About Us

Our Clients

DWS Hospitality Specialists consult to the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries and have dedicated expertise in a number of sectors within this sphere including:

  • The club sector incorporating licenced and unlicenced associations as well as state and national level associations and organisations.
  • The accommodation sector with expertise in full & select-service hotels, serviced & strata-titled apartments as well as resort operations.
  • The pubs and tavern sector including licenced gaming venues as well as dedicated food and beverage operations.
  • The casino sector with expertise in gaming room design and integrated casino operations.
  • The cafe and restaurant sector including licenced and unlicenced operations.
  • The leisure sector including golf, bowls and health club development and operations.
  • The tourism planning sector incorporating destination and attraction planning as well as capacity studies.

Case Studies

DWS has been offering consulting services for twenty years and complete over 500 assignments annually. Our clients include casinos, hotel chains, clubs, hotels, gaming and hospitality corporations, tourism operators and government departments. Our endorsement of quality is driven by the level of repeat business and long-term clients that are serviced by DWS.

We have compiled a range of case studies that demonstrates our expertise across the range of sectors within the hospitality,leisure and tourism industries. Our insight within this range allows us to deliver the highest quality consulting services.

Spirit Hotels

Spirit Hotels, the hotel division of Coles Group commissioned DWS to conduct an assessment of regional areas incorporating six hotel sites. Spirit Hotels specifically wanted to assess market share of each of the hotels relative to competitors as well as to assess the local demographic and monitoring of on-going performance. The following scope of works was included in our proposal:

  • Assessment of the venue design, cleanliness and décor appeal.
  • Identification of customer service standards.
  • Overall market appeal.
  • Market share trend determination and effectiveness.
  • Market report design consultation.
  • Venue ranking analysis to competitor catchment.
  • Monthly performance reports on each site.

Following the initial assessment which included secret shopping at all venues, DWS prepared a report and presentation to Spirit Hotels that provided recommendations on capital expenditure at each of the venues.

Gaming performance reports were finalised for each of the venues and market share was monitored over a number of months. All venues improved performance significantly and one of the venues improved ranking to number one in Queensland.

‘The information and analysis provided by DWS was pivotal in guiding our capital investment program in these properties. The detail of data contained in the market share reports allowed us to closely monitor performance and identify specific returns on investment.’ – Peter Hogg, Spirit Hotels.

OutRigger Resorts

DWS was appointed as the sole provider of risk management and training services to all Queensland Outrigger properties including Outrigger Twin Towns Resort Coolangatta, Outrigger Resort Noosa and Outrigger Resort Airlie Beach. Combined, these three resorts have over 500 rooms and approximately 160 staff. The deliverables included in our retained risk management services with Outrigger Resorts include:

  • Health and safety management plans.
  • Occupational health and safety risk assessments.
  • Development of policies, procedures, checklists, forms and best practice guidelines.
  • Management training.
  • 24 hour consultation.
  • Internal audits.
  • Incident management.
  • Management reviews.

DWS provide the full range of risk services to Outrigger Resorts that results in a single entity that approaches health and safety management in a proactive manner. Our 24 hour support offers immediate advice when incidents occur and reduces the probability of future litigation having an immediate course of action to follow.

‘DWS have worked with Outrigger Resorts for a number of years and during that time have been involved in a range of initiatives and incidents at our properties that have contributed to an overall better and safer environment for our staff and guests.’ – Grant James, Regional Manager Queensland, Outrigger Resorts.

Parliament House

DWS was commissioned by the Speaker of the Queensland Parliament to undertake a full review of its extensive catering operations. The catering operations are operated over 32 locations within the Parliamentary precinct and prepare and deliver over 120,000 meals annually, ranging from 5-star VIP functions to mass catering for staff, parliamentary members and guests. The review examined the following areas:

  • Best practice in delivery of such catering operations.
  • Functions operations.
  • Human resources.
  • Equipment resources.
  • Work health and safety issues.
  • Quality control.
  • Recommendations.

The report was delivered to the Speaker who accepted all findings, many of which have been implemented, including extensive capital improvements and human resources restructuring. The review of catering operations at Parliament House led to subsequent catering reviews at local governments including Ipswich City Council and Lockyer Valley Regional Council.

Cypress Lakes Resort

DWS were engaged to recruit a General Manager to operate this major resort in the Hunter Valley incorporating over 200 villas with golf, spa and other leisure facilities. DWS were commissioned on the basis of an off-market, confidential search and selection process that ultimately would involve relocation by the successful candidate. Our selection process involved the following elements:

  • Confidential research and advice on the appropriate package level.
  • Administration of confidentiality agreements.
  • Active direct approaches to candidates on a ‘no names’ basis.
  • Conduct of first round telephone interviews.
  • Interim delivery of report and recommendations on shortlist of candidates.
  • Evaluation of shortlist of candidates and initial interview administered.
  • Background and reference checks undertaken.

DWS utilised a combination of our in-house database of senior industry employees as well as searches of public databases in order to develop a suitable list of prime candidates. The confidential nature of the assignment meant that a discreet and legally confidential approach was adopted to the point of the development of the final shortlist.

Following the development of the shortlist, the client conducted the final interview process and an offer was made and accepted by one of the shortlisted candidates. DWS completed the process by undertaking the background & reference checks and compilation of contract documents.

‘DWS adopted a highly professional approach on what was a sensitive and confidential executive search and selection process. The quality of the candidates and vetting process undertaken by DWS assisted us in compiling a high quality shortlist. We would highly recommend DWS to be involved in the executive search and selection process.’ – Paul Wong, Lasseters Corporation Limited, Malaysia.

Goodna Services Club

During the flooding event of January 2011, Goodna Services Club Inc was inundated by flood waters, completely destroying all assets of the club with only the shell of the original building remaining. In the absence of appropriate flood insurance, DWS was commissioned to produce a funding memorandum and to acquire a finance offer to the value of $6.4 million including redevelopment and equipment finance.

DWS produced a detailed funding memorandum that incorporated:

  • Background information incorporating location and site appraisal, details of existing business and financial performance appraisal.
  • Market information including economic profile and outlook, gaming market performance, tourism assessment, pipeline investment projects and new competitive entrant assessment.
  • Project overview including proposed facilities, configuration and associated development costs.
  • Projections of earnings involving detailed profit and loss projections derived from department specific modelling.
  • Cash flow modelling assessment and investment appraisal.
  • Banking covenant assessment.

DWS distributed the document to contacts in the hospitality funding sector and worked on behalf of Goodna Services Club in the negotiation of finance offers. In conjunction with the funding memorandum, DWS applied for special grant and loan assistance that was issued by the Queensland government to a maximum value of $650,000.

DWS secured a complete funding offer for the redevelopment of the club and equipment facilities as well as being successful in the acquisition of $75,000 in grant funding and $600,000 in low interest loan assistance from the Queensland government. Construction commenced in January 2012 and the club reopened their doors in July 2013.

‘DWS was responsible for managing the complete funding process and were highly successful in this regard. Without their assistance, we could not have undertaken the redevelopment in and be confident of our financial positions. We would recommend DWS without hesitation.’ – David Christie, President, Goodna RSL Services Club Inc.

Mercure Hotel Gladstone

DWS was commissioned by Yaralla Sports Club Inc to undertake a full market and financial feasibility study for the development of a new 60-bedroom, four-star hotel in Gladstone, Queensland.

Following commissioning, DWS produced a detailed report that included the following elements:

  • Background information incorporating location and site appraisal, details of existing business, financial performance appraisal and maintainable earnings from existing operation.
  • Market information including economic profile and outlook, hotel market performance, tourism assessment, pipeline investment projects and new competitive entrant assessment.
  • Project overview including proposed number of bedrooms, market position and proposed branded operations.
  • Projections of earnings involving detailed profit and loss projections derived from department specific modelling.
  • Cash flow modelling assessment and investment appraisal.
  • Banking covenant assessment.

Following production of the report, DWS distributed the feasibility study to a number of financiers and arranged a presentation of the project to address any queries and seek offers of funding. DWS was successful with the acquisition of finance for this project from a major institutional lender. A presentation was subsequently delivered to the board of directors to inform approval of capital expenditure for the project.

Negotiations with national hotel operators were on-going during 2011 and DWS assisted with the selection of an appropriate operator, Accor Hotels under the Mercure brand. Construction commenced in 2011 and was completed in December 2012.

‘DWS was instrumental in accessing finance and offering expert advice throughout the development process. Their contacts in the hospitality funding arena allowed us to acquire competitive finance. We would recommend the involvement of DWS with producing a high quality document and leveraging of contacts in the funding sector.’ – Will Schroeder, CEO, Yaralla Sports Club Inc.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council

LVRC engaged DWS to undertake a full market and financial feasibility study for a prospective accommodation site within the Council. Following release of the associated land for expressions of interest, DWS continued to act in an advisory capacity with LVRC on a number of facets of the prospective contracts, outlined below:

  • Advice on the proposal elements and configuration following expressions of interest.
  • Appropriate type and market position of facility identified.
  • Key negotiation elements identified in terms of prospective sales and leasehold agreements.
  • Operator rental capacity range determined for a lease scenario.
  • Insight on the valuation of land ahead of prospective offers.
  • Financial modelling undertaken for a range of negotiation scenarios.

The continued involvement of DWS in the negotiation process assisted LVRC in reducing risk and increasing their knowledge base with regard to hotel development within their Council .

‘The dedicated expertise that DWS brought over and above the completion of a feasibility document greatly informed us when undertaking our negotiations. The ability to seek verbal advice from DWS as and when required was highly beneficial when making decisions. We would have no hesitation in recommending DWS to prospective clients.’ – Jason Harm, Regional Development Manager, Lockyer Valley Regional Council.

SkyCity Hotel & Casino

DWS was commissioned to undertake the business and operating plan at SkyCity Hotel and Casino in Darwin in 2011 and 2012. The project involved a review of internal budgets produced by SkyCity in order to set out a framework under which such budgets and target could be achieved in order to satisfy shareholders. This project incorporated the following elements;

  • Completed detailed analysis of the business and financial budget.
  • Benchmarked the business against industry norms.
  • Liaised with general management on the target business performances.
  • Prepared and conducted workshop with senior management over two full days examining targets and developing associated actions in order to achieve targets.
  • Formalised the workshop into the associated business and operating plan.

The culmination of the analysis and workshop was formalised in the operating plan, which was adopted by the management of SkyCity Hotel & Casino. Key initiatives were prioritised and the appropriate capital expenditure to realise them was allocated.

‘The multi-disciplinary expertise that DWS offers is highly beneficial to a large and diversified business like the SkyCity Hotel and Casino. Having undertaken major capital expenditure at the hotel and casino, it was imperative for us set ambitious targets and put in place the appropriate infrastructure in order for them to be realised. DWS greatly assisted us in this respect.’ – Brad Morgan, General Manager, Sky City Hotel & Casino, Darwin.

Moorebank Health Club

DWS was engaged in partnership with specialist health and fitness development advisor Denis Pontin (RMP & Associates) to undertake a full market and feasibility study for the construction of a health club facility including a gym with aquatic and associated public areas at Moorebank in Sydney. The development of a health club represented a diversification strategy by the club that was complimentary to the existing business of a sports club. The involvement of DWS included the development of a report that incorporated:

  • Detailed background and profile of competitive health clubs in the local area.
  • Definition of the local catchment area for the proposed development.
  • Demographic and utilisation analysis of the local catchment area.
  • Assessment of a number of development options in terms of footprint, market position and development cost.
  • Liaison with Liverpool City Council to ascertain planning restrictions.
  • Financial assessment of a shortlist of two development options with and without aquatic facilities.
  • Detailed cash flow modelling of development options to ascertain return on investment and viability.

The undertaking of this assignment involved a significant amount of research and analysis into the local catchment area to comprehensively define the target market and ensure that the proposed concept was appropriately matched.

Modelling of the prospective learn-to-swim operation, which represented a significant profit centre involved a detailed assessment of the local supply of pre and primary schools as well as population growth projections for the local catchment.

‘DWS were instrumental in informing us of the cost and risk implications of which avenue we proceeded with, in particular how servicing of debt affects our existing business. Their expertise in cash flow modelling and presentation of the associated issues to our board in a meaningful way greatly assisted our internal decision-making process.’ Tracey Lentell, General Manager, Moorebank Sports Club.

The Waves Sports Club

DWS is commissioned regularly by The Waves Sports Club in Bundaberg to undertake two-day strategic planning sessions. DWS was commissioned in 2006/8/9/11 and in 2012 to engage with the board of directors in re-affirming the long-term vision of the club and setting out the short-term strategy for the business. DWS undertook significant preparation for the session and the scope of works included:

  • Review of corporate governance procedures at the club, in particular a review of the constitution to ensure best practice.
  • Web-based survey of members to inform current perceptions of the business.
  • Population and demographic review of the local catchment area.
  • Gaming machine market assessment including three years of historic data, supply trends and projections of the future size of the gaming market.
  • Financial review incorporating a benchmark analysis, cash flow analysis and debt capacity assessment to assist with scope of prospective project.
  • Diversification research exploring complimentary investment.

During the two-day workshop, DWS acted in a facilitation role, guiding the board of directors to discuss, debate and evaluate the key areas of the business, while setting the direction of the business on a long, medium and short-term basis.

Following facilitation of the two-day workshop, DWS produced a formal strategic planning document that captured all of the prioritised list of goals and associated actions including responsibility and timeframes.

At The Waves Sports Club, we engage in strategic planning sessions every two years and have always utilised DWS as their methodology and expertise in the hospitality sector allows them to act in more of a capacity than just a facilitation role. Their guidance with setting realistic goals has assisted us to grow into a successful business. Brendan Royall, General Manager, The Waves Sports Club, Bundaberg.

AT Hotel Group

DWS was commissioned by AT Hotel Group to undertake a regular program of quarterly secret shopping at their six sites. The group wished to assess their program of management and staff training that had been implemented within the group. The following scope of works was undertaken by DWS:

  • Met with AT Hotels to discuss the scope of works and ascertain particular areas of scrutiny.
  • Designed the secret shopping template and incorporated it into an iPhone app for use on site.
  • Conducted quarterly shops including utilisation of all services, assessment of the appearance, cleanliness, service, amenities and handling of complaints.
  • Produced a detailed report that benchmarked the properties internally, provided feedback on individual personnel, and made recommendations where appropriate.

DWS developed an iPhone app specifically to capture information on site in a comprehensive manner. Staff names and behaviour were captured through a combination of direct service and observation.

Following the site visit, information from the app is transferred to a report that gives an overall assessment of the shopping experience on a ratings based system. A variety of secret shoppers were used that were trained specifically in the DWS methodology.

AT Hotels wanted to assess the effectiveness of our training program and to ensure that our investment in training of personnel yielded positive results. The feedback given by DWS allowed us to specifically target areas and award personnel that were star performers. The quality feedback represented a cost-effective review system.’ – Scott Armstrong, AT Hotels.



Our Team

DWS employs experienced consultants who specialise in a diverse range of services including finance, licensing, governance, gaming analysis, risk and human resource management, training, marketing, negotiation, venue and asset management. All of our consultants have had direct employment in these fields at various points in their careers and understand the mechanics and operation of hospitality businesses. They combine this direct experience with their consulting expertise to offer strong insight and understanding of the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors.

In addition to our staffs’ exceptional portfolio of experience and qualifications, DWS is associated with a number of elite industry groups and businesses, assisting us in delivering fast, exceptional results.

Finding a consultancy business that has the ability to meet all the diverse facets of the hospitality industry can be a challenge. When you work with us, you can be guaranteed of receiving practical, effective advice and solutions.

John Dickson
Aaron Bray
General Manager CTA Training Specialists
Samantha Litfin
Group Marketing Manager and Consultant
Michelle Pitman
Work health, safety & compliance advisor
Karen Miles

Our Community

DWS and its staff members are proud to be affiliated with the following groups and institutions:

Clubs Queensland

As the peak industry body representing registered and licenced clubs across the State, Clubs Queensland protects the interests of community clubs.

Club Managers Association Australia

The Association represents professional managers of registered clubs nationally. The Association extends beyond a purely industrial focus to include the advancement and professional growth of its members and the industry as a whole.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC)

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) is the peak body for tourism in Queensland, representing the interests of the tourism and hospitality sectors across the state.

Queensland Hotels Association

The Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) is the state’s peak industry body for the hotel and hospitality industries.  The QHA is an influential lobby group, representing the interests of its stakeholders.

The Catering Institute of Australia

The Catering Institute of Australia (CIA) is recognised as an authoritative body and seeks to provide avenues for its members to develop professional development and improve industry standards.

RSL & Services Association

The Association provides a link between its members, the government and the community, while fostering the spirit and heritage of the ANZAC traditions.

CTA Training

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) is the world’s leading enterprise-wide risk education institute.   The institute is run by well-respected, practising advocates of the risk profession.


Hostplus is an industry superannuation fund for the hospitality, tourism, recreation, and sport industries in Australia established in 1987. It has more than one million members and $50 billion in funds under management, making it one of the largest superannuation funds in Australia.

RSL & Services Club Association QLD

The RSL & Services Clubs Association of Queensland Inc. works closely with government and industry to seek beneficial solutions for our member clubs and the often unique issues that affect ex-service, memorial and other not-for-profit community clubs

Mullins Lawyers

Mullins is a Brisbane-based commercial law firm that was founded in 1980. Over this time, we’ve developed a unique approach that combines three elements, Lawyers – Advisors – Partners, to deliver a comprehensive and strategic service to our clients.

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