National Gallery of Victoria Catering Contract



Hired by Peter Rowland to be the General Manager for this Blue Chip contract, the week that the Van Gogh exhibition opened, which at that time was the biggest exhibition the gallery had shown was a significant challenge.


Responsible for the daily gallery visitation and meals in the various catering outlets, as well as overseeing the functions for this discerning clientele for intimate dinners and gatherings of 10 up to 5000 guests in remote locations around the gallery, controlling costs on an event basis was essential to deliver robust bottom line.


Initiatives at the Gallery included

  • Lobbying for an extra outlet space on the back of the Von Gogh experience by demonstrating that as gallery visitors increased there was an inverse result in conversions in the coffee shop! Daily revenues increased from $ 1,200 a day on a $3.5 average ticket to $ 12,000 a day on a $ 4.00 average ticket during Rembrandt.
  • Overcame a $ 30,000 a month loss in the Garden Restaurant. Seen as a loss leader to comply with the contract obligations, Karen managed to get this to break even monthly.
  • Completed the interim design solution for the set up for the extra coffee shop.
  • Exceeded the expectations of the private event guests and the Gallery members and staff with service delivery.