007: Starting a small cafe in 1984, grew to 45 team members in early 2020 across 2 award-winning restaurants – one now with 7 premium accommodation rooms above (Rod Ascui)

australia fte 41-50 hospitality podcast sales $5m-$10m aud tasmania Feb 09, 2020

In 1984 as a young, naive cafe worker in Hobart Rod took the leap to run his own small cafe more than 200km away in Launceston, Tasmania. Investing heavily in the team and culture, they now have two award-winning restaurants and recently added 7 premium accommodation rooms above one of them on the Tamar River.

Listen to Rod speak about his small business journey and how adapting to the marketing and finding the right people to get on the busy, especially three young, key business partners to further the passion and lead the dedicated team.

This cast covers:

  • Started a cafe in 1984, expanded in 2000 to a restaurant and added a second high-end restaurant in 2008;
  • In 2019 Rod built seven premium apartments above the restaurant and added accommodation to the business mix;
  • A lot of new team members come from referrals of existing and past team members;
  • Shared equity in both businesses with three junior business partners to share the growth and success, letting them focus on the kitchen, wine and service and HR and operations;
  • Managing your numbers and finances are key to success;
  • Hasn’t taken on investment or bank finance, funded growth though cash flow though recently ;
  • Recommends to talk and work with others in your industry, and grow at a decent rate – not too aggressive;
  • Highly values marketing and brand;
  • Hardest thing in small business is managing finances and adapting to change; and
  • Advice he’d give himself on day one is think a bit further than a few months and do realistic numbers.

Music from https://filmmusic.io “Cold Funk” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)