The events of the past 15 months and international border closures have presented big challenges for the Australian hospitality industry. Yet, for the new owners of one iconic Sydney location, business is booming.
Sydney-based hospitality company, Viral Ventures, owners of Sydney’s famous Wonderland Bar have opened seven new venues in the past 12 months, employing over 78 local staff in the hospitality and entertainment sectors.
How did Viral Ventures pull this off?
At a time when staff shortages in the industry are rife, the company has upweighted its focus on creating local jobs.
Adapting its business model in the wake of Covid-19, Viral Ventures capitalised on the lack of physical events by creating new event concepts for a Covid, and post-Covid, world.
The business switched its strategy to focus on delivering unique, high quality and viral experience, despite operating in a pandemic affected landscape.
Incredibly, the business has seen 150% growth in revenue over the past 12 months, generating over $5m. In light of this recent success, the team is eager to continue to expand at this pace and continue to create local jobs.
This milestone is ever growing for Co-Founders and Directors Aden Levin and James Farrell who believe there is no limit to the creativity of their concepts. Aden and James have a combined three and a half decades of experience in the events industry between them.
What’s the story behind Viral Ventures?
Aden landed investment on the hit show, Dragons Den UK for his innovative concept Mainstage Travel, and carries a wealth of experience in the events industry, while James is prominent in the events and creative space, successfully launching record breaking events.
Aden Levin says: “During the height of the pandemic we were eager to continue giving people something to look forward to and treat as a ‘night out’.”
“With Zoom becoming such a vital vehicle for communication, it made sense that we made the most of the opportunity while also giving people a way to connect with others and have fun.”
“We were also able to use this opportunity to give back to front line workers with a percentage of the profits going towards corona virus causes.”
“The pandemic was an interesting time for us. We are determined to continue our growth strategy, so we began to hire staff via Zoom. We found venues and set designers remotely.”
“We trained our actors online and also showed them how the experience works. The downtime also allowed us to plan other ventures and we eventually opened venues remotely via Zoom in NZ and USA.” James Farrell says
Operating globally in Australia, USA, UK and Canada, with a plan to enter the Asia market, Viral Ventures currently has a range of themed venues across three continents including The Wonderland Bar and The Big Bake, and Beyond Cinema as well as multiple pop ups also gracing cities such as the Smugglers Ship and Bumper Cars on Ice.