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PRINT POST APPROVED PP: 255003/07314 ISSN 1442-9942

Restaurant Catering DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014 $6.95 GST incl.

BEING BEPPI’S Marc Polese reveals the secrets to keeping Beppi’s at the forefront of the Sydney restaurant scene for so many years “It’s all about product, preparation, planning and delivery. The guys in the kitchen are committed to the best produce, and keeping it consistent.” Wisdom from Bob O’Keeffe, Lifetime Achiever and BCEC general manager

<The recipe for successful business pitching, by our top caterers, page 21 <How the best back-of-house software pushes our buttons, page 42 <How to increase prices without losing customers, page 11 <Best-of-the-best product guide, page 25 Official Journal of Restaurant & Catering


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December 2013/January 2014 $6.95 GST incl.

In this issue... Upfront 4


From the Association John Hart on good things the new government is doing, and Matteo Pignatelli on what 2014 holds

News & events The I Love FOOD Awards are back! We have a new president; and more …

Wisdom 11

Rising fortunes


What I’ve learnt


On the pitch

14 COVER STORY Staying true

Beppi’s Italian restaurant remains a Sydney institution in an everchanging culinary climate. How? By staying true to its founding principles

When it is often the only way to ensure a restaurant stays viable, why is it so difficult to increase prices on a menu?

Restaurant & Catering Queensland’s Lifetime Achiever and Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre GM Bob O’Keeffe on the three Ps What sells in a business pitch? Some of our top caterers reveal what wins them work in competitive tenders





Stuff 24

New products


Restaurant & Catering magazine’s annual best of the best product guide

The most innovative new stuff

From food to fittings to furniture, who are the leading suppliers to the hospitality industry?


Pushing buttons


Best cellars



Where to find the best back-of-house software for your restaurant Is maintaining a wine cellar a good service for your guests, or just commercially impossible? How Daniel Giordani purchased and refurbished Pulp Kitchen, a popular Canberra establishment



From the Association

Get down to business Despite press reports to the contrary, we’ve seen the new Federal Government has hit the ground running


t should now be clear to all concerned that the time between the federal election and the first sittings of Parliament had been very productive. The legislation, announcements and debate shows that there had been a lot going on. Restaurant & Catering had been assisting with some of this work. It is surprising how quickly the outcomes have been put into practice and the change within Government has occurred. Possibly the most significant change for restaurateurs and caterers will be the inclusion of the Small Business Minister in Cabinet as a stand-alone minister. Both of the aspects of the change are important. The weight of Treasury behind small business is very important to effect the change required. Bruce Bilson, the Small Business Minister, is also a very effective operator. Restaurant & Catering also sponsored the Tourism Minister, the Hon. Andrew Robb’s first address to the tourism industry. The Minister reinforced his long articulated position that tourism and hospitality (most importantly) was one of the five strengths which Australia should develop. It is fair to say that the first three months of the Abbott Government has been a very busy period and business is the likely beneficiary of much of this effort. Happy holidays! John Hart CEO, Restaurant & Catering

Restaurant & Catering’s mission: To lead and represent the Australian restaurant and catering industry.

Contact details Restaurant & Catering Australia Address: Level 3, 154 Pacific Highway, St Leonards NSW 2064 Tel: 1300 722 878 Fax: 1300 722 396 Email: Web: President: Matteo Pignatelli (VIC) Senior Vice President: Mark Scanlan (NSW) Junior Vice President: Kevin Gulliver (QLD) Treasurer: Richard Harper (VIC) Chief Executive Officer: John Hart R&C is a federation of the following associations, working together on national issues on behalf of their members. Restaurant & Catering SA Ph: 8351 7837. Fax: (08) 8351 7839 Email: President: Michael Sfera Chief Executive Officer: Sally Neville

Restaurant & Catering NSW Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: 1300 722 396 Email: President: Mark Scanlan Restaurant & Catering QLD Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: 1300 722 396 Email: President: Con Castrisos Restaurant & Catering ACT Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: 1300 722 396 Email: President: Malisa Reggente Restaurant & Catering Vic Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: 1300 722 396 Email: President: Matteo Pignatelli Restaurant & Catering WA Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: 1300 722 396 Email: President: Warwick Lavis

Restaurant & Catering magazine is published under licence on behalf of Restaurant & Catering by Engage Custom Media, Suite 4.17 55 Miller Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009 Editorial Director: Rob Johnson Creative Director: Tim Donnellan Sub-editor: Kerryn Ramsey Contributors: Sharon Aris, Ben Canaider, Danielle Gusmaroli, Rob Johnson, Susanna Nelson, Kerryn Ramsey, Chris Sheedy Commercial Director: Mark Brown Sales Director: Adam Cosgrove Sales Manager: Anna Banno Direct: (02) 9660 6995 ext 502 Fax: (02) 9518 5600 Mobile: 0433 223 100 Email: For all editorial, subscription and advertising enquiries, ph: 1300 722 878 Print Post approved PP: 2255003/06505, ISSN 1442-9942 ©2013 Engage Custom Media. Views expressed in Restaurant & Catering magazine are not necessarily those of Restaurant & Catering or that of the publisher, editor or Engage Custom Media. Printed by Webstar

8,516 - CAB Audited as at September, 2013 4 RESTAURANT & CATERING


Restaurant Catering

The crystal ball? What does next year hold? Well, all the signs are it will at least be better than last year.


hope by this time of the year you are all far to busy to read my article! I know I am bordering on too busy to write it! The run up to Christmas has shown some real signs of strength in the market. While it is likely that it will not be an outstanding result compared to last year, all of the signs are there for a stronger 2014. It is now surprise that most of us would rather put 2013 behind us. It was such an unpredictable twelve months. The political environment was most likely more a reflection than the cause, however, the two changes of Prime Minister and the very shaky end to the minority Government really did make for a difficult environment. It seems from the experience in Victoria at least that 2014 should bring with it a far more positive environment. There is likely to be far less flux in the policy environment and the fundamentals of tourist, household and corporate spend should firm throughout the year. Tourism is likely to return strongly with the China boom about to hit. The Restaurant Australia campaign that has been launch by Tourism Australia will help a lot here too! This marketing effort will profile the quality of Australia’s food and wine experiences. This will hopefully attract overseas visitors that will spend more in restaurants. Here’s to a great 2014. Matteo Pignatelli President, Restaurant & Catering


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News &events I Love FOOD Awards return The I Love FOOD Awards are back for 2014


ifeStyle FOOD has announced the return of the I Love FOOD Awards following the increasing success of the initiative in 2010 and 2012. Last time the awards ran, they received 134,000 votes (up from 100,000 in 2010), and saw more than 9500 restaurants nominated—25 per cent of all registered restaurants in Australia. Winning one of the categories in the I Love FOOD awards offers enormous opportunities for marketing your restaurant or cafe, says Dominic Criniti, whose family owns Criniti’s, the 2012 winner of favourite Italian restaurant. “Straight away it gave us great recognition,” he says. “A lot of people used to think that because we opened multiple venues we were just another chain restaurant, but to win the award like that and be able to promote that it was still a family business, it really started to show our clients what we were capable of.” Certainly, getting involved in the awards means you can piggyback on some heavy promotion on subscription TV. In 2012, the I Love FOOD Awards were heavily promoted on-air through a campaign across the LifeStyle Channels. It was also supported off-air by nationally distributed Avant cards, and print advertising. On top of that, says Dominic, “We marketed it through the website. It also gave us the right to do an ‘I Love Criniti’s’ logo, so that’s become like the famous ‘I love New York’ brand. We turned it into a logo for us, and it’s become like that symbol, and it’s just worked so well for our brand.” The I Love FOOD Awards are Australia’s largest people’s choice

Criniti’s, Woolloomooloo, NSW

restaurant awards, encouraging diners to vote for their favourite restaurants in 27 categories with one overall winner. Everyone who votes will go into the draw to win $10,000 and the results will be collated into a comprehensive online Eat Out Guide. The winning restaurant will take home $5000 cash and a fully funded television ad campaign on the LifeStyle FOOD Channel. In December, an online kit for trade will be made available to all Australian restaurants, in preparation for voting to start on January 13 next year. Voting closes on March 22, and national winners will be announced online at the end of March, with their ad campaign beginning mid-April. Find out more at 

RCA Board appoints new national president The Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) national board has appointed its first Victorian president to take the top job in 20 years. Matteo Pignatelli was elected by his peers at the R&CA board meeting on Monday, October 28. The Ivanhoe resident says that he is honoured to be able to give back to the industry that has served him well. “Who would have thought that from my humble beginnings of making pizzas with Dad every weekend from the age of nine, I would be here today? I promise to represent and unite the industry to speak one loud voice and to challenge those who put barriers and hurdles before us,” Pignatelli said.

Matteo Pignatelli Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO John Hart says it’s great to keep the board fresh with a new national president elected every three years. “I have confidence that Mr Pignatelli will be able to rise above the challenges that the industry is currently facing with businesses

continuing to close—not on just Sunday’s but for good. Wage costs are now on average 45 per cent of revenues—this is unsustainable. At the current rate of growth— they will rise to 50 per cent by 2015—this can’t go on. But the association is well resourced, active, responsive and providing a better service to our membership during these testing times.” Pignatelli has run Matteo’s restaurant in North Fitzroy over the past 19 years. He now serves as chairman of R&CA Victorian Council, president of the national R&CA board and trustee of R&CA Education Foundation. 


News &events R&CA continues penalty rate fight Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) has lodged an appeal to a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission seeking to overturn the Decision of Deputy President Gooley to not make significant changes to the Restaurant Industry Award. It comes after the association made an application under the Modern Awards Review Process in 2012, which highlighted deteriorating trading conditions since the making of the Restaurant Industry Award 2010. The Restaurant & Catering application sought to make changes to penalty rates, classification structure and payment of wages under the Restaurant Industry Award. However, the Decision by the Fair Work Commission Deputy President Gooley on 10 October 2013 rejected all substantive changes proposed by the industry. Restaurant & Catering CEO John Hart believes he has no choice other than to appeal. “The association does not accept the findings by the Commission that claim the Restaurant Industry Award is meeting the Modern Awards Objective and operating effectively without technical problems or anomalies,” said Mr Hart. “The Appeal will ask the Fair Work Commission to reconsider the adverse impact of penalty rates to the sector including the impact on productivity and employment costs that are forcing restaurants to close. “We believe the Commission has failed to take into account the operational requirements of the industry and its labour intensive nature. “Restaurants and café businesses become commercially unviable if they are penalised for operating during core trading times. The Fair Work Commission has now set down a hearing before a Full Bench on the 18 December 2013 in order to determine the Appeal. 

2014 Awards For Excellence Catering Award nominations are open The 2014 Savour Australia Restaurant and Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence Catering Nominations are now open! The Awards for Excellence is the most dependable and authoritative guide to Australia’s best restaurants, caterers and cafe operators. With more than 500 trained judges and 1500 entrants, the Awards for Excellence has set the national benchmark. They are the most important and respected industry awards, specifically designed to objectively recognise and promote industry best practice. For a nomination form please go to www.restaurantcater. and click on the ‘Awards for Excellence’, then the ‘Nomination Forms’ tabs or call 1300 722 396. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enter and nominate your establishment!

Working on the business Work on the business, not in the business. That’s universally accepted as sound business advice, be it for the expansion of a large bank or achieving the full potential of a restaurant. But it’s also the advice most neglected. No matter how good the intention is to set time aside to work on the business, there is always something in the restaurant that needs urgent attention. And it’s the restaurant owner who is usually most capable to sort out the urgency. However, just as distance makes the heart grow fonder, “making the time to work away from the restaurant makes the business stronger”. That’s the advice from Mark Scanlan who with Mark Dickey established Sydney’s Garfish restaurants in September 2002, with the opening of the Kirribilli restaurant. Garfish Crows Nest followed in January 2004, and Garfish Manly opened in October 2006. The two Marks incorporated technology into their business from

Mike Palmer (left) and Mark Scanlan.

the start, being one of the first to bring cameras into the kitchen to showcase the artistry and skill that occurs during the preparation of the menu. Where they have seen other significant benefit to their business is by incorporating simple and easily accessible technologies that enable them and their team to telework. It is well-charted territory, with Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) having created an industryspecific Digital Business Kit on teleworking, and the Department of Communications providing a free and easy-to-follow Teleworking Kit. They can now be in all three restaurants while actually having the time and dedication to work on the entire business. “Teleworking allows us to have all the facts to hand on every restaurant, without us actually having to be immersed in the day’s activities,” says Mike Palmer. By teleworking, the owners of Outback Steakhouse have given themselves the ability to set aside time to work on the business, conscientiously working with their teams to improve the operations on a weekly basis. They do so by working away from the rush that is every restaurant. Teleworking can be different for every restaurant. It is merely the ability to perform one’s task from outside of the typical office, particularly when another venue proves to be more productive for the business and/or the individual. All that is required is connectivity, and the appropriate devices that enable the tasks to be performed. The team mostly rely on their tablet computers, laptops and mobile phones, using Skype to even video conference with their restaurant teams. Teleworking results in significant improvements in productivity. The key is to embrace it, try it and benefit from it. 

What’s on

Dec 2013 – Jan 2014




Gift vouchers, written out to a dollar amount and valid for 12 months, are a great way for customers to fill their Christmas stockings.






Beer, schnitzels and oompah bands are all on tap at Adelaide’s Schützenfest on Jan 10-11.

Voting opens for the 2014 I Love FOOD Awards! Visit to get involved—and for your chance to win $25,000 in prizes.


Crush festival in Adelaide Hills is a one-day tasting extravaganza with 30-plus cellar doors open for business.


A chance to dine at Spanish Michelin-starred restaurants for less than 40 euros at the Madrid Gastrofestival on Jan 24-Feb 9.


Crowds are queuing at the Tasmanian Gourmet Food Company stall at the Falls Festival in Byron Bay. Festival kicks off in Lorne on Dec 28.






Hobart’s waterfront dishes up The Taste of Tasmania with local produce and cool wines on Dec 28-Jan 3.

No rest for the wicked! Fragile customers are flocking to restaurants and cafes for a New Year’s Day recovery.

Boatrocker, Golden Axe and Cavalier Courage are just some of the many brews available at the Ballarat Beer Festival.

Book early—if you love cycling and cuisine, join the Tour de France Champs Elysées VIP hospitality packages in July.



Special degustations, waterfront views, fireworks extravaganzas… Australian restaurants offer spectacular New Year’s Eve packages.

Sydney Festival starts today with foody treats like So Frenchy So Chic in the Park—a feast of Gallic food, wine and music on Jan 18.


Post-Christmas sales have become an Australian shopping tradition, so visit kitchenware and decor stores for bargain deals.

Urban Provider’s Fast & Festive Christmas Passion class in WA’s Leederville was an instant sell-out. See future offerings at

It’s customers’ last chance to shop for the big day so make sure your food products and cookbooks are on display.

Give it good—donate your excess food to OzHarvest, now in Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Merry Christmas, R&CA members!


Ten days til Christmas—coffeeand-muffin deals and lunch specials can keep frazzled patrons calm and re-energised.


Discover how to customise candy at the Sticky Rock Candy demonstrations at The Rocks in Sydney this month.



Meet and greet with wine suppliers during the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento, California, on Jan 28-30.


Nominations are open until mid-March for the main 2014 ABC Delicious Produce Awards; finalists will be announced in May.

BYO picnic rug and mozzie repellant, then select gourmet treats at the outdoor Moonlight Cinema all summer long.



La Luna’s Adrian Richardson is the star chef at the Premium Food & Wine Dinner in San Francisco, all part of G’day USA.

Masterclasses cover cheese, olive oil, wine and beer at the Harvest Festival at McLaren Vale, SA on Jan 16-18.


Stefano de Pieri’s soulful cuisine is a perfect complement to Mildura’s Murray River International Music Festival on Jan 20-Feb 32


The regional Food & Wine Expo hits the Gold Coast on Jan 31Feb 2.


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Rising fortunes When it is often the only way to ensure a restaurant stays viable, why is it so difficult to increase prices on a menu? Whatever the reason, you’ve got to do it some time. Here’s how to do it well. By Chris Sheedy


t is, of course, absolutely understandable that restaurant owners are nervous about raising prices on their menus. After all, diners are notoriously price sensitive and the competition is as fierce as it has ever been. But still some restaurants and cafes are able to manage price increases very well, keeping their businesses healthily afloat and ensuring their owners and managers receive a regular and respectable income. The income issue is an especially important driver of price increases, says Dr Greg Chapman, CEO of Empower Business Solutions. “Often in the restaurant industry, the wage of the owner is simply what’s left over after everybody else has been paid,” he says. “But this is no way to run a business. You have to know what you’re worth and build that in to the pricing structure.” But when rising menu prices are perceived to send customers scurrying out the door, how does a business manage such an increase? “First of all, have a look around your restaurant and check out the decor,” Chapman says. “Customers take visual pricing cues from the decor as soon as they walk in. Is your restaurant looking tired and can it be freshened up? Experience is very important in a restaurant and customers will accept higher prices for a better quality of experience. “Next, think about detail. You have got plenty of fixed costs including produce, power, staff, lease, etc, but providing a little extra service—a welcome drink or a sorbet between meals or better trained staff—doesn’t have to cost much. The great value of such detail, though, is that it raises the expectations of the diners

and justifies a slightly higher cost. The price simply represents the wonderful dining experience you’re offering.” Once you’ve got the atmosphere and the details sorted out, check out other similar businesses in your location. What sort of prices are they charging? There will be an upper and a lower end of what it is possible to charge, and you need to ensure your price increase doesn’t go beyond where it should be. Whatever you do, don’t simply apply a standard price increase across every product on the menu, says Howard Tinker, restaurant marketing consultant and author of More Bums On Seats. “Don’t just whack 10 per cent on top of everything on the menu,” he says. “That just trumpets your price increase to customers. You have to be smarter

than that. Essentially you have to reconstruct your menu so that people read it in a less price-conscious manner. If you have all of your meals and ingredients listed on the left and prices in a line down the right then customers will simply read down the price list until they get to an amount they’re happy to pay and only then will they look at what the meal contains. Instead, place the price at the end of each description so customers are more likely to read what is in each meal first.” Chapman agrees that a knowledge of the psychology behind the reading of a menu is immensely powerful. Many restaurants are now simply writing a number, for instance ‘24’, instead of the full dollar price (in this case ‘$24.00’) because the smaller set of digits and

A little bit of extra effort in service can justify price rises to customers. RESTAURANT & CATERING 11


lack of a dollar sign helps with the perception that the meal costs less. In other words, ‘24’ looks less expensive than ‘$24.00’, Chapman says. “Some eateries will also utilise a higher-priced chef ’s special or signature dish as what is known as a ‘price anchor’,” Chapman says. “The restaurant doesn’t believe many customers will actually purchase the dish—it is simply on the menu to make everything else look cheaper.” Speaking of menus, it can pay handsome dividends to create a new special menu every month, Tinker says. It might be themed around a country— an Italian or French theme, for instance—or perhaps around produce that is in season. Whatever the theme, such a changing menu surprises diners and at the same time makes it far more difficult for people to compare prices to other establishments. A higher price is also justified by the fact that it’s a


special menu that will only exist for one month. It has an air of exclusivity. “If you’re offering burgers and fries or fish and chips then people have a pre-conceived idea of how much it should cost,” Tinker says. “But if you’re offering a unique and slightly unusual meal with the added twist that it won’t be available in a few weeks from now, it seems of greater value.” Every restaurant manager should have an intimate understanding of the exact cost of producing every plate on the menu, Tinker says. That way the plates with the highest profit margins can be marketed to diners more powerfully—perhaps highlighted on the menu or made in a unique fashion so they become known as signature dishes. If more of those specific dishes are sold then it’s the same result as a price rise but without the price rise. Of course, the other way to increase revenue is to lower cost of production

of each plate. This includes negotiating with suppliers, closely controlling stock to reduce waste and generally being smarter about what is being spent. Once you’ve got this right, the only move left is to lift prices. “If price rises are going to be done well then you have to cherry-pick where you’re going to increase prices on the menu rather than doing it across the board,” Tinker says. “And there’s no need to communicate these price rises to customers because that simply offers them a chance to complain and to broadcast your price rises on online review forums.” But don’t feel guilty about doing it, because “no matter how you do it, you have to find a way to increase prices every now and then. After all, if your only competitive advantage in your market is the fact that you’re the cheapest restaurant around then you’re probably in trouble.” 

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Beppiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Italian restaurant remains a Sydney institution in an ever-changing culinary climate. How? By staying true to its founding principles. By Andy Kollmorgen 14 RESTAURANT & CATERING




t’s been a while since Sinatra had dinner at Beppi’s restaurant in the Darlinghurst section of Sydney, but the vibe in the dining room doesn’t seem to have changed much. Since opening its doors in 1956, the Sydney landmark has evolved slowly and carefully, favouring incremental upkeep rather than noticeable change. The atmosphere is calm and intimate and, like the cuisine, understated. Beppi’s likes to make it look easy, perhaps even nonchalant, but a restaurant doesn’t stay so dependable for so long without making a point of it. The original decor was standard Italian kitsch complete with red-and-white checked tablecloths. Now the tones are softer and subtler, with an ambiance that calls for good conversation. Minor refurbishments have occurred here and there, but there have been no radical changes to the feel of the place, or what’s on the menu, since Robert Menzies was running the country. As far as founder and owner Beppi Polese (below), his wife Norma and his son Marc (opposite page) are aware, Beppi’s is the oldest continuously owned restaurant in Sydney, and probably in Australia. Keeping things the same amid a restaurant scene that’s gone global and weathered the rise of foodie culture hasn’t always been easy. It has, however, turned out to be good strategy. =

“We have to be really careful here,” Marc says. “When you come to Beppi’s, you’re expecting something. If you move away from that expectation too quickly you’re going to disappoint people.” Among those whom Beppi and Marc have sought not to disappoint over the years (aside from Sinatra in the mid-1970s) have been the Packers (Kerry, Frank and James) and, more recently, the pop singer Pink. Beppi’s is not big on social media strategies, but Marc didn’t mind that Pink recently tweeted that Beppi’s is her new favourite restaurant. Positive word of mouth continues to bring new customers through the door, but much of the restaurant’s core customer base is multi-generational; the sons and daughter of longtime regulars have become regulars themselves. Marc is pretty sure the long-term loyalty comes from continuing to pay attention to what counts, and from appealing directly to the palate. “We focus on the flavour and the ingredients, not so much on decoration and presentation. I think it’s difficult to bring Italian food to the level regarded as haute cuisine by the aficionados, and it may not be a good idea to try. Our philosophy really hasn’t changed since my dad founded the place. The food is just sort of honest, and we’ve maintained that. We don’t have a lot of competition in that space.” The Beppi’s philosophy is deeply rooted in its namesake’s slow and delib16 RESTAURANT & CATERING

erate rise as a restaurateur—and in his humble village roots in the hardscrabble Friuli region of Italy. In the food culture in which Beppi was raised, nothing went to waste, and his restaurant is the culmination of a career that has had a distinctly old-world arc, one in which frugality and fortitude were required virtues. He started in Italy as a dishwasher at age 14, became a waiter, then worked his way up to head waiter and continued to develop his understanding of the business at restaurants and hotel dining rooms throughout Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome and Switzerland. (There are many memories, such as the time Beppi approached a young writer named Ernest Hemingway, who was furiously scribbling away at a back table at a restaurant in Rome. The master, whose earlier stories frequently feature waiters, brusquely gestured for more wine.) Beppi’s long apprenticeship was put on hold during World War II, when he was imprisoned at an Austrian labour camp, but quickly resumed pace when the war ended. Marc describes his dad's dedication to his career as “relentless”. Beppi’s recollections of the bygone mid-20th century world are wistful but not sentimental. “We used to debone the quail and pheasant and peel the fruit in the dining room. All the preparation was done in front of the diners. You feel good being able to cook for a customer in front of them. It’s a nice feeling.” Beppi also made the rounds at a

number of Sydney restaurants (and managed a dining room in Wagga Wagga) before opening his own place, but all that experience hardly made the leap to ownership stress-free. “I had to borrow 4500 pounds at 12 per cent interest and get another 1000 pounds from a friend. When I bought this place I took a risk. I always had to be sure to make enough money to pay my loan.” It took him three years to get a licence to sell alcohol (he was rejected twice), and that wasn’t the only bureaucratic hurdle he encountered along the way. His English wasn’t so good at the time, and prejudice against new arrivals was not unheard of. In the early days a three-course meal cost four shillings and six pence. Beppi drove a cab during the day and ran the restaurant at night. When it came to establishing his restaurant’s culture and fixing its identity, Beppi didn’t rush. “It took me 12 years to introduce the types of food I was experienced with, to add things like calamari, sardines and mussels to the menu. People weren’t used to it. I learned not to tell them what it was. Then they liked it.” Allowing your restaurant to grow organically is probably not something a restaurateur can get away with anymore. Or at least it’s not an approach that would fit in with what’s been going on around the neighbourhood since the 1990s or so. The rise of dedicated restaurant districts—the dense stretch along Sydney’s Circular Quay, for

instance—has been a challenge, Marc says. “You can really get smashed by an oversupply of dining options out there, and be kind of forgotten for a while. You definitely have your ups and downs when you’ve been in business as long as we have, but you just have to sort of

“We focus on the flavour and the ingredients, not so much on decoration and presentation. I think it’s difficult to bring Italian food to the level regarded as haute cuisine by the aficionados, and it may not be a good idea to try.” Marc Polese, Beppi's, Sydney

ride these periods out. It’s probably not a secret to any restaurateur that serving lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and dinner on Saturday and Sunday for 57 years can be gruelling, even more so if you have to worry about bringing in business. Fortunately we’ve had a loyal customer base to draw from. Dad’s seen trends come and go. The main thing is to stick to your knitting without

knitting the same old sock all the time.” In addition to the increasing number of tables in search of customers since Sydney came into its own as a dining destination, the options have also increased along the global culinary spectrum. “In the 1950s and for a long time after, restaurants in Sydney were generally either Italian or Chinese,” Marc says. “Now you could walk to 10 different cuisines from here.” The diversified dining landscape means more opportunities for diners as well as staff, but Beppi’s appears to be a bit of a lucky outlier when it comes to keeping good people on board. Marc acknowledges that turnover is an issue, but some head chefs at Beppi’s have stuck around for as long as 15 and even 30 years. At the same time, though, the restaurant has fuelled the competition, serving as a springboard for more than a few restaurateurs in greater Sydney with their own take on Italian fare. The knack for keeping staff may be more than just luck. “We treat people like family, and I think that extends to our customers in the dining room as well,” Marc says. A loyal and long-term stream of customers and a stellar reputation are things you can’t make happen overnight, but is it time to modernise the marketing plan just in case people need to be reminded? Marc is thinking about it. The Beppi’s website is well designed and informative, but maybe the promise of lovingly crafted, unpretentious

From far left: Beppi, Marc and Norma Polese in the restaurant's earliest days; the main dining room and private dining options.

food every time you show up needs to be delivered through more than just the good word of committed fans. “I wonder whether we should advertise,” Marc says. In the meantime, the rise of review sites like Urban Spoon and TripAdvisor has been a plus, as has the growing sophistication, and rising expectations, of the dining public. Marc’s glad to see the monolithic power of the food press give way to a more balanced, grassroots view. “It’s a much fairer way of doing it, because there really should be more than one source of opinion, especially since the public is more informed than ever these days.” That doesn’t mean Beppi’s will be annoying customers with digital reminders or otherwise invading their personal space. “We don’t send emails or SMS people when it’s their birthday,” Marc says. “That just doesn’t seem like a good fit with what we’re about. What we’re offering here is unapologetically traditional. That’s who we are and that's what we are, and I really don’t see that changing.” And for Beppi’s’ many devout followers, even the smallest change can be hard to accept. “We took cannelloni off the menu 15 years ago, but people still ask if we have cannelloni.”  RESTAURANT & CATERING 17

What I’ve learnt


O'Keeffe The R&C Lifetime Achiever and Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre general manager on product, preparation and planning


t the Convention Centre, we have a food side, audio-visual operations, logistics, marketing and sales. We have 26 permanent chefs, five apprentices, 100 casual staff. Overall, there are around 200 permanents in the building, and 400 casuals. It’s a busy place.

In 1992 Brisbane was a great place to come to. Lots of people wanted to work for us. We could pick really good people. There were six of use who came up from Sydney. It was a nice spread of people with skills and experience. We challenged everything—the way things were done; can you do it better?

We have a focus on personalised service. Our director of customer services is the client’s contact. Sixty-five per cent of our business here is repeat business. There are people who come back with different events. That client gets a VIP badge. They can get a free coffee and pastry and everyone knows that they are important. We have clients who have a monthly breakfast, so the chef works out a series of menus for them and it keeps it fresh.

Sometimes we do kitchen lunches and tours of the kitchen. If people come to preview the menus for their next conference, we take them into the kitchen. Here, they’re greeted by the executive chef and maybe if some hot pies are coming out of the oven, the client gets to taste the pies. In the production kitchen if Peking duck is coming out, they taste that. People just love it. They they see the commitment to making food great. It’s that personal approach that makes the difference.

It’s all about product, preparation, planning and delivery. The guys in the kitchen are committed to the best produce, keeping it consistent, We send them a survey so the fillet stakes are all the and if anything is rated same size, all cooked exactly as less than good or the same. not exceptional, they

get a call about what the issues were. Then we talk to staff and make adjustments to the systems.

Our biggest single event was 4500 people. But then our chef said ‘that’s just nine-by-500 person functions’. So we broke it up into areas and set up kitchen in the three exhibition halls.

Once an event is over our client manager rings up to see if all was okay. We send them a survey and if anything is rated as less than good or not exceptional, they get a call about what the issues were. Then we talk to staff and make adjustments to the systems. People love it if they have an issue and they get a phone call, letter and explanation and a result in a week. Then they’ll book again next year. Ninetytwo per cent rate us as excellent.

It’s never the same every day. It’s total concentration on that event, then five days later it’s over, and it’s onto the next. Our menu structure always has a combination of four choices so no-one gets the same thing twice. When we opened an extension we did a staff conference for two days—half the staff came one day, half the next. We treated them like convention delegates. That got everyone so excited.

We tried electronic surveys and the responses dropped from 60 per cent returns to 30 per cent. So we went

We’re part of a group, AEG Ogden, and you’re always trying to do better than others in the group. 



There was a journalist in the early days who didn’t give us a good review. I had it stuck on my wall for a long time. Things like that challenge you. I’d ring him up every so often and tell him about our big events.

back to me signing the questionnaire and the return rate went back up. We also do a big client survey every couple of years. We always ask what is the most important feature? Audio-visual was more important than food and beverage, though both were important.



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On the pitch What sells in a business pitch? Some of our top caterers reveal what wins them work in competitive tenders. By Danielle Gusmaroli


tanding before a dozen riveted Woolworths executives on a blustery spring afternoon, entrepreneur Raymond Hekeik delivered a speech with gusto and passion. Besuited members of the procurement team listened intently when gathered in the boardroom on the ground floor of the four-storey building in Bella Vista, Sydney. “It won’t be rosy,” he said, wrapping up. “I’m not going to solve all your problems overnight. I will need three months to embed my team, there will be teething problems and resistance; people don’t like change,” he warned. “But for the first two weeks, I want to speak to six people from different facets of the building every day at 3pm to tell us what we’re doing right and what we’re getting wrong.” Those final words, said after a long slide show of glossy foods and company pledges, clinched the deal for mediumsized caterers Caterez, competing against 14 other tenders. Woolworths’ executives felt 44-yearold Raymond’s passion to the core and believed he fervently wanted the contract and, more importantly, that he wanted it to work. Raymond and his brother Stephen, who set up the business in north-west Sydney nine years ago, believe their deep-rooted passion for what they do gives them the edge over large corporate caterers in a competitive pitch and is what landed them the deal to serve 3300 Woolies staff at the Sydney head offices. “I don’t call this work; it’s a lifestyle,” says Raymond. “I love it.” The key to success for medium-sized caterers differs widely with each company citing their own magic mix of what works when it comes to knocking the big guns offside. And when competing for business, it’s imperative they get the formula right.

Georgina Damm of Damm Fine Foods says being bespoke gives you an edge.

Trigger words and phrases that often spring up include flexibility, originality, personal and intimate treatment of customers and swift ability to adapt to change. Medium-sized businesses are well suited to catering since they adjust quicker to ever-changing conditions compared to larger corporate caterers and are more open to the absorption of new knowledge. Not being tied to any bureaucratic inertia, it is typically easier to respond to the marketplace quickly. Caterez has grown from four staff to a team of more than 50 in less than five years and with a portfolio boasting clients such as Westpac, Reserve Bank of Australia, NAB, and more recently Nestlé. “I’ve been in the food service industry since I was 12 years old,” Raymond says. Raymond and Stephen, who is the business partner as well as executive

chef, insist on employing “people with a passion in their eyes”. Enthusiasm breeds innovation, they say, and in turn an ability to stay ahead of their game. Every Christmas their mother will cook for all the staff at Raymond’s family home in Sydney. “We’re a huge family. I’m not a stubborn man who thinks he knows everything. I like people who are open to change,” he says. “Woolworths is a corporate firm, yet we provide creative food for them—pork rolls, Vietnamese baguettes… Variety keeps people interested. Who wants to eat the same food at the same place every day?” For Melbourne-based caterers Damm Fine Food, its unique selling proposition is emblazoned in the heading across its website: “Great food is at the heart of what we do.” They insist on sourcing food RESTAURANT & CATERING 21


from seasonal ingredients that are locally produced and not transported across the country or from around the globe. Working during the October bank holiday, founder Georgina Damm says: “When you love what you do, there’s no such thing as a holiday.” She releases a hearty crackle. “It’s crucial to be able to turn things around quickly. We get our business from being good, dedicated and being available.” She adds: “I’m a big believer in organic but that doesn’t mean it’s a better product. I’m more concerned where it’s grown from and how far it’s travelled.” Georgina, who set up the business as an event catering firm in 1996, believes getting on well with suppliers helps her business remain “unique” and “bespoke”—her biggest attraction. “It means we get the most up-to-date product. We get to sample first the native plants like miniature iceberg lettuces, which only grow certain times of the

year, the micro herbs and native seeds. By the time the trend is over, larger companies are catching on.” Georgina adds: “People come to companies like ours if they want originality. We have to think outside the box when it comes to styling food, lighting, decor, staff uniforms and reflecting the needs of the client. We’re not bound by policy and layers of structure like the big corporate firms so we’re more flexible.” Leading South Australian caterer Blanco Food & Events knows only too well the benefits of being intimate with customers and clients. Principals Steve Blanco and Christopher Horner are backed by a professional team that can cater for 10 to 5000 guests. Steve Horner says: “The biggest advantage we have over the big guys is intimacy. We make sure we’re at the coal face of every event. We don’t send

in layers of managers, it’s Steve and me every time. Our clients get personal attention to detail.” Christopher adds their ability to draw from and transfer the expertise they operate at their own restaurants, namely Adelaide Zoo and the Botanic Gardens Restaurant, means clients have faith in them to deliver quality catering to mass audiences. “It’s what helped us win this year’s World Lawn Bowl, attended by 9000, and the catering contract for the worldwide launch of the Penfolds Magill Estate’s Grange wine,” says Christopher. But perhaps the real key to success, he insists, is to keep your enemies close. “Don’t work against the big boys— work with them,” he says. “Whenever they are too busy to take on an event, they’ll pass it to us. We’re fiercely competitive and good at what we do but they don’t see us as a threat or a big corporate animal like them.” 

Do you manage or own a food business? - Are you aware that under State Legislation, the Food Safety Supervisor is legally liable to ensure all staff know how to handle food safely? - CFT ‘s Online food safety training will ensure that your food, your customers and business are safe from food poisoning and the legal ramifications. - Cover your legal liability by having all staff complete this FREE INTRODUCTION to food safety.

Begin training here Phone 1300 665 633 For more information please contact us: / email: / Tel 1300 665 633


New products

Dilmah’s Refreshing New Ice Tea Range Takes Off in Qantas Lounges Around Australia Dilmah is excited to announce the launch of its refreshing new ice tea concentrate range now available in Qantas Club and Business Lounges Australia wide.

Made using only the freshest tea leaves, harvested and processed at the Dilmah Tea Garden in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, this new range is the only ice tea available in Australia that is made from 100 per cent Pure Ceylon, Single Estate tea.

 The Dilmah ice tea range is manufactured on site at the tea garden, without using any chemicalprocessing aids, making this tea rich in antioxidants and full of natural goodness. The freshly picked tea leaves are transformed into a tea concentrate using state of the art manufacturing facilities which ensure the freshness is locked in, the goodness is retained and the ice tea always tastes of real garden fresh Ceylon Tea.

 Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando explains: “We are very excited to launch this new ice tea range in all Qantas Club and Business lounges throughout Australia. The authentic taste of real Ceylon tea coupled with exotic flavours will make for a delicious and refreshing drink as travellers await their flights.”

 The new Dilmah ice tea is now available in Qantas Club and Business Lounges in Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide airports in Mixed Berry, Lemon & Lime and Peach & Pear flavours.

 All Dilmah teas are ethically produced, with revenues from sales shared with workers and disadvantaged communities and reinvested to ensure tea remains a sustainable industry.


For optimal table presentation of essential liquids–Luigi Bormioli Optima Extending the wide array of food and beverage presentation offers by Crown Commercial is the new Luigi Bormioli Optima. Optima is a collection of exclusive bottleware that very stylishly houses oil, water and wine for table service. With a simple, contemporary form, each bottle is finished with a single self-emboss in label style, which indicates contents. Fine Wine bottles have long elegant necks, a distinctive flared lip that assist easy pouring and refilling, and come in 250ml, 500ml and 750ml capacities. The Water bottle has a gently ridged body, providing easier grip, and a 750ml capacity. The Luigi Bormioli Optima Olive Oil bottle, with its rectangular shape reminiscent of a flask is fitted with a pouring spout. All are made of clear, thick, quality glass. Luigi Bormioli Optima is exclusively available from Crown Commercial distributors. To locate your nearest call 1800 252 360 or visit 

Best of the Best Product Guide

The 2014 Best of the best Product Guide

The Restaurant & Catering magazine guide to the best products for your hospitality business


Food Service

The Oil Experts

Food Service

The Oil Experts


Best Of The Best Product Guide

Ferrero Rocher–the golden choice for foodservice


hen it comes to your food service business, nothing surprises and delights more than adding a finishing touch of Ferrero gold. What makes them so unique is the delicious combination of a gently roasted whole hazelnut and rich creamy centre encased in a crisp wafer shell and covered in the finest Italian recipe chocolate and crunchy hazelnut pieces.

Perfect occasions: Ferrero Rocher is a masterfullycrafted multi-sensory experience for every foodservice occasion and a treat that shows your customers how much you value them. The perfect moments to add them are: Special events: Golden touch on a table. Airline Lounges: Valued treat to savour or takeaway. Accommodation: Reception welcome treat and turn-down service. Restaurant / Café: Coffee accompaniment, on counter or show your appreciation with this end of meal gift Conferences: Add to a buffet or serve with coffee.

Golden facts  Ferrero Rocher is the most loved premium box chocolate brand with the highest brand equity.*  Everybody knows Ferrero Rocher.*  Two in three people have trialled Ferrero Rocher.*  Every two out of three people recall seeing some form of Ferrero Rocher Christmas and Easter advertising.*  Ferrero Rocher is the most considered premium box chocolate brand.*


Product details Product Description: Ferrero Rocher T144 12x12 trays individually sealed to ensure maximum freshness. Foodservice Bulk Pack Product Number: 770560205

Carton Configuration: 12 x 12 Number of Serves: 144 Gross Weight: 2.24kg Pallet Configuration: 108 (27x4).  *IPSOS Tracking Study: September-January 2012







Best Of The Best Product Guide

DUALPAK® s the name implies, DUALPAK® dual-ovenable paper board trays can be used in both microwaves & conventional ovens, withstanding temperatures between -40°C & 220°C. Manufactured from food grade board with a moisture resistant PET coating applied to the interior, DUALPAK® pressed paperboard trays are ideal for many food applications being an alternative to plastic take away containers. The range of Confoil’s DUALPAK® trays is extensive, ranging from a single serve pie right through to large catering trays. That, combined with environmentally friendly & recyclable qualities (containers free of food residue can be placed in some home kerbside recycling bins), make DUALPAK® a versatile option. Lamanna Direct in Essendon have been benefitting from using DUALPAK® for many years, ever since the business began its own kitchen facilities which manufacture their “Chef in a Box” meals. According to Mick Costanzo of Lamanna Direct, “the fact that (DUALPAK®) can be used in the fridge & freezer, oven & microwave, is very important to our customers”. The convenience aspect of DUALPAK® is also reinforced by the availability of either the easy-peel


(DUALPAK®) can be used in the fridge & freezer, oven & microwave

film lidding or clip-on-lids, meaning that DUALPAK® can be used for heating, reheating as well as storage of food including salads. This has been well received by restaurateurs, caterers and cafeteria managers and is growing in popularity in the home delivered meals segment. Confoil also have the ability to supply DUALPAK® with customised print/logo’s as well as manufacture speciality shapes (MOQ’s apply). According to Steve Flaherty, Marketing Services Manager at Confoil, the printing capabilities at Confoil have increased dramatically recently, “allowing our customers the opportunity to enhance their product offering to their customers, by including high impact graphics”. This capability provides effective product differentiation & reduces the need for further outer packaging. 

• Freezable to -40˚C • Microwavable • Conventional Ovenable to 210˚C

• Custom Printable • Environmentally Friendly • Heat Sealable


Best Of The Best Product Guide

Go green with Gram and save on energy costs



Gastro 1807 CS


KA Catering Equipment Systems import and distribute prestige catering equipment for the Australian food service industry for over 21 years. As an award winning chef with over 40 years experience in the industry, Director Maurice Kemp has used his experience and skill to select a leading range of products from around the world to bring to Australian kitchens. If you are after refrigeration, steam jacket kettles, pizza ovens, insulated boxes, heated cabinets, utensil washers come and speak to us. From Denmark, the front runner in green technology, we bring in Gram



Gastro 1807 CS PT (Prep Top)

refrigeration. Gram has been the worldwide leader in green refrigeration for over 10 years and we have just supplied Gram to a Sydney complex with a 6 star energy rating. The Danes have also supplied us with Joni steam jacketed kettles, which range in size from 40 up to 500 litres. There is a size and function to suit everyones needs. We have Jeros Utensil washers to meet high volume cleaning needs. From Sweden, we import ScanBox, the most reliable transport cart in the industry. It is a high quality product that the aged care industry has taken on in a large scale and a product that the hotels and catering companies catching

on to. Scanbox carts are suited to fit standard gastronomes and come in a variety of sizes. You can also personalise your ScanBox with a printed logo or design on the Scanbox panels as well picking from a variety of colours. Also from Sweden we have PizzaMaster deck ovens where we will be cooking pizzas throughout the day, demonstrating the 4 minute cooking cycle. MKA will also be showing products from the USA, Thermodyne heat transferring cabinets, the UK, Lune heat lamps, and Australia with StackMaster. So make sure that you speak to the MKA team and see how we can assist in suiting your needs. ď&#x201A;&#x2122;

ABN 31 003 258 955 Commerical Equipment Systems


Best Of The Best Product Guide

Enhance and innovate your meals with McCormick flavour forecast Herb & spice blend range


esigned to help foodservice professionals take a lead against competitors, the new McCormick Flavour Forecast range represents the vanguard of flavour innovation – the tastes your customers are keen to try next. The range has been been created based on the insights delivered through the McCormick Flavour Forecast, an internationally recognised initiative which pinpoints the cuttingedge trends in flavours – from cuisines on the verge of widespread appeal to ingredients with the potential to alter the culinary landscape. McCormick’s team of marketing experts, chefs, food technologists, trend trackers, sensory scientists and researchers identified five emerging trends which are exemplified in the five innovative flavour blends which make up the McCormick Flavour Forecast range: Smoked Paprika, Tomato & Rosemary with Bell Pepper blends smokey, sweet and spicy flavours and can be used to enhance the taste of sauces, jams, marinades and more. This epitomises the ‘Personally Handcrafted’ trend towards an increasingly hands-on approach, showcasing the very best of ourselves. Orange, Allspice & Black Rum is a sumptuous flavour blend evoking a tropical getaway, making it the ideal complement to desserts. This expresses the ‘No Apologies Necessary’ trend - providing sumptuous flavours which allow diners to enjoy the gratification of a momentary escape. Smoked Paptrika, Almond & Hazelnut blend enables you to discover new flavours in ingredients you thought you knew with an


McCormick’s experts have identified the flavour trends of the future.

exotic flavour combination that’s perfect for marinating. This evokes ‘Hidden Potential’ – the trend towards uncovering the fullest flavours from every last part of the ingredient. Sugared Cinnamon & Star Anise is a fabulous spice blend which lets you transport your customers’ tastebuds to new destinations. This encapsulates ‘Global My Way’ – the trend to uncover the unlimited flavour possibilities of global ingredients, beyond their traditional roles in “ethnic” cuisines. Almond & Cashew Dukkah is a mix of broccoli varieties with a blend of Middle Eastern spices, emphasising that health-giving foods

can also provide satisfying flavours. This exemplifies ‘Empowered Eating’, the creation of health and wellness harmony through a highly personalised, flexible approach. Add these five exotic and innovative flavour blends to your meals today and you’ll be sure to turn on your customers’ tastebuds with flavour combinations they won’t have tasted before! You can also obtain information on the emerging flavour trends through McCormick’s 2013 Flavour Forecast report. Copies of the report can be downloaded from www.flavourforecast. com and more information is available at foodservice. 

We’ve captured this year’s flavour trends from around the world. ( It’s up to you to release them! )

At McCormick we recognise the passionate, adventurous nature of chefs. We understand that in the ongoing effort to set your food apart from your competitors, you’re always keen to experiment with new flavours and new ideas.

together with

That’s why for the first time, we have developed five unique flavour blends based on results from the McCormick annual Flavour Forecast. These fabulous blends are available now from your local foodservice distributor and represent the pinnacle of flavour innovation. So use the McCormick Flavour Forecast range in your recipes today and bring your business to the forefront of flavour trends.

Be first to use the Flavour Forecast blends in your menu! For more information visit


Best Of The Best Product Guide

Award-winning innovation from Stoddart dande’s patented refrigerated drawers are unique to the marketplace, with their insulated drawer design retaining the cold air when the drawer is pulled open – leaving the cold air nowhere to go! This means a reduction in food spoilage and wastage, with increased storage times. Food simply lasts longer and is kept in a far superior condition. With three unit footprints to choose from, there is an Adande to fit any space, even in the smallest kitchen. To suit island positions, the space saving Adande Matchbox or ‘pass through’ gives chefs the flexibility to access product from either side of the unit. As well as going anywhere, or having the flexibility to be a fridge or a freezer, an Adande makes an ideal prep station, allowing the chef to have bulk chilled or frozen storage right at the point of use, under a worktop. With products stored in plan view and in bulk, you make far fewer trips away from your Adande workstation to replenish stocks and stockchecks take far less time. This also speeds up meal service and helps drive profitability. There’s no doubt, when kitchen space is at a premium, an Adande is the ultimate storage solution. Adande units increase storage capacity, on a minimal footprint. One example of a perfect situation for Adande Refrigerated drawers could be seen at The Regatta Hotel in Brisbane. After lengthy delays in the renovation process, due to the devastating floods in Brisbane in 2010, the Spirit Hotel Group reopened the iconic Boathouse Restaurant. Recognised as one of Brisbane’s best steakhouse restaurants before it’s closure, anticipation around the city was high. The design brief was for a completely open kitchen, meaning all cooking equipment would be visible - creating in itself a challenging scenario. In conjunction with Spirit Hotels, Dreamtime Architects and Fire and Ice, a design was formulated which solved any and all issues before they occurred and provided the client with a functional kitchen that can serve high quality meals to a 200 seat capacity. Cold storage was an area that was critical to the client, with the criteria including sufficient cold storage for prepared foods at several varying temperatures. Once the chefs knew how they want their kitchen to operate, they held discussions with the kitchen designers. Understandably, Adande was selected as the main refrigerated storage throughout the kitchen, allowing the restaurant to take advantage of the independently controlled drawers with temperatures from -20° to +15°C.


Adande units increase storage capacity, on a minimal footprint.

Wanting to maximise and utilise every possible space available, 2 Adande units were positioned underneath the high performance Electrolux char grills, allowing the chefs to easily access their pre-prepared and portioned product. The main prep area also holds another 8 Adande drawers, with product prepared and stored for instant frying or other cooking. The client is incredibly impressed with the operational flexibility of the Adande drawers, particularly the ease of use as well as the ability to control the exact temperature of produce at the point of cooking. The Boathouse Restaurant at The Regatta Hotel is a prime example of best made plans coming to fruition. It shows, that with key input and communication from 3 sides, each with their unique perspective with years of experience in the industry, what was once a dream can become a reality. 


Best Of The Best Product Guide

Speed is the secret ingredient in world-class pizza

When your business relies on repeat customers, quality and consistency is the key.


ince Lincoln introduced the first impinger conveyor oven to the pizza industry 30 years ago, this revolutionary technology has changed the way pizza restaurants operate, by switching from traditional labour-intensive batch-style cooking to the continuous flow of conveyor cooking. Awarded the 2012 overall ‘ Best In Class’ in Conveyor Ovens by Foodservice & Equipment Suppliers, Lincoln’s ovens are used for rapid heating, cooking, baking and crisping of foods, capable of cooking two to four times faster than conventional ovens without sacrificing taste, quality and consistency. The innovative FastBake™ technology unique to Lincoln can increase food output, save time, labour and energy costs. Lincoln impinger ovens feature patent-pending airflow technology, and are fitted with state-of-the-art diagnostic digital controls, more reliable conveyor motors and accurate thermo-probes. These clever features enable heat to be transferred more efficiently, reducing cook times by up to 30%. Lincoln ovens produce a faster, more consistent and even bake, resulting in delicacies that have no burnt bottoms, undercooked middles or overbrowned tops. Impingement cooking seals in moisture and flavour and locks in freshness and texture for longer. The flexibility and speed of Lincoln ovens also helps operators expand on their menu offerings. Imagine using the same oven to bake omelettes in the morning, sandwiches at lunchtime, appetizers in the afternoon, and steak and cutlets in the evening.


“Lincoln impingers are my choice of oven, not only for their consistent bake quality, but also their adaptability. The Lincoln is the only oven that I can access the chamber under the conveyor belt, and I can slowly braise my beef even during service” Brandon Farrell, Stones Pizza WA From delicious pizzas, focaccias and garlic bread to moist chicken wings, tender lamb cutlets and succulent steaks, look no further than the Lincoln range of conveyor ovens for quality and performance your customers will taste. Lincoln Conveyor Oven Offers:  Cooks around two to four times faster than conventional ovens  FastBake Technology™ for speedy uniform baking  Incorporates high velocity cooking technology  Designed for rapid heating, cooking, baking and browning  Engineered to be quieter for a better working environment  Reduce labour costs - no tending to food once on the belt  Increased productivity - cook more food at one time.  Ease of operation to minimise staff training  Low maintenance and easy to clean  Available in natural or LP gas For more information, please call 1800 035 327 or visit FastBake™ comes as standard in all Lincoln ovens (except countertop range). 


Best Of The Best Product Guide

An Alternative to PPCA music fees for Restaurants


he Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) has introduced yet another increase to the tariff for restaurants to play background music. The new R2 tariff sees some fees jumping to $2,808 annually*. Trusonic is the world’s leading provider of internet delivered in-house audio solutions and has an extensive library of directly licensed music that provides a much needed alternative to PPCA licensed tracks. Trusonic (Aust) Managing Director, Troy Cooper said “We have direct arrangements with hundreds of leading artists and can supply their music to restaurants to use as background music. This gives restaurants access to thousands of fully licensed tracks in various styles and genres. Customised playlists can be created to suit any restaurant theme—ranging from international, instrumentals, contemporary pop, modern jazz and café


grooves, plus there’s new music being added everyday,” Cooper said. “The artists are paid their royalties directly, so no PPCA involvement is required.” Whilst PPCA are currently ramping up their fees, Trusonic continue to deliver restaurant ambience through great music and digital technology for an $89.95 per month fee. For that, restaurants receive Trusonic’s latest music box player and a certificate of exemption from the PPCA fees. The music player is the latest technology in audio storage and playback, and can mix in subtle restaurant ID’s or a jingle after the songs if required and new tracks are automatically received without the need for any staff involvement. For further information go to au or call 1300 139 913.  * Source: Tariff R2. Licensed 60 seat restaurant open 360 days a year. Average meal price over $25.


Best Of The Best Product Guide

EATNOW.COM.AU Australia’s fastest growing online food ordering website


ustralians now do everything online and on their mobile phone from paying their bills, doing their banking, scheduling appointments and of course shopping (including ordering their favourite takeaway meals). EatNow is part of Australia’s largest e-commerce group, Catch of the Day Group, boasting a combined audience of more than three million Aussies. No matter what your restaurant’s price point is, or your culinary offering - if you offer takeaway as an option to your customers, EatNow wants to work with you. EatNow, Australia’s fastest growing takeaway food ordering service has already partnered with more than 2,500 restaurants nationally, enabling hungry customers to order takeaway food, in a way that is of most convenience to them – online and on their phone! Takeaway orders can be placed by EatNow’s user

friendly website and mobile app, allowing Aussies to access an exciting selection of restaurants, from the office using their PC, from the lounge room with their tablet or even when they are out and about on their mobile phone. So why partner with EatNow in 2014? Many restaurant owners simply don’t have the time or money to build and maintain a digital footprint for their business. There has never been a more important time for restaurants to be seen where people are browsing and spending their dollars. By partnering with EatNow your restaurant will be introduced to a whole new audience. It’s free to join EatNow, simply fill in an online form at and a member of our team will be in touch. 

EATNOW.COM.AU GROW YOUR BUSINESS IN 2014 WITH EATNOW - GUARANTEED! Part of the Catch Of The Day Group, Australia’s largest e-commerce group Guaranteed more orders and exposure for your business Reach our audience of over 3 million potential customers Your own website EatNow can create a personalised website for your business Apps Receive more customer orders from our Award Winning App (2013 ORIA Best App/Mobile Site winner) Mobile Our website is mobile optimised, meaning you can take orders from customers on the go Social Media Access to our huge fan base of over 35,000 Facebook users

Join EatNow before 31st January 2014 and receive a FREE GPRS Printer* AND get a FREE website for your restaurant!

For more information contact 1300 718 924

* GPRS Printer enables your restaurant to receive orders from our website, mobile site and app.


Pushing buttons

As computing power grows, attention is shifting from your hardware to the software that keeps your customers happy and your restaurant humming. So what’s out there on the cutting edge? By Johanna Bennett

Up-to-the-minute software systems can keep both patrons and staff happy.


hen Gav comes in for his twice-amonth dinner at The Old Brewery Restaurant in Perth, he knows what he wants—and so does the staff. Gav has his own ‘button’, courtesy of the restaurant’s integrated customer management system. The system has allowed the staff to create a button called ‘Gav’s chicken’ and when Gav is expected, his order goes straight to the kitchen. “The guy only eats one thing,” says general manager Greg Farnan. “He comes in every second weekend and he has chicken breast roasted on a moat of sauce with crisp, dried pancetta on top.” Modern restaurant software allows Farnan to offer “the little touches that are so important. They make people feel special because you have 42 RESTAURANT & CATERING

remembered something they like,” he says. The Old Brewery’s restaurant management software allows it to keep track of customers’ likes—such as the client who likes his shiraz to be top quality and chilled. The 120-seat steak house and function centre uses a SwiftPOS system with integrated accounts which, Farnan says, allows us to “control the controllable”. The system alerts him when their stock of Moët has fallen to three, prompting staff to re-order. As The Old Brewery services the mining industry, it does go through quite a few bottles of champagne. Farnan is also interested in the growing use of iPads in restaurants. “I was impressed with how they are being used in Asia. I saw them in a tapas restaurant in Hong Kong where there was one on every table, and customers tapped in their order. This worked well in a casual atmosphere.”

As The Old Brewery is a formal restaurant, Farnan uses iPads as mobile POS stations. They connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to the main computer. POS software entrant Vend, which offers a cloud-based POS service, also finds customers in smaller businesses. Vend is popular with those keen to keep software and hardware costs low. Country manager for the New Zealandbased firm, Fallon Savery says it has been getting a lot of interest since setting up in Melbourne in February. “We don’t specifically want to be in hospitality, but we are becoming a chosen provider. We are versatile in being able to use the customer’s existing hardware and in having no set-up costs.” “We can run on old antiquated hardware and you can trial Vend for free and see if it works. You may need a new receipt printer or touch screen.” Vend is allied with cloud-based accounting service Xero, but Savery says Vend wants to develop relationships with multiple hardware suppliers. However, Vend does not offer the table mapping programs that many restaurants use. One Sydney restaurant keen to check out the low-cost options for running a restaurant is Tapas Tapas Bodega. Co-owner and experienced restaurant manager Christa Bracamonte wants to ensure that the software she buys does what she needs. Bracamonte says she has been unimpressed with POS software dealers, telling her the company’s hardware is unsuitable and that she will have to buy new hardware. “[They say] this is the system; this is how it works. They don’t ask: ‘What are your needs, and how can we tailor it for you?’ She wants her new POS system to tell her what is selling and what isn’t, and

for it to integrate with MYOB. But what’s most important is the reporting, she says. “You need to see what is selling on a daily basis, and where your margins are, and be able to react quickly.” Bracamonte opted for MYOB’s cloud offering because it allows her book-keeper to access the accounts remotely. “So you can have a group of professionals working on the business and you don’t have to go over and explain it to them.” MYOB’s Paul Greenwood, who manages integration between MYOB and POS systems, says their cloud product is designed to allow multiple people to access businesses’ accounts and do so remotely. He says he is talking to a dozen POS companies about integrating with the Account Right Live cloud service. One software service that Greenwood is enthusiastic about is Cooking the Books’ chef planner. This allows chefs to plan their menu

and then send it automatically to a list of suppliers, who automatically put a purchase order into their MYOB Account Right system. However, not all restaurant software companies want to integrate with MYOB. Long-time POS supplier RedCat offers an integrated POS and accounting package. National sales manager Spiro Vournazos says that files can be transferred to MYOB, or Quicken, using a CSV file. The company prefers to concentrate on its integrated POS and accounting package, which includes a sophisticated stock control module. The module deals in the actual cost of goods used in recipes, not the theoretical cost, he says. “There can be substantial differences between the actual and theoretical costs, so the software averages out your suppliers’ invoices to calculate your actual food costs. This is a key area where restaurants fall down—they don’t know how much each meal costs, so

pricing meals becomes difficult.” Like Bracamonte, Vournazos also emphasises the necessity of reports, to reveal what is selling and what isn’t. “Many restaurants live and die by this.” Vournazos doesn’t see the POS future as being an iPad one. He sees POS systems are being leveraged to capture customer information for marketing. He pointed to RedCat’s ‘city’ mobile phone application, which lets a customer pre-order a steak lunch—which takes between 30 and 40 minutes to prepare—using their mobile. “But these advances do need to be integrated with a marketing plan,” Vournazos adds. “You wouldn’t want your steak menu going to your vegetarian customers. Your offers have to be relevant.” Whatever the technology, what is important is to decide what you need and interview suppliers to see if they can meet your needs, or if they will tailor their offerings to suit you. 





Traditionally cellared wines are being replaced by trendy, quirky, different drops in the world’s top restaurants.

Is maintaining a wine cellar commercially impossible? Not necessarily, says Ben Canaider, if you plan ahead


In the very finely tuned and cut-throat ommeliers and restaurateurs the world commercial world of today’s bars, cafes and over are always at odds about one restaurants, the wine list that seems very thing: the wine list. The former— now, very light, very brief, very agile or so the stereotyping goes— Bottle-matured, cellared and very intuitive (or as we used to wants their wine list to read wine is high risk for say, self-explanatory) is making it like a combination of their CV, restaurant and other increasingly harder for anyone to their love poetry, and their liquor licence operators, try and carry on the old wine-list UN Peace Prize acceptance particularly when wine traditions. Small, less intimidating speech. Restaurateurs, on the snobs only order such lists featuring not the great, other hand, don’t care what the wine list says as a bottle in order to traditional, cellared wines—such as long as it has three $35 sauvignon blancs on the find fault. bordeaux—but rather trendy, slightly front page and their preferred champagne on page off-piste wines that bring a younger, three. The only other requirement is that every other quirky intellectual interest are becoming page spells p-r-o-f-i-t. the norm, even in some of the world’s This can make for something of a professional juggling greatest restaurants. act, and it seems the third party in all of this—the wine list—is Copenhagen’s Noma, for instance, describes its wine often the one to suffer. How this leaves any room for the one thing list as ‘modest’ (running to 39 pages), and only finds room for that a good restaurant wine list really ought to be able to do—and what a cellared wine hunter might consider of interest: one 1964 do better than any domestic environment—is the question. burgundy, one 1995 white burgundy, a 1994 champagne, and no Cellared, bottle-aged wine. To those who are fans of such wines, bordeaux at all. Presumably it doesn’t go with Noma’s food… the reality on-premise is a little depressing.


Keeping cellared wines also requires one thing that the fickle world of hospitality cannot guarantee: a long-term residence. If you own a restaurant with a wine cellar and you’ve been in residence for 50 years and every one of those years you’ve been investing in the great, cellar-worthy wines of the world then I dare say you’d say cellared wines are an integral part of your business. Customers probably come the world over—as they do to such restaurants in France and even the USA. Trying to replicate (or fake) that model is impossible. Even if you buy the cellared wine from the secondary auction market, the cost will be high and the provenance of the wine questionable. Furthermore cellared wine as advertised on any wine list faces a new problem: the critically endangered population of the old-fashioned wine connoisseur. In the not-so-distant past, Mr Wine Connoisseur would be out for dinner with Mrs Wine Connoisseur and an encyclopaedic wine list featuring every vintage of every great wine ever made, and in every possible format (half bottles, 750ml, magnums), would more or less become the third person at the table, taking care of Mr Wine Connoisseur’s evening and guaranteeing that Mrs Wine Connoisseur’s conversation would be at no stage interrupted. Mr Wine Connoisseur didn’t need any explanation of the wines as he knew them all; and he certainly wasn’t out at night—away from home—spending an exorbitant amount on dinner, to be presented with a one A4 page wine list featuring nothing but cheeky moscato, stunning sav blanc, or a perfumed pinot from a wine region possibly not yet even discovered—or indeed planted to grapes. It gets worse: even if the populations of these creatures could be re-established, they’d probably only start sending wine back. Because that’s what everyone does nowadays, particularly if the bottle has a cork in it. Bottle-matured, cellared wine is high risk for restaurant and other liquor licence operators, particularly when wine snobs only order such a bottle in order to find fault. How any restaurateur factors in a risk-averse policy to this equation perhaps explains why the small amount of cellared wine one sees on wine lists today is so expensive. Or unavailable. “Sorry sir, we’ve only just sold the last bottle of the ’73 Chateau Mates-Maison…” Having it on the wine list might help win a wine-list award, however—even if the wine’s merely listed, and not present and accounted for. Considering the costs and risks involved in listing old vintages (long-term private cellaring costs and long-term locked-up capital; diminishing customer base; high-risk of wine being ‘faulty’—albeit this point is now mitigated by screwcap) versus the profit that might be won by selling these old wines, well, no wonder wine lists featuring a large selection of cellared wines are becoming more and more—um, what’s a nice word to use here?—niche. And yet that might offer something for a smart operator to work with. Buying new-release, known brands at modest volumes and cellaring them properly (probably off-site, excepting those you list) is an effective way of keeping—after the initial waiting period—a rolling stock of five-, eight- or 10-year-old wines customer-ready. Such a cache of wine becomes a handy bolt-on, no matter where your business is operating. It could also—should business get tricky—be realised, and not at an unhandsome profit. Locally, cellar-worthy red wine brands such as Wynns and Penfolds still resonate with business people and corporates; yet with LUC prices between $30 to $50 (and more), it would have to be a very considered investment in your wine list. 

Serving up all the support for a successful career Dan Hong

From family restaurant helper to award-winning master

Ignite your career and keep it on track at The Skills Pathways Project is funded by the Australian Government under funds from the Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships initiative.



Pulp Kitchen


ulp Kitchen has always been a casual European brasserie that serves traditional bistro food in a casual environment. About 18 months ago, I bought the restaurant with Nathan [business partner Nathan Brown] and we didn’t want to change things dramatically. It had a lovely, honest feel that we both enjoyed

and wanted to maintain. We haven’t needed to bring in an interior designer; Nathan and I know how to create the European-cafe look. I’ve worked for restaurants around the world, particularly France, Thailand and Cypress, and I’ve always been attracted to that sophisticated bistro style. We’re introducing a few new elements after taking over. We have a bar situated on the left side of the restaurant with a plaster wall behind it. We’re planning to remove the plaster and expose a beautiful brick wall—it should add a nice tactile feel to the space. And we’ve already added a large blackboard so we can update menus daily. The colour palette of the interior uses a lot of red, beige, brown and wood. The newly exposed brickwork tied in perfectly with that colour scheme while making the space feel a little more contemporary. We are going to make a few more changes in the near future. Again, nothing too dramatic—maybe some new lighting, we’ll 46 RESTAURANT & CATERING

add a few benches and freshen up the tables and chairs. The biggest change we made was bringing in chef Keaton McDonnell. The food is still simple, bistro fare but he manages to add a depth of flavour and real punch to the eating experience. The atmosphere is pretty casual yet it is quite flexible. Lunch has a real cafe/bistro feel but when the sun goes down, we dim the lights, add some candles and the whole experience is more like eating in a rustic European establishment. We can seat 60 people inside and 40 outside. While Canberra can be very cold, there are still four or five months when it’s pleasant to sit outside. We haven’t bothered with any outdoor heating because it would do nothing against a Canberra winter. We simply fill the restaurant first and if the weather is nice then people have the choice of sitting outside. The restaurant is essentially a large rectangular room with polished concrete. We have the ability to divide the space so the back section can be used for private events, particularly birthday parties and work functions. When you buy an existing restaurant, there are things you would like to do and things you simply can’t do in that space. I think we have achieved a happy balance. We’re planning to update the bathroom soon and some of the kitchen equipment but it will take time. We started with good food and good service and everything else comes after that. Pulp Kitchen is still a work in progress but, so far, I couldn’t be happier with the way the restaurant has evolved. 


After three years as manager, French-born Daniel Giordani jumped at the opportunity to purchase this popular Canberra establishment

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our current Balanced Option is already fully approved. That means its simple, low cost features meet the new MySuper rules. So it’s all tickety boo. For more information on changes to superannuation visit or call 1300 HOSTPLUS (1300 467 875), 8am – 8pm, Monday to Friday.

The information in this document is general in nature and does not consider any of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider obtaining advice from a licensed financial adviser and consider the appropriateness of this information, having regard to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial situation. You should obtain a copy of the HOSTPLUS Product Disclosure Statement and consider the information contained in the Statement before making any decision about whether to acquire an interest in HOSTPLUS. Issued by Host-Plus Pty Limited ABN 79 008 634 704, AFSL No. 244392, RSEL No. L0000093, MySuper No. 68657495890198, HOSTPLUS Superannuation Fund ABN 68 657 495 890, RSE No. R1000054. For further information on Chant West ratings visit THEDMGROUP HOST7709/R&C/TB

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R&C December 2013  

Official magazine of the Restaurant & Catering Association. Our December edition brings you: - Marc Polese reveals the secrets to keeping B...

R&C December 2013  

Official magazine of the Restaurant & Catering Association. Our December edition brings you: - Marc Polese reveals the secrets to keeping B...