The Sydney Collective CEO Brett Sergeant says disruption aside, 2021 was a productive year for the group in the 2022 Australian Hotelier Industry Leaders Forum.

It’s been a time of significant change and growth for group according to CEO, Brett Sergeant.

Sergeant, who has held leadership positions with Merivale and Colonial Leisure Group, says his appointment last year has freed the group’s prominent director and publican Fraser Short to focus on new acquisitions and growth.

An example of this has been the group’s expansion north into Byron Bay and the broader region in NSW. “We’ve had The Balcony Hotel in Byron Bay for seven years, and we’ve had enormous success there, and now we’ve got four more pubs in the region, and this will soon grow to five or six,” Sergeant says.

The Sydney Collective is planning for even more growth, he says. “We are open to all opportunities, and we look at dozens of pubs weekly, and when we see something that fits our model, we’ll have a crack at it.”

In addition to acquisitions, the pub group is planning for improvement around customer experience and recruitment, Sergeant says.

“We’ll be focusing on recruitment of really good talent, and on a comprehensive people and leadership program. It’s all about having great leadership programs happening that we believe will attract great talent.”

Disruption aside, Covid lockdowns offered the executive team an opportunity to look at the performance of its pubs without the everyday distractions. “It was a blessing in disguise,” Sergeant says.

“We had some work to do around the identity of our pubs, our financial modelling, and our people and leadership programs.

“It was a very productive four months. We came out the other side with a very clear purpose and a roadmap for how to get there. We’re really satisfied and really happy with what we achieved, and guest feedback has been amazing since we reopened.”

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