Paul Fitzsimmons, previously regional manager for Queensland North at Australian Venue Co, has joined the Melbourne-based CLG, describing the opportunity as “just too good not to have a look at.”

CLG currently operates eight venues, largely concentrated in Victoria, and with Fitzsimmons a Melbourne native, it was a move that made sense.

“I was looking to move back to Melbourne… I moved up to Queensland just under three years ago, before the second COVID [wave] hit Melbourne. Australian Venue Co needed some operations help up there, so I moved up with the family. The timing is just basically right to come back really, we’ve been missing Melbourne a bit,” Fitzsimmons said.

In particular, Fitzsimmons is excited to move into a role with significant responsibility.

“It’s a role where you get to step up more and be in charge and make the calls. At the same time, I saw some opportunities for some growth in this company, that they’ve cut back and are now looking to grow again and have opportunities to grow.”

The incoming COO is also impressed by the structure at CLG.

“There’s some really good quality staff here, from the head office being with Morris Group [the parent company of CLG], and some definite changes we can see in the future and projects that are coming up, so it’ll be exciting.”

Nevertheless, Fitzsimmons greatly enjoyed his time in Queensland, taking in everything the state had to offer and developing his skills.

“I was working on the region of Queensland from Brisbane up to the top of Cairns, Palm Cove. I really enjoyed it, made some really good connections and great friends as well.

“I had a lot of operations managers under me there, being something like 43 venues that I had in the end. I got to see a bit more of Queensland that I would never have normally seen as well,” he adds.

At CLG, a key focus for the new hire over the next three to six months will be driving sales within venues.

“I’m only just getting my head around it all, but I’ve been up to a few of the venues last week and I see there’s opportunities there that just haven’t been taken up – I think some of the sales opportunities are more beverage sales-driven, and then also just tightening up some of the food sales,” Fitzsimmons concluded.

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