Back of House podcast: Kathy Savill


The former chief sales officer at Merivale chats about resilience, innovation and entrepreneurship in hospitality

Kathy Savill has learned to make a friend of crisis. Her long and varied career has seen her start a travel business amid an airline strike, join Merivale at the peak of the GFC, and take an ostensible six-month break from employment exactly six months before Covid hit. But for Savill, crisis and innovation have gone hand in hand. 

At Merivale, she was part of the leadership team during a period of enormous growth, spearheading projects such as March into Merivale, and broadening the market for the company’s restaurants and bars during tough times. In the latest episode of the Back of House podcast, Savill talks to Luke and Mike about entrepreneurship in the context of hospitality, and how organisations can encourage or create the right environment for teams to innovate.

In a going-out economy that has borne the brunt of physical distancing and that many think won't be the same – at least not for a while – this is a crucial question.

The episode also touches upon:

  • How Savill made a business from branding ‘Schoolies’
  • Is it the end for canapés and buffets?
  • The potential of ‘hybrid’ live-virtual events
  • Resilience and finding opportunity in adversity

The discussion will be of interest to anyone looking for guidance on leading teams in this sector while encouraging innovation.


You can download the episode here.

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