By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
Speaking with Australian Hotelier for its Annual Industry Leaders Forum issue Justine Baker, chief operating officer at Solotel, revealed some of the group's highlights from last year and why 2016 will be an exciting year.
Last year Solotel relaunched The Sheaf in Double Bay, with a new Garden Bar, Bistro and The Canopy and also opened a new venue, Public House Petersham. In December Bruce Soloman was inducted into the Australian Hotels Association NSW's Hall of Fame, hitting out at Sydney's lockout laws during his speech.
In speaking to Australian Hotelier's Annual Industry Leaders Forum issue, Baker highlighted what we can expect from Solotel in 2016.
"2016 welcomes Solotel's 30th birthday," Baker said. "It will be an exciting year for us with new developments including the complete renovation of The Paddington Inn to become a more food-focused venue; renovation of The Edinburgh Castle to embrace and celebrate the beautiful heritage aspects of the hotel, working on our new project at Barangaroo, as well as other new projects soon to be announced.
"Throughout 2016 we will continue to give our customers fantastic experiences, and we’ll continue to strive for best practice within the industry and being employers of choice for our amazing staff."
With that work coming up and with what the group carried out in 2015, Baker also spoke about the importance of refreshing venues.
"Many of our hotels have been leading venues for decades and this doesn’t happen by chance," she said.
"We constantly review and evolve our venues to ensure that they always exceed our customers’ expectations. There are different situations – sometimes a community or suburb goes through a complete transformation over a period of time, and as such to stay relevant we also need to transform and reinvent our venues.
"In other circumstances things do not change drastically, but we still need to continue to evolve and push boundaries. It’s about staying in touch and connected with the local communities we operate in."
For more from Baker about Solotel as well as interviews with other industry leaders, see the Australian Hotelier Annual Industry Leaders Forum, which is out now.
Justine Baker will also be speaking at the Pub Leaders Summit on 21 March on managing multiple sites, while Ben Stephens and Jeremy Shipley of Solotel will also be speaking on living with the lockouts and premium beverage opportunities, respectively. To hear from such respected leaders in the industry, along with plenty more of their peers, purchase your ticket now at www.publeaders.com.au