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How to run a sustainable venue without compromising on success

Posted on: 02/01/20 Posted by: Mark Barber

We spoke to Daragh Murphy, Executive Manager of Palm Beach Surf Club, to find out if you can run a sustainable venue without compromising on success.

"Why do you think you won Gold Coast’s Best Surf Club?"

Everything we do is geared towards what we do on the beach which is saving lives. The better our hospitality the more funds we can generate to invest in better equipment and resources.

We strive to listen and understand what our members want and tailoring our products and service to suit, rather than doing what we think they’d want.

I still find the hospitality industry exciting after 25 years, every day is different, and you get to interact with new people and be a part of their special moments.

Palm Beach Surf Club interior dining area

"What keeps customers coming back?"

We’ve got the best location and views of the ocean as well as the high quality of food and service we provide. We take on a lot of feedback from our members to achieve the perfect balance of restaurant quality food with a surf club location. Our team is a massive drawcard, we hire based on personality, work ethic and a good moral compass - everything else can be taught.

"Why is sustainability a priority?"

Palm Beach Surf Club has been around for 90 years, protecting humans from the ocean through surf live saving initiatives. We’ve now seen a reversal of that role where our duty is now to protect the ocean from humans. Being on the ocean means that we have that added duty to be at the forefront of the sustainability initiative.

Palm Beach Surf Club lunch time menu served with purezza

"How did it all start?"Daragh Murphy, Executive Manager of Palm Beach Surf Club using pouring Purezza water

The initiative was driven by the team, who are passionate about sustainability and were responsible for driving change throughout the whole venue. We’re the first surf club in Australia to achieve ‘ocean friendly’ status, eliminating single use plastic completely and working with our suppliers to improve the supply chain.

We no longer accept deliveries in styrofoam boxes, use recycled paper napkins, compostable coffee cups, use the ocean breeze rather than air-conditioning, have wine and Purezza on tap and offer educational workshops for kids on sustainability and the ocean. We’ve also partnered with local NFP environmental groups and the with Palm Beach Currumbin State High School Sustainability Committee with a recycling program.

"Is sustainability cost effective?"

While it takes a lot of time and incurs additional costs, it’s a price we’re willing to pay to reduce our environmental impact. We’ve also seen an increase in patronage as a result, representing a long term pay off.

"What advice do you have for other venues wanting to become more environmentally friendly?"

Since achieving the ‘ocean friendly’ accreditation from the Surfrider Foundation we’ve had an influx of enquiries from other surf clubs asking how they can do the same, creating a snow ball effect of positive change.

Our first piece of advice is to start small and let it go from there. Engage your team for their input and advice as they’re the ones doing the heavy lifting. This allows you to build a momentum as you’re all working towards a common goal.

"Why did you choose Purezza?"Daragh Murphy, Executive Manager of Palm Beach Surf Club using Purezza

We had a look at the market and compared three or four different providers. Purezza was the most robust and high-quality offering. We went with Purezza because service levels were exceptional according to industry feedback.

Before making the switch to Purezza we were using pre-packaged water and providing tap water for our customers. We love that we’ve been able to reduce our environmental impact by eliminating bottled water.

It’s made a massive difference for our customers, we’ve received so much feedback about their positive experience with Purezza. It’s a strong value add and a step forward in elevating our customer’s experience at the club.

Join the movement against single use plastic and start saving money with Purezza today.


You can now find Purezza in over 8,000 venues across North America, Europe, and Australia. The key to our success lies in our extensive range of Purezza products that allow restaurants, cafes, function centres and hospitality venues to turn a healthy margin by selling premium still and sparkling water on-site.

Contact us to find out more or talk to a Purezza expert today to find the right product for your venue.

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