After 20 years of experience in hospitality, Zach Hiotis had a vision to bring something fresh to the Sydney CBD. In early 2017, Regiment was born, and on the verge of its third anniversary, Zach says the café is continuing to go from strength to strength.
“Regiment is a collective progression of everything I’ve done over the years. I really wanted to bring a higher end offering to the CBD market,” Zach says.
“The aim was to create a mix of a destination café and a traditional CBD café. Something that would cross people’s minds to visit when they came into the city, but that could also meet the fast-paced requirements of city workers.”
Regiment gets its name from its location, sitting on the shoulder of Regimental Square in the heart of the CBD. The pedestrianised area serves as a memorial to the Royal Australian Regiment’s campaigns in Asia from the start of the Korean War in 1950 to the end of the Vietnam War in 1972.
The café uses Veneziano Coffee’s Estate Blend and rotates single origins for its black coffee, something Zach believes is extremely important in a competitive business environment.
“I’ve really seen Sydney grow as black coffee drinkers so one thing we wanted to nail was a really good black. Our coffees are of the highest grade,” he says.
“I’m super excited with the relationship I have with Veneziano. I can see myself growing with them and customer reception to the coffee has been phenomenal.”
Staying ahead of the curve is imperative to Zach and he says he is always exploring new trends, products, and technologies to improve the café.
“I was the first to bring Übermilk to Australia and I saw the [Victoria Arduino] Mythos 2 grinder trend really early. Our latest installation is the La Marzocco KB90. All these things collectively speed up our operation and increase quality,” Zach says.
“Running an effective café isn’t only about equipment though – it’s a combination of being progressive, using great coffee, and having a strong team.”
In terms of food, Regiment has a commercial kitchen and offers a full breakfast and lunch menu that caters to on-the-go office workers and those looking to sit inhouse.
“We are quite selective in who we partner with and source artisanal, specialty producers. We see our suppliers as more of a collaboration and we think that translates to really good food,” Zach says.
Regiment’s layout was designed by Sydney-based business Porter and Maple and was shortlisted for an Eat Drink and Design Award in 2017.
“Regiment has a small footprint but maximises space. Within a 45-square-metre layout we’ve got some of the most impressive espresso bar concepts, a full commercial kitchen, and seating for 34 people,” Zach says.
With Regiment almost three years in, Zach says he is still enjoying the challenges of hospitality and is looking forward to seeing the business continue to grow.
“We’ve got a couple of exciting plans for the future. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I can honestly say I still love doing this every day. I get a real kick out of seeing customers leaving happy and satisfied.”
333 George Street, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000
Open Monday to Friday 7am to 4pm
(02) 9299 4001