Nurturing Tomorrow's Hospitality Superstars: Merivale's Investment in Leadership Development

  • Merivale Logo
  • Client


  • Industry


  • Headquarters

    Sydney, NSW

  • Founded


  • Company size


  • Merivale's website

Merivale is one of Australia’s most iconic hospitality groups.

Owned and run by the Hemmes family for over 60 years, Merivale has an ever-expanding portfolio of over 80 brands and venues which includes Totti, Mr. Wong’s, The Newport, Coogee Pavilion, ivy and Establishment.


Sydney's leading hospitality group, Merivale, aimed to revamp its current training efforts – the Bronze and Silver Development Programs – to make learning more appealing for staff. This involved offering nationally recognised qualifications.

With these accredited programs, Merivale aimed to empower its employees to bolster their leadership and management skills, opening doors to higher-level roles within the organisation.

Main challenges:

  • Aligning current training with national certification standards.
  • Tailoring programs to suit Merivale's unique venue portfolio and practical needs.
  • Promoting internal talent for streamlined recruitment.
  • Shifting staff perspectives on hospitality as a long-term career, not just a stepping stone.

In close collaboration with Merivale, Allara Learning devised a tailored training program that seamlessly integrated the Bronze and Silver Development Programs with nationally recognized qualifications.

Upon completing the Bronze Development Program, participants earn a BSB40215 Certificate IV in Business. This accomplishment paves the way for further studies with the Silver Development Program, offering a BSB51918 Diploma of Leadership and Management.

The training initiatives are jointly conducted by Allara Learning's professional trainers and Merivale's subject matter experts from diverse departments. Esteemed figures like CEO Justin Hemmes, Group Sommelier Franck Moreau, and others provide invaluable guidance.

Allara Learning's skilled facilitators ensure that acquired skills align with industry standards and can be readily applied across various businesses and service sectors.

Merivale's experts contribute insights, offering participants a practical understanding of the organization's performance benchmarks and iconic venues.

The mentorship component allows each participant to select a senior Merivale leader, fostering inspiration and support throughout the training journey.

Learning is a blend of classroom sessions and hands-on training, spanning workshops, case studies, role plays, and real-world projects over twelve to sixteen weeks.

Both programs culminate in participants presenting to Merivale's senior management and their Allara Learning facilitators.

Over six years, the partnership between Merivale and Allara has flourished, ensuring successful project launches. This distinctive collaboration aims to address critical industry challenges and skill gaps, benefiting not only the company but the entire hospitality sector.

Merivale and Allara’s partnership has evolved and developed substantially over the last 6 years… This is a partnership unique in our offering, educating the hospitality industry with nationally recognised Certificates and Diplomas. Neither Merivale or Allara will stop here. We have a strategy and plan for the future which… could potentially alleviate critical issues and skill gaps in our industry, not just in our company.
  • The Bronze Development Program boasted a remarkable 97% completion rate.
  • The Silver Development Program achieved a perfect 100% completion rate.
  • In the Bronze Development Program, 26 out of 36 participants secured promotions within 6 months of course completion.
  • Similarly, the Silver Development Program saw 10 out of 15 participants earn promotions within 6 months of course completion.
  • Tangible benefits emerged in enhanced staff motivation, skill development, knowledge acquisition, increased efficiency, and heightened confidence.
  • Merivale now prioritises internal talent, leading to reduced recruitment costs and a substantial boost in revenue.
  • Julie Davaine, a graduate of the Silver Development Program, won the 2019 Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship.
  • The programs garnered recognition as finalists in the 2017 Australian HR Awards under the 'Best Learning and Development Program' category.
The Silver Development Program gave me the confidence to make informed decisions which has positively impacted the business and my personal development.