Renowned restaurateur Morgan Walsh talks wining and dining, business and making her mark on the industry…
Celebrated for creating the most original restaurants the Gold Coast has to offer, including Bonita Bonita, BonBon and Poke Poke, Morgan Walsh is a beloved industry staple. When it comes to creating those special gems, she follows her heart and business savvy earned from working in the industry she’s been passionate about since her childhood.
Each venue has its own unique special touches and themes, from Fufu’s and The Milkman’s Daughter refined but relaxed style to BonBon’s elegant ambience.
Morgan explained, “From a business perspective I realise that the consumer isn’t going to eat the same thing every day, so I try to have different food offerings to cater to this; this is really important with businesses so close to each other and it really pushes me creatively to think outside the box.”
The driving force behind these extraordinary eateries is Morgan’s inspiration dreamt-up from living in her own paradise: the Gold Coast. Even after time away in Melbourne she found herself back in her favourite place in the world, and she believes these sun-drenched shores have a lot to offer creatives and entrepreneurs.
“The Gold Coast for aspiring business owners, creatives and entrepreneurs is a great place to be; I think because people here are a little more laidback, most people are very supportive of those taking risks and providing services and entertainment,” said Morgan.
Since working in hospitality as a child, Morgan has been through her fair share of ups-and- downs in the industry. A thick skin, not indulging in any negative talk and learning from mistakes is key. She noted seeing the public walking in her restaurant’s day-in and day-out is when she knows she’s done something right.
Morgan’s approach to business and life is inspirational and something we should all aspire to: “Be fearless, be brave and give it everything you have. Despite how tough things can get at times I feel looking back at life you’ll be prouder of yourself for giving it a go rather than by playing it safe. Better to try and fail than never try at all.”
Looking back, Morgan divulged, “It was always my dream to own my own restaurant, but I’ve been in this industry since I was a kid and after five years of opening and owning five businesses, it’s time for a change. Along the way I’ve really found I think my true passion, which is design. I’ve always loved getting my hands dirty and being creative. I love beautiful things, I love making beautiful things. I’ve been lucky through the design process of all my businesses to work with some really talented craftsmen and I love observing and analysing and figuring out for myself how to make and structure things. So, the next goal is to really put the time into more design jobs in retail or residential projects.”
Her mantra? “You can do anything, but not everything!”