The most important things to consider when running a Hospitality Venue

8th March 2022


Thanks to Belinda Clarke, COO of Restaurant & Catering Association, who provides this insightful summary of the recent National Restaurant Conference at the Foodservice Australia Show in March 2022.

The day was filled with a series of almost 20 panelists with industry experts such as Wes Lambert, George Calombaris, successful owners of businesses such as Shane Delia from MAHA and Providoor and many more from leaders and innovators in the hospitality space.

The insights that were shared from our guest panelists certainly shared many common and interesting views. As we begin to look forward rather than back, we wanted to share these insights with our friends at FSAA.

According to these leading hospitality experts, these are some of the key points that a business owner should consider to operate their venue successfully and profitably.


Know your numbers.

This sounds obvious, however not always easy. George said you must look at every shift report to know how you are tracking.  “Nobody wants to end up in my situation” said Colombaris.

Food quality and cost – The key here is to choose suppliers that work with you, create strong relationships with them.

Menu engineering to ensure you have strong margins and end up with a healthy P&L. Design your menu to use your ingredients wisely.

Train your staff and look at investing in the use quality equipment to maintain efficiencies and reduce waste

Empty the bin – this will show tell quite a story. Unnecessary food waste is a quick fix to improve margins.

Discounts are gone – Pass on your costs!  Inflation is across the board and your prices at the table need to reflect his. Communicate this to your customers so that they understand and support you.


People and Culture are Number 1!

We know that the number one issue is the challenge to attracting skilled people to the industry. One thing is for sure there was a common thread in every discussion of the day and that was the importance of taking care of your people.

Culture is number 1 – aim for elite excellence

Create a fun and fulfilling environment to work in

Make the deposits – Invest in your team, training and skills is one thing and the obvious one. It doesn’t take much to show interest in them and their interests. A walk on the floor takes 5 minutes and ask how they are….wait for the answer though 😊

Empower them – lead your team. Transfer accountability and let the decisions lie with them. Transfer and use each and every individual’s superpowers so they get job satisfaction, and you tap into resources. It’s a win-win!

Share your numbers with your management team – get buy in and set goals for growth and profit

When things go wrong – look at yourself. Don’t play the blame game and really look at what you can do better.

Take care of your people in an holistic way, skills, and both mental and physical health.

There is no ‘other side’ of Covid-19.

Technology is here to stay – From booking platforms to automated inventory systems, there is no end to the innovation that has been introduced to our colourful industry over the last 2 years.  And its safe to say it is certainly not going to slow down anytime soon.

Smarter operations – this includes technology, functioning equipment, and of course, your people.

With so many solutions already available to provide insights, efficiencies and alleviate the pressure of the skills and staff shortage it is hard to know where to start. The challenge here is that we are seeing a case of technology overload.  What does my venue need? What does that app even do? What will it cost?  How will it work with my other systems? It’s a minefield!

The truth is there is no one size fits all solution, and every venue is different to the next. Do your homework and take time when making these decisions. Look to suppliers and experts to guide you through the best solutions to choose what is best for your venue.


The big takeaways from the conference:

Culture is number 1 – Make the deposits.

Be positive towards change.

Stop thinking small and don’t be complacent.

The change starts with us…..the whole industry and you the venue owner.

Be the change!


To access more hospo related resources and insights check out The Restaurant & Catering Business Resource Hub via this link


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