Industry minute with Emily Murray

Emily Murray -Chief Experience officer at Riverland Group

Emily Murray brings to Riverland Group 20 years of hospitality experience in key roles with companies such as Van Haandel group, Keystone Hospitality & Maple Event group. Having spent years managing restaurants, then moving into event sales and management, she has found her passion in understanding & improving customer experience in sales.

Sales Strategy & Revenue Growth combined with ‘old school hospitality is where you will see Emily really kick goals. She believes in building agile, empowered & passionate sales teams, and with this method, Emily and her team have increased functions and events revenue at Riverland Group by 46% in less than 2 years.

Emily shared some of her thoughts in our Industry minute feature.

What are you world class at? 

Probably building relationships – I am good at being honest and genuine. I am also really comfortable after years of wins and losses in the industry with taking risks, being agile, and adapting our offers to suit the market.

What are your current goals? 

My personal goals are to travel more, after having a couple of kids and working really hard I need to re-prioritise travel, nothing makes me happier than eating and drinking my way through other countries & cultures.  

My career goals are to invest more into the younger generation in our industry – I have learnt so much from a lot of really smart people in this industry, and  I am genuinely concerned about the state of hospitality in Australia at the moment. If I can help inspire the next gen of hard working, customer focused hospo lovers – I would be really happy.

What are you most proud of?

Apart from my kids (I have to say that don’t I?), I am most proud of carving out a successful career in hospitality. There have been ups and downs, and moments where I thought I would never make enough money to sustain my lifestyle – but I have. I am proud of continuously pushing myself out of comfort zones to achieve more,  I am also really proud of myself for still finding a way to put customers first…. after all these years! Ha ha

What makes the restaurant industry so unique, and how do we protect that?

Hospitality to me means opening the door of your home to your guests – if we can hold onto the true sense of hospitality; being generous, making people feel good and delivering on our promises, we’ve got a fighting chance.

Hiring people that genuinely care, and businesses being agile is where I see most restaurants making sense these days.  Don’t try and be everything to everyone, know your customer and deliver them what they want – how they want it.

Empowering our staff to go above and beyond, exceed expectations, and create memorable experiences is where restaurants will continue to have a competitive advantage now and into the future.

There should definitely be more laws protecting our industry. From planning to award structures, we are in a very scary and confusing space. Companies should not be able to hold more than a certain % of the market – dictating prices across the board, it’s driving menu prices to a level that we cannot sustain. I think we will see a powerful movement from key players in the industry soon, the regulations should be in place to protect us, not make it harder to succeed.

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