How Nic Coulter went from
Dishwasher to Restaurateur

The low-down on Nic


  • Swapped study for Hanoi Hannah
  • Now has 200 staff and five venues
  • Next stop, Melbourne’s CBD
  • Loves being cloud-based & MYOB’s seamless app integration.
2 MIN READ

Hospitality’s rising star says hello to MYOB

Lana Wilkinson reviews a winter coat

As one part of the dynamic Melbourne-based hospitality group behind Hanoi Hannah, Nic Coulter is making waves in the city’s food scene thanks to vibrant restaurants, good food and clever branding.

He sat down with us to share the story of his success.

Hi, Nic. Can you tell us about who you are and what you do?

I’m Nic Coulter and I’m one of the co-founders of The Commune Group. I'm also the Operations Manager of Hanoi Hannah.

You now have five restaurants across Melbourne, where did it all begin?

Like lots of people, I got into hospitality early while studying at Uni right at the bottom of the ladder, washing dishes and cleaning the toilets at my local pub!

"Two weeks after opening, we were full house."

Many students move out of hospitality after their studies, but you didn’t. Why?

I landed a great job at an Italian restaurant in the city. As I got more involved, I realised I had a passion for the food scene and loved creating experiences when people dine out.

So, you swapped your degree for a career in hospitality?

Yeah! You meet a lot of people in this industry - it’s where I met my business partners Simon and Paul from the St. Hotel.

They said to me, “We’re planning another adventure, we’d love to have you onboard because you’ve got a great reputation for establishing restaurants.”

And the first Hanoi Hannah was born.

We opened in 2012 in Windsor, partly because we’re all from the area, but also there was a real gap in the market for a great Vietnamese restaurant.

"I got into hospitality early and stuck with it."

Lana loves that MYOB's mobile apps mean she can work on the go
Lana Wilkinson reviews a winter coat
When did you realise you were on to something?

Two weeks after opening, I think it was Valentine’s Day. We were full house…there were kids out the door and it’s been that way ever since.

What do you think has been your secret to success?

Oh, a lot of hard work and perseverance!

But I like to think we look at the whole experience, from the menu, to the design of our venues; the music, everything.

How do you stay on top of it all?

I’m pretty much on the floor, 6 days a week running from venue to venue. Being set up with MYOB from day one and having it available in the cloud gives keeps me informed and in control.

"I love creating an experience when people dine out."

Your staff are a big part of your success. How does MYOB help there?

Our experiences are our trademark, and our staff are incredibly important to the experiences we create.

Having MYOB, Single Touch Payroll, and Deputy makes sure they’re all paid correctly.

Thanks, Nic! So, what’s next for you?

Keep doing what we're doing. Obviously, always evolving, but I think we'd like to open a restaurant in the city.

And I trust MYOB to be with us every step of the way.

"This is an industry I’m really passionate about."

Lana Wilkinson reviews a winter coat

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