchen team.

2020, three weeks before Covid arrived,

problems, but the pub was an instant

but the project managed to avoid getting

success,” Gavin says.

caught up in the first lockdown. “We were pretty lucky,” Gavin says. “The bank was supportive of our project and the construction industry continued on, so the building forged ahead and

28 | Australian Hotelier

Huntlee Tavern now attracts locals and tourists, offers hospitality up to 19 hours a day, and also live entertainment. “We have an all-day venue, and on Saturday nights after nine it turns into

“Also, my cool room was too small, because we didn’t think it would be so busy, so we had to build another out the back. “We thought things may slow down after the honeymoon period, but its several months on and we are still busy.”

BA are proud to be part of the team that delivered the Huntlee Tavern

www.bergstrPh. 02 8920 1499 omarchitects

Inspire Design Deliver


Seeds of success Harvest Hotels co-founder and director Fraser Haughton discusses the group’s latest pub fund and regional acquisition plans. REGIONAL OPERATOR Harvest Hotels is

bought the Milestone Hotel in Dubbo,

including those who invested in Pub Fund 1,

back in capital raising mode as it aims

and in July it added the William Farrer

and is expected to close this month.

to acquire four large-footprint regional

Hotel in Wagga Wagga to its regional

hotels, starting last month with the Woy

hospitality portfolio.

Woy Hotel on the NSW Central Coast. It’s the first coastal purchase for

Last year in October it bought large-

“We’ve got a very supportive investor base at the moment. Pub fund 1 has done really well and the investors are happy,”

format pub Brady’s Railway Hotel in

Haughton says. “We decided to ring-fence

the operator which has two pubs in

Albury, undertook a major renovation

that pub fund and not end it but not bring

Tamworth, and another three in Wagga

on Tamworth pub, The Courthouse, and

more pubs into it. We decided that was

Wagga, Dubbo and Albury.

successfully divested its Yass pub, the

the best thing for our investors to make

Australian Hotel Motel.

sure they get the best returns possible.”

Cornforth – says Harvest Pub Fund 2

Sea change

operators, and returns for investors are

is seeking to raise $48m, with around

With many larger pub groups focusing

generated from the improvements and

half contributing to the $32m Woy Woy

on metropolitan areas, Harvest Hotels

efficiencies they gain by applying their

purchase and renovation.

is keen to continue its regional-only

business processes to each new venue.

Fraser Haughton – who founded Harvest Hotels with fellow publican Chris

Both founders are former pub

When acquiring a pub, Haughton says,

strategy, according to Haughton, where

Harvest Hotels looks for venues with “good

populations and economies are growing,

systems and processes for improved

bones”, as well as a strong community

with one difference.

oversight, to provide the management

reputation, a central location, and a diverse mix of revenue and offerings. “To date, the venues that we operate

“Unlike the last fund, this one will look

This includes the use of customised

team with real-time data to make informed

to a mix between regional and coastal

decisions in driving the performance of

NSW, with a focus on towns that are

each hotel.

have all been in major rural regional

growing, have infrastructure, a wide

centres, so when the opportunity to

range of services such as universities and

money developing our group systems so

purchase this iconic coastal venue arose,

hospitals, and specific demographics that

we can load those in when we purchase a

we felt it was the perfect addition to our

we think are important,” Haughton says.

pub and implement them, and our scale

portfolio and the right pub to kick off Harvest Pub Fund 2.” It’s been a busy couple of years for the group. In May this year, Harvest Hotels

30 | Australian Hotelier

Harvest Hotels’ first fund, which raised almost $60m, has been going since 2019

“We’ve spent a lot of time, effort and

pays dividends,” Haughton says. “I’m a publican at the core of it, and I like

and is now closed. The $48 million Pub

to think we can also improve the business

Fund 2 is being pitched at wealthy investors

operationally as we have fresh eyes.”

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