Bartercard Gold Coast and Northern Rivers have joined forces with the Restaurant Industry Support Gold Coast (RIS GC) to host the region’s first industry panel and networking event at Burleigh Brewing Co from 5:30pm to 8pm on Tuesday, 12 September.

Founded six years ago, RIS GC provides networking and support to hospitality businesses on the Gold Coast.

“The Gold Coast is probably the toughest place in Australia to be in the restaurant industry because we have the biggest peaks and the lowest troughs with tourism,” says RIS GC president, Glen Day.

“We’ve probably got enough businesses here to handle two million people but usually there are only about 500,000.”

While the group has held bi-monthly lunches since its inception, Day says Tuesday’s networking event is part of new strategy he hopes will attract more restaurateurs.

“We’ve had success with our lunches and we’ll still hold them but we found we’re getting more associate members [suppliers and others who work in hospitality peripherally] and we want to get more restaurateurs involved,” he told Hospitality.

The event will bring together a panel of six venue operators from across the Gold Coast as well as from Brisbane and Sydney to discuss latest consumer trends and industry innovations.

The event will see a cross-section of industry professionals engage in candid discussion about topical issues such as the effects of industry disruptors like UberEats and Deliveroo on traditional restaurants, and how to harness the power of social media for business and branding.

The event will also canvass solutions to major issues affecting the industry, including adapting to change in market conditions, how to capitalise on next year’s Commonwealth Games and addressing the challenge of staff turnover within restaurants.

The line-up of panel speakers includes The Collective Palm Beach, Hideaway Kitchen and Bar, Soho Place, Bine Bar and Dining, Baia The Italian, Zullaz Bar and Eating Place and Nero Dining, as well as key note speaker Lisa McGuigan, founder of Lisa McGuigan Wine.

Franchise manager for Bartercard Gold Coast and Northern Rivers Region and newly appointed Restaurant Industry Support Group committee member, Renee Drew said the event would provide a networking opportunity for up-and-coming as well as established industry professionals.

“We have worked closely with leading industry professionals to produce this exciting event that is the first of its kind for our region, and will be proudly run by Gold Coast restaurateurs, for Gold Coast restaurateurs,” says Drew.

“As the hospitality industry on the Gold Coast continues to develop and mature at an impressive rate, this event is an important opportunity to map a blueprint for a prosperous future for all in the restaurant and hospitality business, by coming together to share their experiences and challenges.”

“The last two or three years, hospitality has been the hardest I’ve known it in 34 years,” adds Day. “We hope people will come along, get some ideas — generally, we want to make sure people aren’t left alone.”






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