Meet Tanya Hanouch, owner of Wolfe & Molone, a local wine bar. Everyone in food and drink brings something more to the table than food and drink and Tanya brings oodles of compassion, customer service and her IT geekiness! It’s a perfect combo for a neighbourhood friendly establishment with a vision for more locations.
I love how when we asked Tanya what app she can’t live without, she tells us five! Tanya’s commitment to customer service, supported by awesome IT capability, is the cornerstone of her fantastic hospitality business.
In this interview Tanya shares with us why she waited for so long before she made this dream wine bar a reality and why she wishes she acted sooner.
I think we can all relate to that!
Your business name: Wolfe and Molone
How would you describe the business you are in?
We are a wine bar & restaurant in the suburb of Bentleigh. We decided to open here because we saw lots of gentrification happening in the area. Young families, professional couples and even the existing older generation were looking for more than just the RSL to go to. We opened our doors in Jan 2017 with a great response from the community.
What do you love about your work?
What brings me the most amount of joy, is being able to take a little time out during a busy service to look at what’s happening on the floor. I see people laugh and have a good time, watch first dates and couples in conversation. The connections with customers is something I love. Just being able to connect with others through wine and food is really lovely.
What part of your job would you gladly give away?
Admin! If I could click my fingers and have it all disappear so I could have more time to create and bring more ideas into the wine bar, that would be awesome.
If you were starting out in business again today, what piece of advice would you give your younger you?
‘Don’t wait! Just leap and the safety net of life will catch you’. I wanted to open a wine bar before wine bars were a thing, but I procrastinated for so long because I feared change and uncertainty. I was in a great position working for a large corporate. I had spent 18 years in the industry and I had a great idea to create Wolfe and Molone; but I waited (procrastinated) for 9 years to take the leap. I used the mantra above for 6 months before I actually took the leap and I haven’t looked back.
Women start businesses 41% of the time to solve a problem. Sometimes this means we have a great vision but don’t have enough resources to sustain our business for the long term. Tell us what resources you started your business with eg. money saved, business premises, business partner, and how long before you started paying yourself?
I didn’t really have many resources. I only had a little bit of money from leaving my corporate job. The lease on the property came up pretty quickly, which was serendipitous. I had to take out a loan for the purchase of the previous business which was for sale. I’ve only just started paying myself a small wage and I’m 2.5 years in. However for now it’s enough and going into our 3rd year we can really hit our straps.
As you know we are passionate about women #backingthemselves. So tell us about a time in the last twelve months that you’re really proud of.
The hospitality industry is going through some pretty major changes at the moment. With all the issues around minimum wage, cost of produce price hikes and not to mention the rise of Home Delivery apps, it is all killing lots of small businesses. I’m proud that we have managed to survive all of these changes over the last 3 years. I believe this comes down to our venue being a place for people to come out and enjoy food, wine and connect with their friends. We have remained steadfast in our approach to dining and understand our marketing really well. I tend to always take 30 seconds during a busy service to sit back and look at what I’ve managed to build and I enjoy watching our guests have a wonderful experience with us.
As we are always growing and learning, what is the one thing you would like to take time to learn more about?
Probably like most of us the big F word….. Finances. Learning to manage cash flow so that there isn’t $100 left in the account after everyone is paid. I am currently implementing the Profit First system. I have brought in an accountant to help me understand this part of the business down to a fine art.
The world is changing so fast and technology enables us to do so much more. We’re interested in which app you could not live without and why?
Coming from an IT background I’m a self confessed Nerd/Geek and love apps! Here are my top 5:
- Instagram – it’s how we connect with our audience. When people see an awesome picture that we have posted of a dish, wine or cocktail, they will come in and try it.
- Facebook – same as above, plus now with Stories we can quickly convey what we are doing and share that instantly. Video is now starting to overtake photos as your message can be conveyed in 10/15 seconds and you have a captive audience.
- Receipt Bank – take a photo of your receipt and it automatically exports it and reconciles it in Xero! This has saved me hours of time in reconciling every week.
- Slack – an awesome communication tool that’s free! It’s a tool that allows you to communicate to different channels of the business, share files, set up tasks & integrates other apps so you don’t have to use more than one and it keeps everything in sync constantly.
- Canva – this is a great tool to help create posts, posters, labelling, menus and pretty much anything for marketing. It’s intuitive and comes with templates so you don’t have to worry about creating the wrong size image for your social app.
Why did you decide to become a member of the Foodpreneurs Formula®
Primarily to connect with other females in food. I got to a point last year where I felt quite alone running my wine bar and I didn’t have anyone around me who understood what it was like being a business owner in the industry. So when I heard about FIF, I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the group.
We love to celebrate the successes. Can you give us an example of how joining the Foodpreneurs Formula™ has positively impacted your business?
Being a member has allowed me to connect and collaborate with other members who are passionate about the industry. Through the membership I have also gained lots of valuable insights and experience from Chelsea, who has a wealth of knowledge and is passionate about helping women in the industry to achieve amazing things to their fullest potential.
Thank you Tanya.
Want to read more about another successful member? Check out our ‘What’s Cooking’ interview with pastry chef and cracker maker, Martine Ah Heng from The Bakery Lab.