Andrew Lazarus, a prominent Sydney philanthropist, and hospitality identity is notable and recognized in the hospitality industry. But those who are not a part of that industry may not be familiar with all the work Lazarus has done, and the ways in which he has improved the Sydney area. During his time focused on the hospitality sector, he has purchased and renovated pubs and other properties, bringing life back to some of the oldest buildings in the area, as well as more modern ones. Today, Andrew has semi-retired and focuses more on his charitable pursuits which focus on serving local communities.
How did you get started in this business?
I began my career working at Commonwealth Bank. I was lucky enough to do well there and saved enough to purchase my first hospitality business with my partner at the time. From there it has been a career that has spanned over multiple decades buying and selling pubs.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
My first business was quite successful early on and we were able to become profitable quite quickly. We were blessed to achieve this early success which, as we know, can be quite difficult to achieve for first-timers.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Of course, there were times when I doubted myself, it’s only natural. However, I have always had a strong work ethic and so overcame these doubts with sheer determination and hard work.
How did you get your first customer?
Marketing, marketing, marketing.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Your brand is everything. Develop your brand and the people will come.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Standing down all of our staff during COVID was a tough one. This decision was actually made for us by the government however it was difficult all the same. We have tried to keep our staff employed over the lockdown period however it was tough to achieve.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
The success of Shoal Bay Country Club has been incredible to watch.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Continuing to work hard on Shoal Bay Country Club and continuing to improve our product. We are relentless in our pursuit to be the best hospitality business in Australia. Our Newcastle businesses also are continuing to blossom and we will be focusing on our renovation of The Beach Hotel in 2022.
What business books have inspired you?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I’m focused on giving back to the communities that have given so much to our business. They support us in the good times and the bad. It’s my strong belief that you can’t be fulfilled if you’re focusing solely on your own gain. By giving back to charities and those in need we’re able to do our part to help our community.