May 15, 2020

Local Kindness & Leadership


Paul Walker

Group Manager

Pubs and Metro Hotels

HCC member Palace Hotels has been showing incredible kindness and generosity in supporting our local community.  To inspire and share this story we interviewed Paul Walker from the Metro Group.

Palace Hotel
Corner of George and Hay Street, Chinatown Sydney

How long has Palace Hotel been in Haymarket?

The Palace Hotel Sydney was established in 1877 and has traded under other names such Bridie O’Reileys, Paddy Maguires and the Yardhouse. We changed the name back to its original name in 2012.

During these unprecedented times, how has Palace Hotel managed to keep running?

It isn’t easy but we took advantage of our Hotel General License and have enhanced our Retail off premise options mixing together opportunities to convert hotel stock into cash and accepting other venues stock for sale within our umbrella company of Metro Hotel Group.

Could you please share with us the incredible kindness you have offered recently?

In conjunction with Richard Lee from Absolute Personnel we cook between 200 and 300 meals each Wed and Fri with freshly delivered ingredients from very generous sponsors. None of the food is left overs or frozen protein from pre shut down period – this is all fresh and top quality

How many people have you helped?

Its hard to tell how many individuals but I can confirm to date we have cooked over 1500 meals over the last 4 weeks. There is no end date scheduled for this so as long as sponsors keeping helping out and there is a need, we will do everything we can to keep them pumping out. But the plan is for 6 months until the venues can re-open again and those eating the food can get back to earning an income and supporting themselves and their friends and family.

How did this come about?

Richard from Absolute personnel approached me and asked if I would consider helping those in needs with some food that we could cook from the kitchen – he really was the driver behind this and deserves all the credit –

Any ideas as to how we can encourage other local businesses to support the community?

Not everyone is in a position to assist. Many businesses are doing it tough and they are working through paperwork, laws and financial issues never before seen. But if you have time, and the means to give something to someone that would help with basic needs – please consider the vulnerable people in our community, many from overseas with little support available – we owe it to them as humans to see that we all pull through this stronger together. There is no them or us – good times will come again so we just need to get the support to those who need it now.

How can people contact you if they want to support you?

Our details are available on if you would like to support. Any assistance of bulk uncooked food is appreciated but will need to be co-ordinated with our Chef Andy Yang. We can only accept food supplies from HCCAP certified suppliers that are delivered in accordance with food safety obligations. Now is not the time to skip health protocols. For anyone in need that are doing it really tough… Mental awareness – If anyone needs help or advice – please contact Life Line 13 11 14