NightOwl operators, suppliers, and partners came together on the Gold Coast recently for the NightOwl Conference 2022.  As the first whole network event in three years, this year’s conference was themed on exploring and mapping the NightOwl 10 steps to success.

The conference combined information sessions, product and supplier breakouts, a trade show, social events, and a Gala Awards night recognising network excellence. NightOwl Conference 2002 was a time for operators to work on themselves and their businesses, and to engage with the Franchise Support Office team and suppliers that are their partners in success.

Conference Sessions

The conference opened with an impassioned presentation by Franchisor Adam Adams, who outlined the group commitment to physical location selection, and operational standards.  The NightOwl network currently sits at 79 sites, with more Owls being added to the NightOwl Parliament in the coming months.

Adam went on to outline the groups’ commitment to investing in people, processes, and property for growth displaying strategic thinking outside the yellow box. This messaging was bolstered by Stephen Donnelly, NightOwl’s Chief Financial Officer in his presentation on all things finance and direction.

Ian McLauchlan, Nightowl’s Buying Manager, introduced the delegates to the steps of success in the area of category management.  He broke down the elements of each category where incremental wins will lead to success in the convenience and petrol industries.

“Customer-focused ranging and offers are key.  Customers need to be able to access known brands at a known low price.  This is a challenge to supply and stock range and holding, but it is a challenge that NightOwl is up to, particularly when backed by great partners like Metcash” explained Ian.

Instore performance growth data and reflective insights were shared so the knowledge could be implemented and replicated by other stores in the network.  Delivering sustainable and environmentally aware products and packaging was also a focus topic.

“NightOwl has developed a unique to P&C comprehensive quality Top Up Shop Offer.”

“The close relationship forged with Metcash ensures  an optimized range coupled with a genuine value proposition backed by wide ranging promotions across all departments.”

“It’s all about giving your customers what they want” added Ian.

Craig Carvell from Patties and Sol Tumaai from Latitude/Tiger Coffee expanded on these insights by exploring time of day food and coffee purchases leading to best practice fresh management.

Stephen Crystal from Viva Energy/AACS took delegates through an overview of future fuels and the mix that forecourts can expect in the coming years.

Product was a key focus with presentations from Dwayne Cocker from Coke who highlighted the success and importance of the beverage category. Other suppliers, notably Lactalis, Patties, Unilever, Frucor, Asahi and Smiths, provided information in breakout presentations.

Glenys Tristam, NightOwl’s Marketing Manager, announced some exciting (and still secret) campaigns coming in the pipeline as well as changes to the OwlClub app and a realignment of network-wide vision to confirm the groups customer experience focus.

ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski took delegates through the employment compliance pressures facing all sites before diving into how to recruit, onboard, and manage staff in an extraordinarily tight labour market.  Elisha then passed the baton to ACAPMAs Mark McKenzie who took delegates through the landscape of retail today, tomorrow, and what operators need to do now to respond to todays retail pressures, and be able to take advantage of tomorrows retail opportunities.

Brad Jones, NightOwl’s General Manager of  Operations, introduced the delegates to the new members of the NightOwl Area Management team and tied together the operational standards element of the NightOwl steps to success.

Delegates were treated to an electric presentation by Adam Posner, Loyalty Specialist, on how to support, drive and profit from customer loyalty from a brand and store perspective.

The conference sessions wrapped up with a truly inspiring and thoroughly entertaining presentation from Australian Winter Olympic Legend Stephen Bradbury.  Stephen reminded delegates that what looks like overnight success and luck is much more often the result of intense and sustained effort and calculated strategic decisions all coming together to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.  Stephen encouraged delegates to focus on the 1% better that they can be in all things…and to do that consistently, because when opportunities present themselves that practice, effort and work will pay off.

Trade Show

The conference was complemented with a supplier Trade Show under the tent at the Star Gold Coast.  The Trade Show brought together suppliers and operators delivering exposure to new-to-market products and offers specifically for the NightOwl network.

Social Events & Awards Night

It was not all work though, delegates came together to enjoy a relaxed dinner by the pool on the first evening of the conference.

The Poolside BBQ dinner was presented in a large buffet style and featured a DJ and lawn games for entertainment.

After two days of serious learning, working, and networking, and after three very tough years, the NightOwl Gala Awards Night was an opportunity to dress up, cut loose and recognise excellence.

From the fun to the awe-inspiring the ‘entertainment’ for the night got the whole room buzzing…

And the surprise speaker, proudly presented by Asahi Lifestyle Beverages, Australian Winter Olympic Legend and self-confessed crazy person, the amazing Jacqui Cooper, left the room both stunned and energised with tales from her freestyle skiing career. Nothing was left out as she recounted all the highs, the lows, the injuries, and the passion that drove her.

The Awards recognised;

2022 Cool Water Champion – NightOwl Surfers South
Presented by NightOwl (Glenys Tristram)
Winner David Khanh Cao

2022 FrostBite Champion – NightOwl Hervey Bay
Presented by Coke (Dwayne Cocker)
Winner Rajinder Singh Sokhi & family

2022 Fruit & Veg Award – NightOwl Trinity Beach
Presented by NightOwl (Stephen Donnelly)
Winner Narashimha Manohar Mallisetty (Manu) & Vinod Kolla

2022 Food service Champion – NightOwl Springfield Lakes
Presented by PFD Foodservices (Deb Farley & Nick Preston)
Winner Matt Lewis and Kerry Barraud 

2022 Coffee Champion – NightOwl Ashgrove BP
Presented by Lactalis (Melissah Winders)
Winner Yong Tu & Man Huo

2022 Category Management Award – NightOwl Townsville Riverside
Presented by Patties (Matt Dodson)
Winner Praveen Kumar Pakalapati & Sravanthi Kondru

2022 Operational Excellence Award – NightOwl Springfield Lakes
Presented by Smiths (Lyndal Unwin)
Winner Matt Lewis and Kerry Barraud

2022 Marketing Award – NightOwl Hervey Bay
Presented by Unilever (Michelle Reed)
Winner Rajinder Singh Sokhi & family

2022 Customer Service Champion – NightOwl Airlie Beach
Presented by Frucor Suntory (Ross Connel)
Winner Roz Woodham

2022 WiseBuys Champion – NightOwl Cairns Reservoir Road
Presented by Metcash (Iain Kirsch)
Winner Michael & Penny Fitzroy

2022 Supplier of the Year – Asahi Lifestyle Beverages
Presented by NightOwl (Ian McLauchlan) with Jacqui Cooper
Winner Jeff Dziedzic

And the big one…


2022 Franchisee of the Year – NightOwl Springfield Lakes
Presented by NightOwl (Adam Adams) with Jacqui Cooper
Winner Matt Lewis and Kerry Barraud

Matt and Kerry from NightOwl Springfield Lakes took out the coveted Franchisee of the Year Award, which this year comes with a trip to the NACS conference and expo in the USA.

The Gala kicked on at the afterparty, presented by Coke, where delegates let their hair down and celebrated each other’s success.

“It was a delight to be a part of the event and to be a part of the learnings and celebrations of a growing and engaged network and the passionate people that are in it and supporting it” concluded ACAPMAs Mark McKenzie.


Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)