May 31, 2023

Fired up for success

Hospitality business founders Bill Drakopoulos and Dave Henderson shared their experiences over a meal for NAB’s Business Founders Talk series. Hear what they had to say about the passion and drive required to build up their respective businesses.

Bill Drakopoulos and Dave Henderson may sit at very different ends of the hospitality industry – one a multi-venue veteran, the other a relative newcomer to craft brewing – but when NAB brought them together over lunch, the result was a meeting of minds on the importance of loving what you do, embracing risk and having the right bank behind you.



One founded the high-end Sydney Restaurant Group, the other Mudgee-based Hop & Clover Brewing Co. Here are three highlights from restaurateur Bill Drakopoulos and brewer Dave Henderson’s conversation on what it takes to succeed from their recent conversation for NAB’s Business Founders Talk series.

1. Embrace risk

According to Bill, “getting out of your comfort zone is the most important thing” for growth. “If you stay in your comfort zone, you won’t grow.” That appetite for risk resonates with Dave. “Risk is a scary word for some people,” he says. “But the other side of risk is reward.”

2. Don’t fear mistakes

If you’ve “never made mistakes in business, it means you’ve never pushed yourself”, Bill states. While that willingness to embrace mistakes can be uncomfortable, Dave believes it’s a positive. “That uncomfortable part is a building block to making you stronger,” he says.

3. Find your fire

“Having that fire in your belly is vital to build that momentum,” according to Dave. Bill also believes in the power of passion, but tempers that with wise advice about the need for discipline. “There’ll be mornings you don’t want to get up,” he says, “but you’ll get up because you love what you do.”


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