Justin Tynan, General Manager at Manly Wharf Hotel, has pointed out the necessity of having a great food offering in Sydney venues in order to combat revenue downturns with regards to beverage offerings.
Speaking with TheShout about the importance of shaking up a venue’s food and beverage offering on a regular basis, Tynan spoke about how vital it is for the hotel to have a great menu.
“It is 100 per cent becoming more important. With these lockout laws the nightclub-style focus on beverage is going and you’ve got to have that decent food offering,” he said. “And you know, we do as much revenue during the day – from midday to five – as we do from five to midnight. They are basically half-half. So it’s really important and more so now than ever.”
Elaborating on the huge food shake-up the iconic pub has undergone in recent months, Tynan explained how important it is to pay attention to current food trends and work them to the advantage of the venue.
“There is such a massive move toward this ‘burger culture’ now. There is even a website I’ve heard about that is just dedicated to burgers in Sydney – it’s out of control, it has thousands of followers,” he says. “So we’re fully aware that you can’t just put a burger on a plate these days and call it a burger – we had to have a point of difference.
“We were doing the $10 burgers for a while but we decided to move away from that as it isn’t very cost effective and do a really good burger with a point of difference that is the patty and the buns, and then showcase that. And we are doing about as many $20 burgers as we were doing $10 burgers. And only one complaint asking where the $10 burger has gone. People are quite happy to pay $20.”
The bespoke burger in question features a patty that has been created especially for the pub and is a mix of chuck steak and brisket, delivered daily, for full flavour. The bun was also a labour of love, with the team at the Manly Wharf Hotel taking their time finding the perfect bread mix. The ‘Hokkaido milk bread’, uses a Japanese technique called ‘Tangzhong’ that ensures the bun is fluffy.
The menu itself was a genuinely collaborative effort with Tynan, owner Ben May, head chef Alex Towning, and Food Rascals founder and executive chef David O’Brien (ex-Merivale), all having an input on the end result.
“The owner, Ben May, and myself originally got together and talked about taking it to the next level. We’ve been doing this now for ten years or something, so let’s take it up a notch because there is competition around,” says Tynan. “Then we went and approached Chef and he was all for it, so I knew Dave O’Brien so we got him in as well, not to step on Chef’s toes but so there were four minds thinking on the menu, rather than two or one.”