Client Profile - The Rag and Famish
For Peter and Anna Calligeros, owning and running pubs comes as second nature. Their late father George Calligeros founded the family hotel business 46 years ago. Peter became Australia’s youngest ever licensee at the age of 18 and has been running pubs ever since.
The Rag and Famish, in the heart of North Sydney, was purchased by George Calligeros in 1975 and is still owned and run by Peter and his sister Anna. The group has grown to include Mount Street Terrace and Lot 50 Coffee shop in North Sydney and Trinity Bar in Surry Hills. Its stable also includes the Bargo Hotel and The Criterion Hotel (Weston), both of which have recently been leased out. Peter also ventured to Queensland having purchased and renovated the very large Acacia Ridge Hotel which he sold off last year.
Peter is committed to continued growth, understanding the need to have the best people and expertise around him. “Gone are the days where a publican could be a jack of all trades,” he says. “To get the best results and keep growing you need to use the expertise in each field and let them do their job. That means having the best chef, the best operations manager and so on, as well as PKF’s leadership in the hospitality space. I looked around at my industry peers who had grown in leaps and bounds and wondered how they were managing large-scale growth and still having time to focus on the little important things you need to be constantly doing in hospitality. We used to run all of our wages, invoicing and reporting in-house and effectively this was starting to take up too much of our week. This is what lead me to PKF.”
Working with PKF
Peter and Anna decided to work with PKF to give their team access to real-time information, enabling them to drive better margins and make informed decisions for their growing number of venues. “Working with Mitch and the hospitality team has helped us tighten our focus. We can look at each department, each line item in the P&L to get the best results in each area of our business. It really helps highlight the areas we need to focus on and those areas that are working well. It’s no longer the old school ‘rule of thumb’ that we used to use as publicans,” Peter says.
The Calligeros group uses PKF’s bespoke Hospitality IT systems for rostering, invoicing and reporting, allowing those in venues to deliver great service, food and beverages to customers. “We no longer have to spend time lifting up kegs in search of invoices, it’s all paperless,” Calligeros Operations Manager Chris Glenn says.
“The structure we implemented with PKF around our monthly meetings and reporting allows us to hold our management team accountable for the performance of each business. Making a profit in any business is a numbers game, and you need real-time numbers to make informed decisions to improve and grow any business. Mitch and PKF help us achieve this,” Glenn says.
Chris knows that running a good pub is about service and providing the community with what they want. “Our pubs are all about delivering great service and providing a food and beverage offering that will keep people coming back.” With a rapidly changing market, new food trends and the growing craft beer scene, technology is now critical to run the venue. “To continue to deliver the best service to clients and run a profitable business, we need to be across the latest developments in all areas of the hospitality industry.”
The group is continually on the lookout for new venues that would fit the Calligeros mould. “We now have the framework and systems in place to be able to grow exponentially,” Peter says. Calligeros venues will remain a crucial part of a vibrant and growing section of Sydney. “And the Rag and Famish is a great spot for a lunch with clients or a craft beer on a Sunday afternoon,” PKF Partner Mitch Stone says.