Catering HQs Steve Sidd at his new venue, Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club.

Steve Sidd’s Catering HQ is bouncing back from shutdowns by taking on three new clubs, creating two new concepts and building a new 1600sqm warehouse and headquarters, with a production kitchen, cool rooms and training rooms.

The NSW-based industry veteran and business partner Albi Aldahawi have now taken over the kitchens of Pittwater RSL, Ryde Eastwood Leagues and Wests Ashfield Leagues Club. Meanwhile, the two new concepts are an American-style bar and restaurant at existing client Castle Hill RSL and a Mexican cantina concept at Club Parramatta.  

Other existing Catering HQ clients include Davistown RSL Club, Moorebank Sports Club, Lynwood Country Club, Mingara Leisure Group’s Springwood Sports and Mingara Recreation Club and Mazi restaurant at Lantern Club in Roselands.

“Covid for us, although it was bad, it was hard and depressing, we didn’t sit on our hands and feel sorry for ourselves,” Sidd said and the pair got to work on a “Getting Back To Business” plan to be implemented as soon as the doors were allowed to open again. That plan included tighter menus, minimal staff and running food for three new club clients that had struggled during the various lockdowns. 

“Then we re-opened on the 11th of October with 11 clubs,” he said. The opening strategy included a core menu that was the same in all venues.

Part of the Short Cut menu at Castle Hill RSL.

“When we came out of lockdown, we came out with the same menu as we didn’t know what to expect,” he said. As business recovered and customers returned the menu was customised to 60 per cent core menu and 40 per cent to suit an individual club’s demographic. 

The new Castle Hill RSL concept, Short Cut, opens on May 12 and will include a pimped American-influenced menu including ribs, burgers, hotdogs and steaks, alongside the latest in plant-based trends such as “100-per cent Not Chicken” and a vegan “fish” dish. The Parramatta cantina, tentatively called Spiked, is slated to open in June. 

The Gregory Hills warehouse, meanwhile, will include a full production kitchen, cool room, freezers and training room. It is scheduled to open next month.

“We don’t want to be the biggest, but we want to be the best,” he said.

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