118: In 2008, became a part-owner and opened a boutique steakhouse. An opportunity arose in 2010 to buy a share in a restaurant, take on the Executive Chef position of the operation & upgrade with a hotel just above the restaurant. (Craig Will)

australia fte 41-50 hospitality podcast sales $5m-$10m aud tasmania Jun 30, 2021

In this episode, I interview Craig Will, the Executive Chef and Co-owner of Tasmania’s finest restaurants, Stillwater and Black Cow Bistro, and just above Stillwater is a two-year-old hotel business, Seven Boutique Accommodation. Craig is passionate about local products and the seasonal nature of Tasmanian agriculture which he describes as ingredients that speak for themselves. 

Black Cow Bistro is a boutique steakhouse in Launceston. Craig took the position of Head Chef and part-owner and Black Cow opened in 2008. Two years after Craig was asked to buy a share in Stillwater, he was delighted to accept and take on the Executive Chef position of both operations. Stillwater has been upgraded as Seven Boutique was added and this has been a great help to them as it increases the growth by 25-30%. The team was awarded being the Best Tasmanian Restaurant with the THA Awards of Excellence and the Chef’s hat in a prestigious Good Food Guide. 

Craig says that what he loves the most in growing a small business is its expansion from a very small scale. For him, this is the best part about growing a small business. 

This Cast Covers: 

  • A restaurant with a good reputation due to excellent service became a go-to destination restaurant in Tasmania.
  • Added a hotel business directly above the restaurant to make a change in a different approach.
  • As soon as the hotel was added, the growth went up to 25-30%.
  • Both the restaurants won tons of awards over the years and the latest was the Chef’s hat in a prestigious Good Food Guide.
  • Operating the business through social media is a simple yet powerful tool they can use these days.
  • Its unique character which is all about Tasmania made them awarded being the Best Tasmanian Restaurant with the THA Awards of Excellence.
  • The love for hospitality allowed them to come up with an idea that would bring more guests to enjoy food and their services.
  • The importance of team management skills for the members to be in harmony.
  • How the use of social media is relevant in today’s marketing and how it would build a credible reputation. 

Additional Resources: 

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Quotes: 

“We've actually gone down the path of a new marketing manager, and we've taken a completely different angle and the way we market ourselves.” – Craig Will

“Social media is a huge one, a powerful tool that we use.” – Craig Will

“Strive to pay that debt down as quickly as possible.” – Craig Will

“Maintain the skill and the right staff base.” – Craig Will

“You have to keep your finger on the pulse as well, you have to relate to your staff, and you need to be there alongside them regularly.” – Craig Will

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