Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant

Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant is situated on a three-acre property parallel to pristine Merimbula Lake, adjacent to Wheeler’s Oyster Farm. The Wheeler family purchased the oyster farm in 1982, establishing Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant and Takeaway in 2003. In 2013, Jacqui Smith took over the restaurant and takeaway, and has since developed the very popular Oyster Bar and Café.

Together, the businesses provide a hub for locals and tourists, offering an opportunity to learn about Sapphire Coast oyster farming, through the delivery of the Wheeler’s Oyster Farm Tours. By offering insights into the unique journey of lake-to-plate oysters, and the opportunity to enjoy the farm-to-plate experience, the people behind ‘The Wheeler Experience’ work continuously towards being recognised as a must-see destination, for visitors and locals alike.

Since 2013, Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant has committed to consistent opening hours. Providing reliable hours, matched with a high level of service to customers has resulted in the development of a regular and repeat client base. Building rapport with local residents and suppliers has been fundamental in encouraging ongoing support and patronage from the local community.

As well as regular live music, Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant promotes a ‘Fraction Friday’ special offer during low season, that is popular with locals. In addition to this, staff create special events designed to cater to locals and draw visitors to the region. For example, a series of long table lunches showcasing local produce have been very successful. Similarly, dinners showcasing wines that complement Wheeler’s fresh produce, and include a presentation by the winemaker, are popular events which assist in driving year-round visitation.

Another focus is to collaborate with surrounding businesses to provide an enhanced level of service and experience to guests. A great example of this is the partnership between Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant and the neighbouring motel, The Fairway Motor Inn. Together they offer a stay and dine package, attracting guests from near and far.

The success Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant enjoys is evident through glowing reviews across multiple online platforms. Such reviews encourage people to visit the region to experience what Wheelers offer, with a positive flow-on effect felt by surrounding businesses. For those hoping to replicate Wheelers Seafood Restaurant’s success, owner Jacqui Smith, encourages business owners to ‘run your own race instead of focusing on comparing, stick to what you do and do it well’. Jacqui adds that talking positively about one’s business, even during difficult times, is another key tool for success.

Phone: (02) 6495 6330


Category: Case Studies