Local business leader invited to speak at global hospitality expo

Local business leader invited to speak at global hospitality expo

When the Las Vegas Bar and Restaurant Expo, the global conference for the hospitality industry, wanted a speaker to present on how to establish a successful hotel and entertainment empire, they turned to local Newcastle businessman and NSW’s Business Leader of the Year, Stephen J. Hunt.

As the founder of Hunt Hospitality, a privately funded consortium of hotels and bars in the Newcastle area and surrounding regions, Mr Hunt has turned a passion for a pint and parma into a $100 million hospitality empire and is now on his way to Las Vegas to share those nuggets of wisdom with others in the restaurant industry.

As the owner of local and regional pubs including The Kent, The Seabreeze, The Imperial and many others, Hunt is an expert at taking underperforming businesses and turning them into highly profitable enterprises.

He started with a $100 bar in his parent’s backyard, found he had a knack for putting on a party and decided to make working in pubs his career.  He now employs over 350 staff, has 1.4 million customers, 50 investors and consistently returns over 12% for his investors.

‘I started my career washing dishes and worked my way up to owning a conglomerate of pubs. I know what it takes to succeed in the hospitality industry and I’m keen to reveal the systems and structures that underpin all my operations so that others in the sector can learn from my journey and fast track their success,’ says Mr Hunt.

Mr Hunt is the author of a new book, Find. Build. Sell, published by the world’s leading business publisher Wiley and Sons International.  Drawing on his experience as a Harvard University Student and his 30 years in the hotel industry, he wanted to give novice and experienced business owners a practical guide for building a successful business.

‘I wrote this business book as I wanted to inspire the next generation of business leaders to help them find their passion, build it up and sell it on.  Business is about making money but it’s also about doing something you enjoy.”

“Too many people spend their lives working for others and hating it. The book reveals how to branch out on their own and build a business and or career they love,” he said.

Business Hunter Bob Hawes said, ‘Covid has created enormous disruption in the hospitality industry, particularly for those in regional areas, and few have navigated it better than Stephen Hunt.  He took a unique stand during the pandemic, and it was a masterclass in how to keep a hospitality business alive.”

“He kept his venues open, pivoted quickly to home delivery, offered takeaway, increased advertising, leveraged the loyalty he had built with staff to help them work through it, and not only increased revenue but grew it, adding a further three pubs to his portfolio during that time,” Bob Hawes continued.

“He has a lot to share and the attendees at the Las Vegas convention are in for a fabulous event with Stephen as the keynote speaker,’ said Mr Hawes.

The Las Vegas Bar and Convention runs from March 21 to March 23 in Las Vegas.



IMAGE | Stephen Hunt, Hunt Hospitality

Hunt Hospitality

Hunt Hospitality is owned and operated by Stephen Hunt, a third generation publican who, along with his family, has been a part of the hospitality industry since the 1940s.

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