Number of bottles saved so far: 35,000
Who we chatted with: Andy Fevre
Time in the coffee/hospitality industry: 14 years
Business Name: bills
Bondi Beach – 79 Hall St Bondi Beach NSW; (02) 8412 0700
Surry Hills – 359 Crown Street Surry Hills NSW; (02) 9360 4762
Darlinghurst – 433 Liverpool Street Darlinghurst NSW; (02) 9360 9631
Who am I?
Hi, I’m Andrew Fevre. Beverage Manager for bills. We’ve got three venues in Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Bondi. The restaurants are owned by Bill Granger and I take care of the drinks side of things for the group.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
The main concept of the business is everyday dining, so we do breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every bills restaurant reflects the spirit we like to think of as ‘Australian’: sunny, easy-going and generous. The focus is on the high quality of food and drink that we serve and using fresh produce that’s prepared in-house. Bill opened his first restaurant in Darlinghurst in 1993. It soon became loved for its legendary breakfasts, served at the famous central communal table, where locals and travellers, families and friends, continue to be welcomed twenty-six years later. Bill’s relaxed, friendly approach and infectious joy in good, fresh food has become truly global, and is enjoyed at his restaurants in Sydney, Seoul, Tokyo, Honolulu and London.
What is bill’s mission/ethos?
We have few values at bills. “Fresh”, “Welcoming”, “Considered” and “Everyday” are keywords that we live by. This translates into how we interact with our guests, the pricing on the menu and what we actually serve at the restaurant. It’s not just a special occasion kind of place in beautiful surroundings – we want our guests to be able to come visit every day.
Everything that we do is considered. For Bill, one of the things that he talks about frequently is when someone walks into bills they should feel like a guest at his home. The way we greet and welcome people is a little bit different. We’re excited for people to try things here as you would when you’re putting on dinner for a guest at home. It’s like “Hey, check out what I’ve just made for you!” That’s the vibe that we try to create here for locals and visitors. There’s a welcoming feeling. I think sometimes when you when you go into a high-end café or restaurant, it can feel a little bit daunting – you don’t want to do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing. At bill’s, it’s not intimidating and there’s no pressure.
What is the vision long term?
At the moment, we’ve got 19 restaurants globally – London, Japan, Korea, Hawaii and the Sydney restaurants and will be looking to do more restaurants in Australia and overseas as the business continues on.
To what do you attribute your success?
The quality of the food and drink that we offer is really key. Produce-led dishes and the buzzing atmosphere really helps. The styling and the feel of the restaurants are quite important. They’re very welcoming, very comfortable and pleasant places to be. That’s been a big drawcard as well.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
It’s important to do something that you’re passionate about. If you’re passionate about the direction that you’re taking, that passion is something that filters down through all of your staff. They then pass on that passion to the guests and I believe guests pick up on that. Guests can see when the staff are really excited to be there and are passionate about the service and product that they’re offering.
That’s why people keep coming back to a café or restaurant. I’ve been to plenty of places where I’ve only been there once and probably wouldn’t go back. I’m sure that’s the same with everybody. It takes something special for you to actually go back to a place time and time again.
Six Simple Machines believes in six simple philosophies of good business – To be Sustainable, Ethical, Efficient, Profitable, Innovative and Passionate.
What are your thoughts on these philosophies? Are these in line with how you run your business?
I like the idea of sustainable business practices. We are very passionate team at bills. It ties in with what I was saying before, I don’t think there’s much point or it’s going be incredibly hard for you to run a successful business if you’re not passionate about it. It’s a tough industry and you really need to have heart to drive it through. There’s going to be some hard times, and you need to have that passion to keep you going.
How did you come across The Juggler?
I met The Six Simple Machines guys about eight years ago. We changed our coffee supplier and they had one of the first Juggler units installed in one of their own cafes. I remember them basically just popping around one afternoon to say hi and introduce themselves and tell us what they did.
From that first meeting I was pretty excited about The Juggler. It would have been maybe a year or two after that when I went down to MICE (Melbourne International Coffee Expo) and they had a Juggler stand at the expo and I thought that was awesome. We had a restaurant in Bondi coming up and so we ordered one for there.
So far, cafes and restaurants using The Juggler have prevented the use of over 16,000,000 single-use 2Lt plastic milk bottles. How do you feel about that?
That’s great! It’s awesome! I mean that was one of the key reasons why I wanted to get one. For me personally, and us as a business, I’m trying to be as responsible as possible in reducing waste and environmental footprint from our businesses. To be able to contribute to that significant saving is fantastic.
How long have you had a Juggler for and what has it done for your business?
We’ve got two Jugglers, we put one in Bondi in 2014 and then we got one for Surry Hills in 2018 when we did a refurb. Combined we would be using around 700-800 litres of milk each week which means we have saved around 35,000 bottles to date. I like the idea that bill’s has contributed to saving that many milk bottles by having The Juggler installed for our baristas.
I’m a big fan of The Juggler, not just on the saving of milk bottles, which I know you are focused on, but as a piece of equipment. It’s been unbreakable and a real workhorse. In our Bondi bar, since we’ve opened, I’ve had every other piece of equipment in the business breakdown on me at some point some or have needed to be completely replaced. No one’s even had to look at The Juggler. It hasn’t needed a service and that’s why we got another one in Surry Hills. It’s just the most reliable piece of equipment. I mean we use it all day and it gets hammered. It’s great to be able to have that sort of confidence in the quality of its manufacturing.