In the months since opening The Dock Mooloolaba in November last year, Kickon Group has taken note of what locals want from the venue, and is now adjusting its menu, offerings, and spaces to respond to these needs.

Venue manager Tim Lucas explained that Kickon Group decided not to make any changes to The Dock when it opened, which was just before peak Christmas trading.

“It was fantastic to witness the venue thriving during the busiest time of the year. We made a conscious decision not to implement any changes during this period, prioritising the team’s well-being and getting to know the local community during the busy season,” he said.

As well as taking cues from the locals, the way Lucas runs the Dock is influenced by lessons he has learned from other Kickon Group venues, including the Plough Inn in South Brisbane, which he previously managed.

“Since being with Kickon Group, I have learnt how important it is to have the right people around you in order to succeed. That is why we focus so heavily on our purpose, which is to create an environment where our people feel proud and inspired to deliver amazing experiences,” he said.

One way in which the Dock has integrated itself into the local Mooloolaba community has been through collaborating with local sporting teams. Recently, the venue has secured a corporate partnership with the Sunshine Coast Falcons Rugby League Club and a sponsorship agreement with the Mountain Creek Sharks Junior AFL Club.

“We aim to increase visits from team supporters as well as potentially host their end of season functions and community events. While immediate results aren’t necessary, we believe that as our relationships strengthen, we’ll see an increase in local patrons,” Lucas said.

The menu has also seen a complete overhaul, with the new selection curated by Kickon Group culinary director and 2023 AHA (Vic) Chef of the Year Jake Furst, in collaboration with Kickon Group Queensland executive chef Ash Reed. The new menu focuses on high-quality pub food and aims to use local seafood and produce wherever possible.

“We really wanted to put the Kickon Group mark on the food that comes out of the kitchen. While we have kept a similar style of modern Australian cuisine, we have brought more attention to our incredible wood-fired grill. This allows the Dock to offer similar grill options to Kickon Group’s steak restaurant Cinder, located in Melbourne. We also focus on using local suppliers where possible, including Mooloolaba River Fisheries, which supply us with seafood,” Lucas said.

New weekly specials have also been introduced, providing a value for money incentive for Mooloolaba locals.

“One of these weekly specials is named ‘Monday Locals Day,’ which offers anyone travelling through or living in the area a burger or a schnitty with chips and salad for just $20,” Lucas said.

Kickon Group is also looking to expand the Dock, adding a new functions and events space.

“We have a very exciting build taking place in the coming month, which will be our new functions and events space at the Wharf. This space will aim to attract weddings as well as corporate functions and community groups for events like seminars and school formals,” Lucas said.

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