Raw - Hospitality Podcast Series

Join us as we dive into the highs & lows of hospitality with business owners, managers & chefs who have been in the thick of it, love what they do and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

principle of hospitality, POH podcast, host Shaun de Vries, Sash Fernando, Raw hospitality podcast series

A podcast series by Lightspeed & POH

Lightspeed has partnered with Principle of Hospitality (POH) to produce this brand new podcast series, Raw, to showcase the unique stories of our Lightspeed hospo community.

Who is Principle of Hospitality (POH)?

Principle of Hospitality (POH) was developed to tell the stories of professionals within the dynamic world of hospitality. POH marries the importance of storytelling with a deep understanding of the industry; to create an inclusive online hub for all hospitality professionals, to nourish and support their growth.

The Major Venues: Pursuing a passion to grow three cafes in three years

Using data insights to grow multiple locations with confidence

We’re wrapping up series one of Raw with an ex-Lightspeed Vice President and hospitality veteran, Joshua Harrison.

From landing his first hospo gig at a Sydney racecourse to switching careers to empower Aussie hospitality business to grow with tech, Josh pursued his passion, co-founding The Major Venues group and opening three cafes in quick succession.

We sit down with Josh to discuss his journey from aspiring chef to becoming a Vice President at Lightspeed and how his experiences have enabled him to open three thriving cafes in less than three years.

Grow Cafe Co: Powering regional cafes with locally sourced ingredients

Growing sustainable dining with an indigenous focus

Grow Cafe Co has established a line of popular cafes that run throughout regional Australia and is revolutionising how we think about sustainable and socially responsible dining. With a focus on offering delicious locally sourced food, supporting small-scale farmers and celebrating the traditional community values of Aboriginal Australia, Grow Cafe Co has created a recipe for success.

We sit down with Zachariah Buckley, Owner of Grow Cafe Co., to discuss why he’s built a different hospitality business model, how the cafes thrive in regional areas and the importance of using indigenous ingredients.

Belles Hot Chicken: Trailblazing the fried chicken experience in Australia

Not making apologies for making delicious fried chicken

Belles Hot Chicken is a cult favourite in Sydney and Melbourne and is renowned for its crave-worthy chicken, extensive alcohol list, banging tunes and party vibes. After opening in Fitzroy in 2014, Belle’s has grown from a local favourite to a multi-venue, multi-city mainstay.

From curated playlists to bespoke menu design and hiring a like-minded team, it’s taken a lot for Belles Hot Chicken to curate their unique in-venue experience. We sit down with Joss Jenner-Leuthart, Managing Director of Belles Hot Chicken, to discuss the importance of finessing the details when building an iconic brand with an enviable hospo experience.

Oriental Teahouse: Evolving a traditional Chinese teahouse for the Melbourne market

Solid foundations for sustainable growth

Oriental Teahouse, owned and run by the tight-knit Zhou family, has helped to reimagine authentic Chinese experiences in Melbourne alongside the family’s three other venues – Zhou Zhou bar, the Dumpling Studio and David’s Restaurant.

Spearheaded by David Zhou, the family have made their mark on Melbourne’s hospitality scene with their incredible venues. We sit down with David’s daughter and General Manager, Yanan, and his nephew and Operations Manager, Adam, to discuss how they started out in the business, the benefits of working with family and the importance of building solid foundations when growing a business.

St. ALi: The heart of speciality coffee in South Melbourne

Pushing the boundaries of what a coffee brand can be

Since its inception in 2005, St. ALi has been a leader in relationships with farmers, in-house roasting & brewing. They’ve diversified their offering by manufacturing coffee capsules & cold brew cans, and also collaborated with brands like Mercedes-Benz, Mr Black, Archie Rose and Coco Black – just to name a few.

Here’s how St. ALi became the trailblazing brand that it is today and how the team’s creative & experimental ethos will continue to grow the brand in the years to come.

Ona: Sustainable coffee connecting communities around the world

Developing a resilient mindset to succeed in hospitality

Burnout often hits close to home in hospitality.

Danny Moreno, Co-Owner and Venue Manager of Ona, opens up about working in a high-pressure environment, putting in long hours, managing a team and business priorities. 

Una's: An institution in Darlinghurst, Sydney

Respectfully building on a 50-year restaurant legacy

Una’s has been part of Darlinghurst’s hospitality scene for over half a century, opening in the late 1960s when the rent was $25 and paid from the proceeds from the jukebox.

Today, they are a family-owned business selling an average of 500kg of potato rosti per week and displaying some of the most infamous artwork in a Sydney restaurant.

The North Spoon: Local favourite cafe in North Sydney

Staying open when the doors are closed

Neighbourhood cafe by day and events venue by night, The North Spoon fought to stay open every day through Covid. But in April 2022, when they were expecting their busiest period, Gareth Naar (Managing Director) got an emergency cease order to shut his cafe down indefinitely.

This is how a local favourite kept serving customers even when their doors were forced shut.

The Pickle & The Patty: American-inspired diner, South Melbourne

Saying no to a toxic workplace environment

Co-Founders of The Pickle & The Patty, Laura Attard and Lyndal Keys, confront a long-standing issue in hospitality: toxic workplace culture.

We take a step back to understand why do we, as an industry, fare so poorly in the treatment of staff, what Laura and Lyndal’s personal experiences were working in kitchens, and their resolute approach to abolishing & rebuilding the workplace culture in their own business.

Etto Pasta Bar: Catering to Melbourne’s Italian heritage, 1 location at a time

What does it take to succeed in delivery?

“We have this thing we say ‘once we run out of mistakes, we’ll be successful.’”  

When Etto Pasta Bar founder, Dave Ansett, and his business partner, Stephane Meyer, first started delivery, their target was $500 a week. Today, they make up to $8 million a year in revenue with delivery alone.

Kepos Street Kitchen: Award-winning cafe in the heart of Redfern, Sydney

Falafel for breakfast & a perfect partnership

Co-owners and a couple, Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley‘s perfect partnership led to Kepos Street Kitchen’s opening in 2012. Since then, they’ve gone on to open a 2nd location, established a catering company, and released 2 top-selling cookbooks.

But that’s not to say it was all plain sailing. Here’s their story about believing in their dreams to create unique hospitality experiences. 

Alma Group: A taste of Mexico in Sydney’s Northern Beaches

Making the hard calls for your brand to survive & thrive

Tim’s landlord ripped up their lease before they even opened. They had to stop a popular breakfast service because it simply wasn’t profitable, and let their business partner’s mum go in the process. They had to rebuild their workplace culture to retain their best staff.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.