Escaping the cold Melbourne winter, July and August saw the AHA (Vic’)’s Pubs, Pots and Profits roadshow hit Wodonga and Kyabram. It wasn’t any warmer, but it was great to be on the road to catch up with some old friends and meet some great publicans.
The dinner in Wodonga was held at the wonderful Huon Hill, the new hotel build by local legend Bill Perry. We could see very clearly why it was a multiple award winner at the recent AHA Awards – what an outstanding pub! We were privy to have a quick tour of the kitchen, storage facilities and function rooms. It’s certainly a pub that would keep a lot of hotel managers very happy. Everything was thought of from the ground up – practical, neat, visually stunning. The staff were very friendly, the food fantastic and accommodation next door at the Wondonga Quest was very well appointed. It was especially interesting to see the pub work closely with it’s neighbour to really leverage off each other’s clientele.
We headed up to Kyabram early this week for the PPP Forum. Dinner was at Hurley’s the night before, which is a great looking pub – good food, cold Draught and pleasant staff. The new publican, Brenton, has only recently taken over the business and we wish him the best.
The Forum was held at the Blue Brick Inn, which was a classic Aussie country pub. The Forum itself was very informative, headed by Deputy CEO Paddy O’Sullivan’s industry update where he spoke about the impending smoking changes, Keno and PubTab news and a look at the latest crime statistics.
We were happy to have a chat about accounting systems, and how fast, reliable and automated they are becoming. Not only that, but then disseminating that information to key staff to help them get on board with the direction of the business.
CUB highlighted some of their new products including the new Pure Blonde and Lazy Yack, Andrew from Cooking The Books survived a grilling from Bill Bell and gave great advice for the kitchen, HostPlus updated everyone to their SuperStream product (very handy), and Treasury Wine Estates talked about making more money out of wine. Amongst the other supporters, H&L showed us the latest till system advancements, PFD talked about having a good relationship with the chefs and owners, and as always Eddie from United Refrigeration asked “where’s your fridge?”.
The publicans’ panel discussed the need to take time out of your business to look at it objectively, bottleshop branding and jumped into their Delorean to talk about the pub of the future.
It’s on to Flinders in September – see you there!