By Ian Neubauer

The Coogee Bay Hotel (CBH) — one of Australia’s top selling vendors of on-premise liquor by volume — is changing its strategy to focus more heavily on food.

CBH general manager, Tony Williams, said in an interview with TheShout that the way the venue has traditionally done business is not sustainable and a new direction has been found to secure long-term profitability.

“Back in the 90s, you could sell 15 schooners to a person and they could roll out the door rolling drunk. But not now,” he said. “We have acknowledged a decline in beverage sales that has been happening slowly over a couple of years… with the introduction of harm minimisation. So we have needed to find a way to remain profitable.”

The new model includes a recently completed, multimillion capital works project that has seen the venue’s beer garden remodelled into a ‘semi-service’ brasserie with extensive food and wine offerings.

It features hostess meet-and-greet, table delivery of food and beverages, and new dishes including wagyu rump, seafood hotpots, Chinese-style duck and cheese platters with fresh dates. The menu will be prepared by a new 15-strong kitchen team led by executive chef Adam Wood, formerly of the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Tokyo.

“Food has never been a strong point for us. It represented about 5 per cent of our annual trade,” Williams said, adding that under the new model the venue hopes to exceed the industry average of 20 per cent of total turnover attributed to food sales. 

“At the end of the day we are still a pub, but we are looking to attract new demographics and have done a lot of research in the local area to do so.”

The CBH will host an official public launch on October 3. An invitation-only event for industry members, media and celebrities will take place on October 9, with a series of supplementary promotions held through to the end of the month.





The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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