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Getting to know Radi Burbar
Meet Radi Burbar. Starting out in hospitality at 15 and now running Degani Zetland, Radi is an example of what you can achieve with passion and persistence. He has hosted Pizza Hut employees from all over the world, is an expert at what to do when things don’t go as planned, is father to three daughters and can probably give you a good recommendation for a pony supplier. Join us as we get to know another Event Pro, Radi Burbar…
Give us a snap shot of your career to date
I started my career in hospitality as a 15-year-old working at the local KFC and Pizza Hut stores. After working through the ranks I was promoted to the Store Manager role and my store quickly became the busiest store in Australia. From here I was given the role of Area Manager Operations and looked after the Nepean Region and here I worked with many young people and helped then establish careers in the hospitality, just like me. Through KFC and Pizza Hut I met my business partner Kenzie and we shared the same passions for life and business and decided to go into business together.
I opened a Café in the Nepean Area and owned and operated this successful business for ten years. It was at the café that I met my wife Lena and together we started a family which grew with the addition of three beautiful girls.
An opportunity came to open a Café / Restaurant in the highly sort after area of Zetland and Lena, Kenzie and I decided to take our hospitality dreams and expertise to the Zetland area where we are currently operating.
The most memorable event you have worked on and why?
The most memorable event that I have been involved in was the Pizza Hut International Franchisee Convention where Australia hosted the event for franchisees from all over the world. I was part of the team that looked after the international guests and their agenda and ensured that all things went to plan, or at least we tried to “stick to the plan”.
What did you ‘learn the hard way’ when planning an event?
The one thing that I learnt was to plan, plan, plan and then on the day to expect the “unplanned” to happen. There are so many variables to events that we always have a “contingency plan” just in case. If this all fails don’t panic, the show must go on.
What are three personality traits that are required to succeed in the events industry?
The three traits that you need in this industry are Listen, Persistence and most of all Passion.
Listen to your customers, listen to your peers, listen to your suppliers. Not everyone is always correct so cherry-pick what you need and can work with to improve you and your business. If you don’t listen you can’t improve and grow. Persistence and don’t give up. If you make a mistake it’s OK as long as you learn from it and DON’T let it happen again. Don’t give up because it does get easier. Passion should be the “magic dust” in anything and everything you do. If you are passionate you will enjoy what you do and you will do it well.
If you could share one piece of advice to those starting out in the industry what would it be?
My piece of advice would be to be passionate about what you do. If you aren’t passionate about what you are doing it will show. Passion is infectious and it will spread to your workers, your customers and most of all to your family. My wife Lena and my partner Kenzie both share the same passion as I do. We share the wins together and when there are losses I don’t have to wear the burden on my own. We feed off each other and laugh together and in turn our customers can feel it too. They are putting their special occasion or special day in your hands and it will stay with them forever. Share your passion with them.
If you could plan an event anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Disneyworld, I love kids’ laughter, especially my own daughters
Favourite type of food?
How would your friends describe your job?
Fire fighter, always putting out fires
Describe yourself in two words?
How do you unwind after a big event?
Glass of wine
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Being a role model to my beautiful girls
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
To my wife
Best event you’ve been to as a guest?
Celine Dion concert in Vegas (my wife made me go)
What is your ideal holiday destination?
New Zealand, great food and wine
What’s your drink of choice at an event?
Who would you love to invite to dinner (past or present)?
Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver (I hear they hate each other)
Favourite party theme?
Superheroes (to my kids I’m batman)
What is the craziest request you have ever had when planning an event?
The host requested to make his grand entrance on a pony