Home' Australian Hotelier : AH AUGUST 2015 Contents T
he hospitality industry, and the licensed hotel sector in particular,
has proven innovative and nimble in the face of significant
legislative, media and economic pressures. One of the key post-
financial crisis learnings is that the best operators survive.
We have seen impressive innovation in the sector as leading operators
seek to put distance between themselves and the competition.
As the standard of offering rises, reinvestment and regular venue
updates have become crucial, especially for metropolitan areas. However,
Ferrier Hodgson’s Morgan Kelly explains that reinvestment doesn’t just
“Spending on point of sale technology, social media campaigns, or new
entertainment concepts are all keeping venues fresh and interesting, and
drawing customers in.”
“No two venues are the same and specific factors related to the
usage and competition vary but, in our experience, offerings should be
refreshed every three years,” Kelly says.
“This keeps the offering current and appealing to customers, even
if it is something as simple as investing in new payment technology or
According to Arcon construction manager Rory O’Brien, “the best
time to renovate is never”.
“No-one wants to deal with the interruption to business although
they are well aware of the significant benefits that will flow from
However, O’Brien explains there is no choice but to make these
changes or be left behind.
“The advent of small bars and micro-breweries in addition to the
legislative changes to smoking laws has made it essential that the whole
industry rethink the layout of their establishments and the services they
provide in these establishments,” he says.
“Experience has shown that the establishments designed with timeless
natural materials, like timber and steel, avoiding the latest fads, will lead
to the longevity of any renovations and makeovers undertaken and avoid
date stamping the venue.”
“It is most important to ensure the structure and basic layout of
each venue is built of timeless finishes making it easily adaptable. This
will allow easy introduction of pop ups and minor modifications to
implement the latest design trends and legislative changes with minimum
impact on business.”
A WORD FROM THE WISE
One of the great mentors of Concrete Seed Nik Rollison’s career told him
that “a crowd breeds a crowd”.
“He continually had me focus on ways to provide our guests
with products that people not only wanted, but also wanted to be
Rollison explains that this sense of belonging and association can
sometimes outweigh the actual quality of products or service, simply by
providing a positive feeling around brand affiliation.
“In the hospitality design realm, we like to call these brands ‘lifestyle
propositions’ – concepts that provide an essence of how their customers
wish to, or actually do live their lives. Venues are leaning towards
fresh menus, light and vibrant designs and a reduced need to remind
the customer that they have alcohol, smoking and gaming as part of
In order to maintain relevance and improve footfall, Rollison
recommends operators intensify their focus on contemporary menus
anchored by fresh produce, genuine and anticipatory service, as well as
low-alcohol content drink options.
“It’s all too easy to take the position that the hotelier should chase a
hot trend like Korean fried chicken, ramen, bathtub gin, ‘dude food’ and
the like, but our view is that food and drink menus developed with a
sense of purpose and sympathetic to the local provenance will always be
popular,” he says.
Wiping your hands on your jeans on the way back to the bar is never
a good look. A wet handshake from a returning friend is even worse.
After being left waiting for an inefficient hand dryer to warm up and dry
their hands most people just simply give up and head back to the bar.
Always needed after a drink or two, but not always considered important,
bathroom facilities can often be a part of the customer experience that
lets many bars and restaurants down.
Dyson engineers took to inventing a completely new hand dryer. Rather
than try to slowly evaporate the water, the Dyson Airblade literally scrapes
the water from your hands, using two high powered air knives. With one
of the world's smallest fully-integrated 1600W motors, it's the only hand
dryer motor powerful enough to draw in up to 30 litres of air a second
through a HEPA filter, and dry hands in 10 seconds.
Not only is Dyson Airblade the fastest hand dryer to dry hands, but it
also uses HEPA filters and 99.9 per cent of bacteria and viruses in the
washroom air are captured. So hands are dried using cleaner air, not
Some washrooms use paper towels as a solution. But constant
restocking and disposal of paper towels is expensive. Including the cost
of the machine, a Dyson hand dryer costs eight times less than paper
towels over five years. The paper waste can also build up leaving the
washroom littered and looking dirty too.
AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER AUGUST 2015 | 21
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