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SME SECRETS: Xenos Café, Sydney

08:00am December 19 2023

What’s the secret to running a sustainable business in the hospitality sector, where trends and consumer tastes are constantly shifting? 

For Peter Xenos, who has run Xenos Café in the Sydney suburb of Crows Nest since 1969, there’s really no secret at all.

“You’ve got to love what you’re doing and you’ve got to work hard,” says Xenos. “If you open up a business you’ve got to commit yourself to it and make sure this is what you want to do.”

Xenos arrived in Sydney as an immigrant from Greece in 1963 and within six years had opened a milk bar in Crows Nest selling sandwiches and milkshakes.

“It was a good little business but we were always running out of room,” he recalls. Xenos has expanded over the years to the spacious venue it has today, with plenty of outdoor seating for people to enjoy the Sydney sunshine.

Xenos has banked with Westpac all his life, saying they’ve helped him through the ups and downs that all businesses experience through the years.

“Peter's business is successful because he's really looked after his customers from day one,” says Julie Popovich, business banking manager at Westpac. “If they're not happy, he'll he's going to find out about that and fix it straight away. He treats anyone that he meets like they're his family.”

For Xenos himself, it all comes back to family: “That’s what has kept me going for all these years.” 

Josh Wall is the Head of Video at Westpac Wire. Prior to joining the team, he spent 10 years as a video journalist and documentary filmmaker, most recently as Head of Video for the Guardian Australia. He also worked across numerous News Corp mastheads in Sydney as a presenter, producer, writer and video journalist. Josh is originally from Perth, Western Australia where he began his career by co-creating a video magazine that focused on music and the arts.

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