Where do people come from to visit Footscray? – Matt & Mel, Reverence Hotel

This article is a part of Your Footscray – an initiative of the Footscray Business Reference Group supported by Regional Rail Link

Where do people come from to visit Footscray?
We wanted to find out the biggest changes Matt and Melanie had noticed in their clientele since relocating from the CBD to Footscray. In our latest conversations, we’re investigating where people come from to visit #YourFootscray.

Where do your customers come from?
About half of our customers are local and the rest come from all over for the bands and food.

In three words, describe your typical customer?
Mel: Our typical customer changes according to ­the night of the week and what they’re into – bands, food, dancing etc.

Matt: People who come in looking for their local pub are always surprised we haven’t renovated the place to the extreme. We’ve managed to keep some of the old pub’s charm. People want to see the old floors and hear creaking floorboards. They create a comfort zone.

Of your customers who are not Australian-born, which countries do they represent?
We get a lot more diversity among our clientele in Footscray than we did in the city.

Who is your most loyal customer?
Matt: A few of our customers were loyal to the pub long before we arrived on the scene. They have been a great support to us throughout all the changes that have taken place. They are so proud of their pub. They still come in three or four nights a week and that means a lot to us.

Mel: They sometimes cook us dinner and look after us. If I didn’t see them I’d be worried. They came with the pub. We definitely didn’t have that sense of local community in the city.

What does it really take to actually run your business smoothly and keep customers happy?
Matt: For the past year, we’ve been working long days, weeks and months, starting early and running until late. You’ve got to be in it for the right reason to run a pub.

Mel: It takes everything out of us but we see it as an awesome opportunity.