The Speakeasy Group Pathway to Partnership Program applications close on 7 September!

From Left: Alex Boon, Greg Sanderson and Pez Collier

The Speakeasy Group’s Pathway to Partnership Program is once again on the hunt for ten talented hospitality professionals for their innovative yearlong mentorship program headed by Speakeasy Directors Greg Sanderson and Sven Almenning. Up to six positions will be offered to external applicants (not currently working for the group).

The program, launched in 2019 invites participants to work in one of the seven Speakeasy venues across Melbourne and Sydney whilst undertaking theoretical training in opening, owning and operating a venue developed by Sanderson and Almenning.

The program concludes with the applicant’s submission of their own business plan and proposal for a new venture with one concept being chosen for realisation. The chosen concepts ownership is split 50/50 between the successful applicants and the Speakeasy Group. The Speakeasy Group contributes 90% of the start-up costs up to $250,000 with the winner having to finance the remaining 10%.

The programs 2019/2020 winners Alex Boon and Pez Collier are now only weeks away from opening their first venue Pearl Diver Cocktails & Oysters in the Melbourne CBD.

“The program itself was a joy to run and it was incredible to see both the passion that our teams have for hospitality as well as their determination to really give this opportunity a go,” said Sanderson of the 2019 program.

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Of the success of the 2019 intake Almenning said, “We’d love to see if we can bring more than one of these to life in the coming year. This isn’t a winner takes all scenario, but an investment into our team and the longevity of our business. If the conditions are right, we may see more than one of these concepts brought to life in the coming 12-18 months.”

“For both myself and Pez, the Pathway to Partnership program was such an amazing opportunity to gain valuable insight into what it takes to open and successfully run our own venue from some of the best operators in the industry,” says Boon.

Collier said the program had offered the pair “a once in a lifetime opportunity, for which we are both incredibly thankful.”

Group Pathway to Partnership Program

The Speakeasy Group Pathway to Partnership program accepts internal and external applicants of industry professionals with the ambition to own and operate their own venue.

Throughout the process participants learn directly from both Group owners and key managers about the various stages that go into opening a new venue as well as the many different aspects and responsibilities of being a business owner.

At the conclusion of the program the chosen concepts ownership is split 50/50 between the successful applicants and the Speakeasy Group. The Speakeasy Group contributes 90% of the start-up costs up to $250,000 with the winners having to finance the remaining 10%.

Applications are open to non-Speakeasy Group staff, however does stipulate that successful applicants join the group as a team member for the duration of the program, eventually performing a management or shadow management role prior to the conclusion of the program.

About the Speakeasy Group

Established in 2010 with the opening of Eau-de-Vie Sydney, The Speakeasy Group is a high- end boutique hospitality group operating seven venues across Sydney and Melbourne including Eau-de-vie (Melb), Mjølner (Syd & Melb), Nick & Nora’s (Syd & Mel), Boilermaker House and Pearl Diver Cocktails & Oysters (opening September 2021). In addition to the groups venues the group also operates online training platform for the hospitality industry Ananas

The group are consistently recognised in their fields of expertise including operations, cocktails and whisky having previously won Cocktail Bar of the Year, Bar of the Year, Whisky bar of the year and Best Group Bar Operator in 2017 & 2018 as well as being the launching pad of the careers of many of Australia’s top hospitality professionals.

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