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Data on Deck:Evidence-based venue transformations

Venue: Elgin Inn

Hawthorn Vic

The Elgin Inn is a Hawthorn institution. Since 1929, it’s provided the kind of casual pub-going experience that Melbourne celebrates with gusto. For long-running establishments like this, it can feel safest to adopt a business-as-usual attitude: retain weeknight specials that the regulars love, steadily increase prices with no substantial change to the offer and rely heavily on seasonal bookings and functions.

Jeff O’Meara doesn’t do business as usual. As Managing Owner of the Elgin, as it’s known locally, he understands the need for innovation in a sector of the hospitality industry that’s flooded with competition and in a precarious position after years of pandemic lockdowns.

As an A+ Advisory member, O’Meara regularly receives an individualised Venue Insights Analysis Report. By collating sales details and data gleaned from venue geofencing, the VIA Report can illustrate – in astonishing detail – the local Hawthorn F&B landscape and how the Elgin is positioned within it.Each VIA Report is delineated by three categories of analysis: Neighbourhood, Audience and Performance. Neighbourhood is a deep dive into the local place dynamics that identifies nearby competition. Audience is a two-pronged analytic approach, comparing psychographic and demographic data to understand who your target customers are and – perhaps more importantly – what they value. Performance examines how the venue is or isn’t improving on key metrics such as dwell time and repeat visitation.

These tranches of data are incredibly comprehensive, but each VIA Report concludes with Insights – a no-nonsense list of evidence-based business recommendations. Based on their last report, O’Meara and the Elgin team acted upon one of these key insights. With seasonal dwell time data showing an underperforming outdoor dining area, the A+ Advisory team recommended a major overhaul of their venue’s courtyard space that is weatherproof and destination-worthy, ensuring year-round visitation.A+ Advisory’s owner-operators, like O’Meara, can act on A+ recommendations such as these with the confidence that they’ve got data on their side.


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