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Australia’s Cheeky Monkey saves staff jobs by buying Sound Brewing

Western Australia’s Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co has acquired Sound Brewing Co from administration, in a move that will retain staff roles.

Image c/o @soundbrewingco via Instagram

The deal, which will see the site continue to operate under the Sound Brewing Co banner until renovations can take place in 2024, ultimately gives Cheeky Monkey a third venue and its first in the Perth Metro region. According to local reports next year will see significant renovations taking place to then turn the Rockingham location into a Cheeky Monkey venue.

The acquisition, which follows Sound Brewing Co’s parent company Bragu going into administration in September, means that all former employees of the venue have been offered the chance to continue in their roles.

Speaking to The Crafty Pint, Cheeky Monkey director of operations Brendan Day said: “We worked pretty hard with the administrators so they could keep running the venue until the liquor licence comes through so we can retain all of the staff. That was something we’re pretty proud of; it created a lot more work for us but it meant nobody lost their job.”

Cheeky Monkey managing director Brent Burton explained: “We’ve been looking for a site in Perth but never really found anything that has fit the bill. When this came up, we came and had a look and liked it. There’s a lot of foot traffic and a lot of entertainment in this area. And part of our strategy over the next three to five years is to have numerous venues in Perth.”

Day added: “It’s happened quickly in terms of this space, but we’ve been actively looking to expand our hospitality so if the right thing pops up, we’re interested. We’d identified a couple of sites that could have worked, but we didn’t pursue those for different reasons.”

Burton observed how “a lot of these things in business come down to timing” and admitted that his business was simply “in the right place at the right time”.

The business Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co is taking on currently offers 24 beer taps at the venue as well as a small brew kit that had been installed on site.

Day explained that next year’s plans for the venue now include moving the bar area and increasing the outdoor seating space. He revealed: “The venue is really close to hitting the mark. There’s a lot of really good intent but we’ve identified where we can make a positive impact. We’re looking to increase the alfresco space and plan to physically move the bar so there’s more focus on it.”

Day concluded that creating Cheeky Monkey experiences is a major part of the business’s future strategy.

He added: “We’ve been working on a new employee handbook, which isn’t your typical boring one. We took a lot of inspiration from BrewDog and Netflix and HubSpot, [whose handbooks] aren’t just offering policy, and there’s a whole page dedicated to the fact we sell experiences, we’re not just selling beer. It might sound cheesy, but we’re working on how we think people can experience our brand. Brent and myself have invested time into the experience at Caves Road. That’s been open 11 years now and is in a tourism area, so it would be easy to just rest on our laurels, but we don’t want to let that age out. There’s good examples of people who’ve not continued to evolve their own space. We’ve put a lot of effort into Caves Road over recent years and are seeing the results there. It’s exciting to continue that brand journey.”

Day additionally pointed out that there is more to come from Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co and hinted that people should watch this space because the company has “another iron or two in the fire”.

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