Home' Australian Hotelier : AH February 2017 Contents AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER FEBRUARY 2017 | 17
BRUCE DIXON, CEO
HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS 2016
FOR DIXON HOSPITALITY?
2016 was an exciting and auspicious year
for Dixon Hospitality. It was a year of rapid
expansion having acquired the Open Door
portfolio in late December and then the
acquisition of the eclectic Sydney Drink ‘N’
Dine venues shortly after. By mid-year Dixon
had acquired the craft beer pub group Beer
DeLuxe, and then began operating a selection
of venues from Sydney-based Keystone Group’s
portfolio in early November.
Amid the acquisitions, work also
commenced on two greenfield projects in
Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct and some major
renovations took place at some Melbourne
venues. It was a busy but rewarding year
and the building blocks were cemented for a
dynamic year ahead.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON CRITERIA
YOU LOOK FOR IN A PUB ASSET?
The location, ambience and offer are the
ingredients that combine to create a great venue.
Given the size of the team and management
expertise we can always adapt and influence
the offer and the ambience as trends change
and customers’ tastes alter. However, location
is critically important and increasingly we
have focused on a concentration in specific
precincts. For example in Melbourne’s CBD
Dixon has a number of pubs in close proximity
(Duke, Dutchess, Crafty Squire, Beer DeLuxe,
Imperial Hotel), much like the concentration in
the Barangaroo/King St Wharf area in Sydney
(12-Micron, Untied, Beer DeLuxe, Cargo Bar,
Bungalow 8, The Loft), which we see as becoming
Sydney’s premier dining and entertaining
destination in the next couple of years.
HOW DO YOU SUSTAIN SUCH
RAPID GROWTH AND ENSURE
THAT EACH VENUE IS PROPERLY
Having the right management structure and
operating processes is extremely important. This
takes care of the procurement and reporting
side of things and ensures the back-office is
streamlined. However, venue management,
menus, front of house service and marketing is
bespoke in each venue and are the areas that
the company needs to continually invest in and
adapt and change to ensure that each venue
remains fresh, interesting and relevant.
2016 SAW THE GROUP BRANCH
OUT OF MELBOURNE AND INTO
THE SYDNEY MARKET – HOW DO
THE TWO MARKETS DIFFER?
We have found the way customers dine and
entertain is different between the two cities.
For example Sydney venues have a constant
trade all week yet in Melbourne things certainly
peak later in the week and over the weekend.
Across both cities there are also a number
of similarities, particularly in customers’
expectations of higher quality ‘pub’ food and
the ever growing interest in craft beer.
YOU’RE EXPECTED TO LAUNCH
AN IPO IN 2017 – WHAT ARE THE
ADVANTAGES OF BEING PUBLICLY
We have grown rapidly in the past 12 months
and believe that growth will continue given
the landscape of the hospitality industry in
Australia. If we were to proceed with an IPO,
the thought behind an IPO has always been
that it would enable the company to access
capital and continue to take advantage of
opportunities to grow and expand along the
However our focus in the past 12 months
has been about building a solid business
and ensuring we stay true to our strategy of
acquiring well operated venues with a focus
on an exceptional gastronomic experience or
WHAT ELSE IS ON THE CARDS FOR
DIXON HOSPITALITY IN 2017?
The excitement continues in 2017 with
the launch of two new venues in Sydney’s
Barangaroo precinct: Untied and 12-Micron.
Untied it is not 'just another rooftop'. What
is fresh about Untied is its reflection of modern
Australia. With a palette of tropical tones, a
combination of Australian-inspired dishes and
cocktails, we see it as the perfect destination to
relish in the Sydney sun and relax over sleek
Australian beats. Untied is set to open in the
12-Micron is a showcase of modern
Australia, sourcing the most beautiful produce
Australia has to offer and cultivating a
modern, yet casual experience. It is the perfect
destination for an after-work cocktail, long
lunch, exclusive private-dining event or late-
night dessert (with the dessert kitchen managed
by one of Australia’s most highly acclaimed
pastry chefs.) The kitchen is led by two-hat chef
Justin Wise (Press Club, The Point, Dutchess)
and brings laid back elegance to the Sydney
bar and dining scene. 12-Micron is set to open
That’s just the first couple of months, but
there will be plenty of things happening in 2017
– the company won’t stand still. There’s so much
opportunity out there to be involved in great
projects with great people and the culture at
Dixon is nimble, fast-moving and adventurous
so there will be plenty of things happening.
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