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Restaurant Catering

Growing pains

Avoid potential pitfalls when opening a satellite restaurant page 13

FEBRUARY 2018 $6.95 GST incl.

Bucks vs beliefs

Are customers prepared to spend more for sustainable seafood? page 22

Temperature’s rising

New fridge sensors reduce energy costs and food wastage page 38

T R AC Y “I look at my own strengths and then assemble around me a team of people whose talents complement those strengths.” Tracy Keeley, operator of Bookplate cafe at the National Library of Australia, Canberra Official Journal of Restaurant & Catering








Words from the CEO and President of Restaurant & Catering.



R&CA is consulting with APRA AMCOS and PPCA on the roll-out of the OneMusic Australia system, and more.










Keen to expand? Here are handy tips to help you grow and upscale without losing sight of your original business model. Anthony Lui, co-owner/chef of world-acclaimed Flower Drum, believes that skills can be taught but passion comes from within. 22


Sustainably sourced seafood is booming but are all customers prepared to pay that extra amount? Tracy Keeley was thrilled when she won the tender to run the National Library of Australia’s cafe in Canberra, but did she bite off more than she could chew?











Enhance your menu with some Mediterranean flavours and stylings.


See why the big data revolution is a hit with restaurant owners. Ben Canaider explains how to use food and wine matching as an avenue to increased sales. Antica Pizzeria E Cucina draws inspiration from Italian piazzas.

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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: Mark Scanlan (NSW) Vice President: Brian Leyden (WA) Treasurer: Mike Palmer (NSW) Chief Executive Officer: Juliana Payne



Restaurant & Catering magazine is published under licence on behalf of Restaurant & Catering by Engage Custom Media, Suite 3.06, 55 Miller Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009 Editor: Kerryn Ramsey Art Director: John Yates Associate Editor: Kathy Graham Contributors: John Burfitt, Ben Canaider, Shane Conroy, Frank Leggett, Chris Sheedy Sales Director: Adam Cosgrove Direct: (02) 9660 6995 ext 505 Fax: (02) 9518 5600 Mobile: 0457 387 187 Email: Editorial Director: Rob Johnson Commercial Director: Mark Brown For all editorial, subscription and advertising enquiries, ph: 1300 722 878 Print Post approved PP: 2255003/06505, ISSN 1442-9942 ©2017 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

9,478 — CAB Audited as at September, 2017





ASSOCIATION WITH THE NEW YEAR now upon us, the Association is looking forward to an eventful 2018. As always, its mission is to consistently deliver the best possible outcomes for its members and pursue improvements in the business operating environment. The Association provides the missing link between governments at all levels and 43,000 individual cafes, restaurants and catering businesses. Whether it’s lowering penalty rates, cutting red tape or improving access to skilled workers, the Association relies on the support and contributions of its members which is why we’ve set up the Fighting Fund to help deliver these results. As part of its ongoing commitment to members, the Association offers a

IN WHAT MAY BE a harbinger of things to come, turnover in the cafe, restaurant and catering sector grew 4.1 per cent in the 12 months to November 2017, according to the ABS retail trade data. Total turnover for the industry has now cracked the $44 billion mark. Despite strong financial results, it is important to remain cognisant of the challenges the industry faces this year. Undoubtedly, sourcing the skilled labour required to successfully run a hospitality business remains the biggest challenge inhibiting the growth of our sector. Part of the solution is greater government investment in training programs, targeted at those industries expected to generate the most employment into the future.

Keep up to date with Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) news, events, products and programs, and ‘like’ and ‘follow’ the association on social media with #restcatering/ restaurantandcatering @restcatering restaurant-&-cateringindustry-association

Recently, some positive steps have been made. The 2017-18 Commonwealth Budget saw the announcement of the four-year, $1.5-billion Skilling Australians Fund designed to support an additional 300,000 apprentices. However, this funding has not been guaranteed and is contingent on businesses paying hugely inflated visa application fees for foreign workers. It is unfair and unrealistic to expect small businesses to shoulder so much of the burden for skilling workers just so they can hire the workers they need to grow and excel. The Association has made its position clear to the relevant ministers and continues to lobby on the industry’s behalf for improvements

Join the conversation on the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence with #savourawards /savouraustralia @savouraus /savour-australia

range of business services, including tailored industrial relations advice, a migration advisory service, training and development programs for staff and managers, free electricity audits and our Gold Licensing Scheme for caterers. The Association’s CHINA READY program has been designed to capitalise on the extraordinary growth in the Chinese tourist market. To take advantage of these services and programs, be sure to contact the Association today. And don’t forget—your 2018 sticker is enclosed in the magazine. Place it on your window with pride. Juliana Payne, CEO Restaurant & Catering Australia

to the VET sector which remains one of our biggest priorities of 2018. Mark Scanlan, President Restaurant & Catering Australia

Discover Hospitality is here to help your career take off—and stay on track. Discover the career possibilities or find suitable staff with #discoverhospitality #discoverhospitality /discover-hospitality




* Terms and Conditions: Offer ends 31.07.2018. Limit of one sample per organisation. Sample will be delivered within 30 days. See website for full Terms and Conditions.

R&C ENTREE NEWS connect to Dimmi and Dimmi ask for the name of the they would launches voice restaurant like to book, preferred recognition date, time and number of people dining. When the technology customer is happy with Last month, Dimmi launched a new Alexa skill enabling voice reservations at over 4000 restaurants. This makes it possible to book a restaurant instantly using only your voice. Customers can enable the Dimmi skill using the Alexa app, linking to their Dimmi account, and saying “Alexa, open Dimmi”. Alexa will then

all the details, Alexa will confirm the reservation right on the spot and send an email with all details. “While online reservations are becoming the new norm, the ability to do this hands-free via Alexa takes it to the next level,” said Dimmi’s managing director, Jared Chapman. “Today, it became even easier.”

AGED CARE CATERING BOOM Held on 29 May, the inaugural Aged Care Catering Summit will highlight how to best provide food that is delicious and nutritious to a booming market. The conference at the International Convention Centre Sydney is part of the Foodservice Australia trade show. “The baby boomers now entering aged care in all its forms are largely educated and sophisticated. Many are avid diners and connoisseurs who will not tolerate a foodservice offering that is seen as institutional,” says Foodservice Australia’s Tim Collett. The Aged Care Catering Summit is aimed at general managers, catering managers, chefs, facility managers, nutritionists, commercial caterers, consultants, suppliers —anyone involved in catering to older consumers. At the event, industry leaders will look at innovation, trends, nutrition and how to stay ahead of this changing demographic. For more information, call (03) 9999 5460, and to register, visit


The Dimmi skill is available on Alexa devices such as Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, voice-controlled speakers

that have Amazon’s artificial intelligence Alexa built in. For more information, visit


Meating of the minds Meat & Livestock Australia’s foodservice program, Rare Medium, seeks to ensure that beef and lamb remain relevant and retain their place on domestic foodservice menus. To this end, Rare Medium has launched two new digital resources for foodservice professionals—offering access to red meat knowledge from paddock to plate. These new digital resources are designed to increase chef confidence and spark ingenuity, providing access to information through the supply chain focusing not just on cuts and how to cook them but also on how those cuts were derived from the carcase and how the animal was raised and treated through each stage of production. The Rare Medium website provides chefs with access to whole carcase education for beef, lamb, goat and veal and includes complete beef and lamb carcase breakdown videos. It also provides supply-chain information, insights into production systems, dish inspirations from chefs, and more. While the website functions are a hub for red meat education, the new seasonal e-magazine draws on industry innovation and culinary creativity to inspire chefs through timely, engaging and informative red meat content. “Each issue of the e-magazine will focus on a specific protein and be co-edited with a different chef to explore seasonality from paddock-to-plate,” said MLA Foodservice program manager Mary-Jane Morse. “We know that chefs learn from each other so leveraging the influence of successful chefs to help us tell the red meat story is a more effective way to resonate with this audience.” For more information, visit RESTAURANT & CATERING 7


CEO COOKOFF 2018 KICKS OFF SOON Competition among Australian business leaders is heating up as registrations are now open for OzHarvest’s flagship fundraiser— the CEO CookOff 2018. Under the direction of high-profile chefs— including Josh Niland, Neil Perry, Matt Moran, Colin Fassnidge, Guillaume Brahimi and Peter Gilmore—the event will unite industry leaders to create and serve a gourmet dinner to feed more than 1000 vulnerable people on 19 March at Sydney’s Royal Hall of Industries. The event combines fun, food and fundraising for Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest, and for the first time, top bosses can now bring along a team of four to join them on the night. “The CEO


CookOff gives a unique opportunity for CEOs to demonstrate leadership with compassion and purpose, and to break bread with some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said OzHarvest founder and CEO Ronni Kahn. “With over three million people in Australia experiencing food insecurity each year, this event allows the business world to address this serious issue which often goes unseen. “This year we have opened up the event,” continues Kahn, “so teams can share the experience with the boss and rally together their fundraising efforts to help us reach our massive $2 million goal.” Visit


OneMusic Australia due late 2018 Small business owners have said they want red tape drastically cut. In fact, the number of licences required for a business start-up was one of the top three issues in a recent survey conducted by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. From late '18, hospitality businesses will benefit from the launch of the OneMusic Australia music licensing solution. R&CA is consulting with APRA AMCOS and PPCA on the structure, pricing and 8 RESTAURANT & CATERING

roll-out of the OneMusic Australia system to ensure members’ needs are met. Rather than arranging separate licences for music use with both PPCA and APRA AMCOS, OneMusic Australia proposes that restaurant, cafe and catering business customers will be able to buy one licence covering the rights of both songwriters and recording artists. Currently two licences are required because the songwriter (represented by APRA AMCOS) and recording

artist (represented by PPCA) are not always one and the same person or entity. The launch will be timed with the rollout of a one-stop shop e-commerce website. A streamlined OneMusic licence will provide permission to access millions of original songs from around the world. In

this way, OneMusic music creator members officially grant permission for the use of their songs and receive payment for their work and investment. R&CA will provide its members with updates on the implementation of OneMusic Australia or subscribe for updates at

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Celebrate Year of the Dog this Chinese New Year

Thu 15

Time to clean up your act—get your staff to join the febfast challenge by quitting their vices this month, such as alcohol or sugar.

Fri 16

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival celebrates its 40th anniversary so be prepared for a busy month. Big finale is the parade on 3 March.

show, Comfort Food Cabaret, all part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival on 16 Feb-18 March.

Sat 17

Mon 19

Get ready for the white stuff at the Le Diner en Blanc event in Canberra, where diners and staff wear nothing but white.

Sun 18

Michelle Pearson knows how to warble and whisk at her award-winning

Perth gets festive on 9 Feb-4 March

Feast on platters of medal-winning cheeses and dairy products at the Sydney Royal Cheese & Dairy Produce Show awards.

Tue 20

Keep customers healthy, happy and prosperous

during Chinese New Year celebrations on 16 Feb-4 March. Visit whatson.cityofsydney.nsw. to see Sydney’s food events in Chinatown.

Wed 21

Learn how to reduce the eco-footprint of your establishment at Sustainable Living Festival events around the country all month long.

Fri 23

Who will win the national Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services gong? Find out at the annual Australian Tourism Awards in Darwin.

Sat 24

Camp-oven cooking adds some good ol’ country charm to the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival in Orange, NSW, on 16-25 Feb. 10 RESTAURANT & CATERING

Sun 25

Leading WA chefs give 500 hungry diners an eight-course banquet during The Chefs Long Table Lunch in Bunbury.

Mon 26

‘Skills, Education, Training’ is a must-attend event at the Australian Culinary Federation’s Chef Weekend on 2427 Feb in Adelaide.

Tue 27

WA businesspeople sign up for corporate hospitality packages at the Perth Festival on 9 Feb-4 March—a great location to network and do a deal.

Wed 28

Restaurateurs negotiate face to face with buyers at FIA Food Service’s tradeshow in Lidcombe, NSW.

Adelaide’s Cellar Door Fest on 2-4 March.


Thu 1

Keen to be a Bars March member? Promote your special cocktails then donate a percentage per drink to Animal Welfare League NSW.

Fri 2

Canberra eateries know how to add a real spark to their venue during Canberra Enlighten on 2-18 March.

Sat 3

Mismatch Brewing Co challenges Pikes Beer Company at the Battle of the Brewers Long Late Lunch—all part of Our capital city lights up on 2-18 March

Sun 4

Treat your tastebuds in the Huon 11-12 March

Frankland Estate celebrates its 30-year anniversary with a special lunch today, all part of WA’s Taste Great Southern on 8-25 March.

Mon 5

Unravel your red carpet, add extra TV screens, and get your staff to glam up—the Oscars kicks off at 11am (AEDT).

Tue 6

Looking for food products you’ve never seen before? Visit Asia’s largest food exhibition, Foodex Japan, on 6-9 March.

Wed 7

Go behind the scenes at some of Brisbane’s newest clubs, pubs and bars on 5 March, followed

by the Australasian Hospitality & Gaming Expo on 7-8 March.

Thu 8

Make sure your social media viewers know about your corporate breakfast package to support International Women’s Day.

Fri 9

Are you and your staff spending too much time on devices? Perhaps

it’s time to take part in the National Day of Unplugging on 9-10 March. sabbathmanifesto. org/unplug/

Sat 10

Regional chefs offer signature dishes, all matched to local wines, at Taste of Rutherglen’s progressive feast in Victoria all weekend.

Sun 11

Taste of Sydney promotes a Chefs and Collaborators event where cooks and artists unleash their creativity. On 8-11 March.

Mon 12

Looking for some superb salmon and truffles? Drive 30 minutes south of Hobart to sample Taste of the Huon’s produce on 11-12 March.

Wed 14

Take your imaginative plating skills to a new level during Art Month Sydney on 1-25 March. RESTAURANT & CATERING 11

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Going big

Before you expand one successful small restaurant into a bigger concern, be sure to do your homework first to avoid any possible risks. John Burfitt reports

JAMES ELING, the founder of Marketing4Restaurants consultancy, shares the story of a bistro operator who was running a small restaurant so successfully that he expanded and opened up two more. But then something unusual happened. The restaurant operator noticed that only one of the businesses at any given time was doing well, and the other two were not. So, he decided to rotate his attention between them—until after a few years he noticed the

good restaurant was always the one he was in and the ones that were struggling were the ones he wasn’t in. “Too many people in our game make the mistake that they think running a 30-seater means they are a successful restaurateur,” Eling RESTAURANT & CATERING 13


says. “But when they expand, they discover there’s a massive difference between running a restaurant and running a much bigger one or a number of them. “Running a 30-seater can be relatively easy as you’re handson across the board and giving it your full attention. But once you expand to a 60-seater or you open another place down the road, then there’s a whole range of different factors that you probably never thought about in the smaller place—and that difference can change the entire game.” It’s a lesson Michelle GrandMilkovic and her husband Michael Milkovic have been living every day over recent months since they expanded their 42-seat restaurant business in Rozelle in Sydney’s inner-west to sparkling new premises in the Barangaroo precinct of the city. The new harbourside seats 175. “We’ve had a lot of success with the brand, but we had got to the point in Rozelle where we were ready for that new challenge and to grow,” Grand-Milkovic

says. “We’d been offered new site opportunities before but once we saw the Barangaroo location, it just all clicked for us.” Expanding the business to not only a new tourist-focused harbourside location, but to a space four times the size of the original restaurant, brought with it plenty of soul-searching along with intense analysis of the books and records that had made a success in the first place. “The most important thing for us was to stay focused on the initial vision—how do we grow and upscale, and yet keep our core values and not lose sight of what made us successful to begin with?” she reveals. “That led to other questions about how to maintain the quality of the food and the produce we work with, as well as the standards of the service we provide and our relationship with our staff. We grew our staff from a family of nine to a family of 40, yet we still had to maintain our core values.” Maintaining an awareness at each stage of the growth of the

“Just because everything worked like clockwork in a 30-seater does not mean it will automatically work in a 60-seater.” Michael Fischer, Michael Fischer & Associates

business took some dedication, but Grand-Milkovic says it has kept them on track. “It helped keep us focused but we were also taking on new lessons as business owners, in understanding that our roles had evolved as the business grew,” she says. “As a small business owner, you get very used to be being hands-on with everything, from payroll and ordering through to being on the floor serving customers. We had to take a big lesson in delegating—knowing where our strengths were needed, and then learning to trust others to take care of the day to day. “In the end, RESTAURANT & CATERING 15


“Too many people in our game make the mistake in that they think running a 30-seater means they are a successful restaurateur. But when they expand, they discover there’s a massive difference ... running a much bigger one or a number of them.” James Eling, Marketing4Restaurants

we found it wasn’t just our business that had to grow, but that we had to grow as leaders, too.” The main considerations when expanding—whether it is knocking out a wall and growing into the shop next door or into all-new premises—are the same, says Michael Fischer of consultancy Michael Fischer & Associates. “If you’ve been successful at imposing your standards on a small business, whether you’re also able to impose your standards on a larger business is very much about your abilities as a business manager,” Fischer continues. “If you want a good strategy to follow, I think it all boils down to one word: productivity. If you can work out a way to get increased productivity out of the components 16 RESTAURANT & CATERING

of your business as you expand, then you’re well on the way to making a monetary success.” For example, if a restaurant is being doubled in size as it grows into an adjacent property, Fischer says attention must be paid to components that possibly won’t need to change, like the size of the kitchen, grease traps and toilets. Then what does need to be expanded needs to be identified, like staffing rosters, air-conditioning and other controllable expenses. “You have to remain aware of the productivity for all components and what needs to be done with them if you are growing,” he says.  “Just because everything worked like clockwork in a 30-seater does not mean it will automatically work in a 60-seater.” Fischer also adds that attention must be paid to why your regular customers like what you have to offer and how this might be impacted in larger premises. Also, will the new offering attract enough new customers and maintain existing ones? “You need to take a tough

look at the demand for what you are offering,” he says. “With that 30-seater, you might be spot-on in fulfilling what customers want, and enjoy regular full houses. A 60-seater, however, might be spreading it too thin and make it look like your once busy business is now always half full. That level of analysis needs to be done thoroughly before any new lease is signed.” As now enters its second year in its new premises, and enjoys great success, Michelle Grand-Milkovic says their decision to expand continues to pay off. But she says decisions about expansion shouldn’t be made lightly. “We had thought about expanding for a long time but the opportunity needs to be right and the location needs to be right,” she says. “In our case, the new premises ticked both those boxes, along with a number of other components that just seemed to be in line. Add to all of that one huge leap of faith, as you have to be prepared to work harder than you probably ever have to make it all work.”


From working as a kitchen hand in Kowloon to running the award-winning Flower Drum in Melbourne, co-owner and chef Anthony Lui is all about passion, commitment and loyalty. By Frank Leggett

“WHEN I WAS growing up, my father was my inspiration. He was head chef at a restaurant in Hong Kong so it was quite natural for me to follow in his footsteps. When I was 14, I had to decide about what my vocation was going to be. It was a choice between a chef or a mechanic. Times were pretty tough back then so my rationale was that if I became a chef, I would be constantly around food and able to feed my family. I began my first job as a kitchen hand in 1963 at Foo Kwai Lau restaurant in Kowloon. “Gilbert Lau opened Flower Drum in Melbourne in 1975. In 1981, he contacted me in Hong Kong and convinced me to move to Australia and work for him. I believed this would provide my family with a fresh beginning and opportunities that may not have been possible in Hong Kong. Gilbert also had a vision of bringing Western style service to a Chinese restaurant— unheard of back in the late ’70s and early ’80s! “Working with Gilbert was an inspiration and I learnt a lot from him. One of the things he was passionate about was loyalty and looking after 18 RESTAURANT & CATERING

people around you. That included customers, staff and even the suppliers. By doing so, loyalty is given back in return. “In late 2002, I took over Flower Drum with my business partners William Shek and Patricia Fung. It was a great relationship that brought different skill sets to the business. I looked after the kitchen, William looked after the wine list and the bar, and Patricia (who unfortunately is no longer with us) was our bookkeeper and office manager. “At Flower Drum, we try to look after our staff as best we can—after all, we probably spend more time with each other than with family. The work environment needs to be a place they want to come and invest their time, just like we invest in them. We’re always grateful for the dedication and time they have given our restaurant. Barney, one of our front-of-house managers, has been with us since the early ’80s. “Flower Drum is renowned for its impeccable service so there is quite a bit of staff training. It is imperative that whoever is working on our floor not only understands the systems

and processes we have in place, but also the culture and the importance of putting the customer experience first. Jason, my son, interviews all prospective staff and often hires on personality and passion rather than a lengthy resumé. Skills can be taught but passion and the innate ability to care for someone is something you either have or do not. “I’ve been working with Jason since 2003 and given the amount of time we spend at work, our conversations inevitably come around to talk of the restaurant. “Naturally, coming from two different generations, we tend to see things differently and sometimes we agree and sometimes we do not. However,

“Skills can be taught but passion and the innate ability to care for someone is something you either have or do not.” Anthony Lui

at the end of the day we are both passionate about the business and continuing our success. “When I started at the original Flower Drum in Little Bourke Street, the restaurant and kitchen were smaller, the ingredients were harder to source, and staff were fewer than we have today. Today, at our new location in Market Lane, the team is bigger and we’re catering for more customers than ever with a constantly expanding menu. The nice thing is that we are still serving some customers from the original Flower Drum some of the dishes we did for them back then! “My greatest achievement is that I have honed my skills to provide the food that so many people love. It gives me the greatest pleasure to see my guests coming here time and again to enjoy my food. It’s validation for all the hard work and effort I put into everything associated with the restaurant. “At present, I’m working on some new dishes and continuing to find ways to look after our customers and staff. I truly believe that to be successful, one should not only work on the business but in the business.”

For more Recipes for Success, visit our website at


Anthony Lui



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Fishy business

It tastes better and is good for the environment but can the traditional fish and chip shop afford to stock sustainable seafood? By Frank Leggett

WITH MORE and more consumers demanding that their seafood be sustainably sourced, high-end restaurants are happy to oblige—and pass on the cost to the customer in the process. But what about midrange and quick-service restaurants? Can a neighbourhood fish and chip shop stock ethically sourced fish and pass on the cost without damaging its business? First, we need to understand there is a big difference between ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethically sourced’. Sustainable seafood is caught or farmed in ways that do not have a negative impact on 22 RESTAURANT & CATERING

fish populations or the health of the marine environment. Ethically sourced seafood is sustainable but also encompasses how the seafood is caught and processed. It is similar to the way Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance coffee is sourced. Sealord, a New Zealand-based company that supplies seafood to Australia, NZ and over 40 other countries, has embraced ethically sourced seafood. “As a New Zealand company with main operations and vessels in NZ and Australia, we absolutely believe in fair trade, safe working conditions and sourcing seafood

sustainably and ethically,” says Natalie Gerasimoski, marketing manager of Sealord. “However, ethical seafood is not something the market has really picked up yet—the focus and momentum is all around sustainability. I think the ethical seafood story will come but not for a few more years.” There is a price premium for seafood sourced from sustainable and well-managed fisheries. There has also been an evolution in the consumer-driven demand for this type of seafood. Until recently, consumers were interested in environmentally friendly sourced


seafood but not at the expense of price. “Nowadays we are seeing the social and ethical shift of consumers as they are prepared to pay more in order to ensure there is fish for the future,” says Gerasimoski. “This, in turn, has led to a lot more establishments sourcing sustainable seafood for their stores.” The problem for mid-range establishments and traditional fish and chip shops is that they have to compete against similar establishments that don’t use ethical products. Yet the problem almost resolves itself as they are chasing two very different markets.

Fish and chip shops that are not sourcing sustainable seafood are chasing low-value, high-volume sales. They are appealing to the value end of the market and there is definitely an audience and customer base for this. “Fish and chip shops that market themselves as a sustainable seafood shop tend to be premium establishments in a suburb with a high socio-economic demographic,” says Gerasimoski. “Their customers are willing to pay the price premium and, as a result, these establishments are doing well.” Right on the border of the Sydney

suburbs of inner-west Glebe and Annandale, the old tramsheds have been converted into a vibrant food destination. Tramsheds is now a beautifully restored dining precinct housing providores who are passionate about food, sustainability and education. One of the many establishments there is Fish & Co, an eatery, takeaway outlet and retail shop that prides itself on its ethical and wild caught sustainable seafood. “The seafood we sell is sourced mostly from Australian and New Zealand fishermen and fisheries that are 100 per cent committed to sustainable RESTAURANT & CATERING 23


fishing practices,” says owner Sajad Akhlaghi. “We source sockeye salmon from Alaska as all salmon is farm-raised in Australia and we only sell wild caught seafood.” With a clear and successful marketing strategy that highlights the sustainable credentials of Fish & Co, customers are extremely grateful to know that the seafood they are eating is fully traceable back to its sustainable source. “Our customers do have to pay a little more for Australian and New Zealand produce but they are assured it’s fresh, delicious, healthy and has been harvested on a level that’s sustainable,” says Akhlaghi. One of the ways to assist consumers in the search for sustainable seafood is the accurate labelling of country of origin at point of sale, whether it’s at a market, shop or on a restaurant menu. Many in the seafood industry are pushing for mandatory labelling. But is this the best way to go? Juliana Payne, chief executive officer of Restaurant & Catering Australia, would like to see a voluntary system in place. “The simple fact is that the cost of changing every menu to reflect the content of the seafood is just prohibitive,” she says. “The turnover of many restaurants and the changing sources of their produce really makes it 24 RESTAURANT & CATERING

“Right now, more sustainable seafood is being consumed than at any other time. And its popularity is growing.” Juliana Payne, CEO, Restaurant & Catering Australia

unworkable. Educating the industry of the benefits of ethically and locally sourced seafood—and all other produce—is the first step.” A voluntary system is also essentially self-regulating. If a cafe, restaurant or fish and chip shop is using sustainable seafood, they’re going to promote that fact. It allows the business owner to decide if their cost structure can encompass the promotion of their sustainable produce and then use it as a marketing tool. On the other hand, the costs and logistics around mandatory labelling are massive. Voluntary labelling allows for information to be disseminated by such means as blackboards, whiteboards or a sheet of paper slipped in the menu. It means the customer is informed without the cost imposition of a

heavy-handed regulatory approach. While the growth of sustainable seafood has been largely consumerdriven, there is still a place for the old value serve of fish and chips. In lower socio-economic areas, the customers want a good meal at a value price. Often they are making a decision to choose the healthier option for themselves and their family. If these consumers are also encouraged to ask where what they are eating originates, then they can make more informed choices in regard to what they can afford. This will continue to drive change from consumers rather than mandating what types of information needs to be displayed on menus. A takeaway shop in a high socio-economic area can provide sustainable seafood as the customers are willing to pay an extra dollar or two for their conscience. It makes them feel good as customers, and provides the shop with a workable business model. The fact that these two types of shops are servicing different ends of the market leaves plenty of room for both to operate. “Right now, more sustainable seafood is being consumed than at any other time,” says Juliana Payne. “And its popularity is growing. That’s good for the environment, good for fish stocks and good for our industry.”

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Some people take in abandoned pets and others renovate derelict properties. The calling of Restaurant & Catering award winner Tracy Keeley is to breathe life into eateries that have lost their flavour. By


HAVING BEEN THRILLED to hear that she had won the tender to run Bookplate cafe at the National Library of Australia, two weeks before being given the keys Tracy Keeley was hit with a bombshell. A representative of the library called and asked if she still wanted to go ahead with the agreement since the current operator had just gone into liquidation. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘What have I done?’,” Keeley recalls. “I thought it was a bountiful cafe. I thought I’d be able to simply walk in and virtually copy everything the previous operators had done. I thought it had been a successful business.” Did she still want to run the business? Absolutely! After all, she had just moved back to Canberra after a four-year career sojourn on the Gold Coast and had also brought her son into her new business to help out. She was too far down the track to pull out. More importantly, the master’s degree in human resources that Keeley had earned during her time on the Gold Coast had equipped her with some very powerful knowledge around employing and motivating great people and boy, would she need them! One day, during her first few weeks of business in Bookplate, the cafe took just $70 in sales. 26 RESTAURANT & CATERING

“That’s how bad it was,” she says. “We realised we needed to overhaul everything, from menus to decor to staff. Everything had to change in order for us to survive. If people weren’t on board for the change we would have to move forward and bring in people who were dedicated and ready to step up. It really was a huge challenge.” Regular library patrons were upset with the changes. An elderly gentleman once approached the counter, ordered a coffee, then said to Keeley, “I’m a friend of the library but I’m not a friend of yours.” Such comments, however, were water off a duck’s back for Keeley, who had a plan and was going to stick to it. Once staff, decor and menus were reset she organised a ‘free coffee day’ to tempt customers back into a cafe they had long ago abandoned. They saw the new version of Bookplate and loved it. The cafe now serves well over 400 meals per day. “Everything about Bookplate has changed, but we had to do it in a gradual process,” says the restaurateur. “We couldn’t afford to alienate the core demographic who never abandoned the cafe. “So, our menu has elements of traditional meals, but it also has components that are more appealing

to a wider demographic. And best of all, it’s successful.” It is a recipe that Keeley has utilised over and over again throughout her career which, interestingly, has included 21 years as a full-time teacher. The first few cafes that she managed, in fact, were a second job as teaching took priority. Keeley was teaching at a Catholic primary school in Canberra when she and her then husband bought Cafe Momo, in the suburb of Bruce. Neither had any hospitality experience but, she says, they had “bountiful enthusiasm”. Keeley worked in the cafe during school holidays and for evening events. During the working week, she’d manage the books and carry out other desk-based tasks in between teaching classes. A few years later the couple was asked if they wanted to take over catering and functions for the sevenday bistro in Canberra’s Wests Rugby Club. “On a Saturday night, there might be eight functions going on, including a couple of weddings and an engagement party. That’s when I left teaching and worked full-time for our catering business.” Next Keeley tendered on her own for a cafe called Cafenvi, within the John Gorton Building, catering for the Department of Environment. She won the tender, was “over the moon”,



Tracy Keeley has managed to transform a failing library cafe into a Canberra hotspot.

Colour and movement at Canberra’s awardwinning cafe, Bookplate, run by Tracy Keeley.



then realised a business within a government department was different to anything she had ever run. “The correct term for what I was doing was ‘fake it ’til you make it’,” she says. “For the first seven months, we were losing money. It wasn’t good. I was listening to everyone and I’d try whatever anyone told me to try. Then one day I just said, ‘Stop! I am the one who needs to step up here. I am the one who needs to lead. If I don’t get this right, I am the one who is going to lose a lot of money’. “So I made a lot of changes. I started to get serious about my role as a leader, about the menu, about what the chefs were doing and about the people we had on board. I wanted it to be a health food cafe, not a server of greasy food. It was a high-volume cafe but it still needed to have healthy components. I looked at the staff numbers and what people were doing in their roles. I concentrated on upskilling them and reorganising their job descriptions so they were able to take on more or focus more on one particular thing. We streamlined our systems and made sure the timing of everything was correct. We changed what we were buying and who we were buying from.” Suddenly Cafenvi was no longer losing money and Keeley was no longer in debt. When the next three-year contract came up she retendered. Once that profitable period ended, it was time for a break. “I’d had enough,” she explains. “I was burnt out. I was physically exhausted because I put everything into it and it was just me, as the owner, running the business and coping with the hurly-burly of life. “When you’re running a cafe under the umbrella of a government department, you can’t just decide to make a change. There’s a lot of negotiation along the way to move whoever is making the decisions to a point where they give you permission to go ahead.” Keeley moved to the Gold Coast, bought an apartment and took some

‘me time’. What was supposed to be a one-year sabbatical encompassing health and happiness stretched out to four years when her marriage ended and she decided to complete her master’s degree. She did a little teaching and worked in a furniture shop. She even travelled to India with the aim of designing and selling a sleepwear range to be called Poppy & Maude. That is now the name of her catering business. Then along came the tender for Bookplate at the National Library

“I made a lot of changes. I started to get serious about my role as a leader, about the menu, about what the chefs were doing and about the people we had on board. I wanted it to be a health food cafe, not a server of greasy food.” Tracy Keeley, Bookplate operator

of Australia, followed by a short but harsh ride back to the reality of running a hospitality business. “I realised business is not just about how much profit you make and how successful you appear to be,” Keeley says. “Particularly during the time at Cafenvi, I made very good connections and strong relationships. They stood me in good stead for the Bookplate tender. Everything I had achieved years earlier would have helped me to win that contract.” Bookplate is not just a new Canberra hotspot; it is also now a 2017 Restaurant & Catering Association Award for Excellence winner. It won Cafe of the Year (ACT) and took out the Bronze Award for cafe dining nationally. And Keeley hasn’t stopped there. In April 2017, she won the contract for Pollen, the popular

cafe at Canberra’s Australian National Botanic Gardens. Keeley made dramatic changes to that eatery, as is now her modus operandi, and took it from being a tired, khaki-themed gardens cafe to a stylish, modern dining experience. Visitors are visibly thrilled with the changes. “It was a pleasure to tender for Pollen because through the success of Bookplate I had more confidence,” she says. “I created a storyboard for them and presented it through mood boards. I gave them the whole concept. I presented what I believed that particular place needed. This is what I love. I love taking a tired venue in an iconic location and changing it to make it successful.” With Pollen, Bookplate and Paperplate (Bookplate’s ‘little sister’ cafe, also in the National Library), Keeley has proven she is a master of her art. So, what exactly is her secret to success? How can she create magic in the same locations where so many others could not? It has something to do with knowledge of HR, she says, and a lot to do with having once taught children. “I look at my own strengths and then assemble around me a team of people whose talents complement those strengths, then I bring that team on board with my vision. I think that’s the secret,” she says. “The secret is developing that team, because one person can’t serve every customer or be at every post. “A lot of my knowledge comes from being an inclusive classroom teacher. At the end of the day I’d always ask myself whether I’d want to be a child in my classroom. It’s the same at work. Would I want to be an employee of this business? Do I feel valued? Do I feel as if I have a say? Is the person leading this business approachable? There needs to be a leader and they must have a vision and make the decisions. But having a collaborative approach is the way to go because that’s the only way that you will engage people in the process.” RESTAURANT & CATERING 29

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Restaurant Catering PRODUCT GUIDE

MEDITERRANEAN Restaurant & Catering magazine looks at products inspired by the idyllic Mediterranean




Quality ingredients make it easier to create authentic Mediterranean cuisine for the menu

LOOKING TO ENHANCE your menu with some Mediterranean flavours and stylings? One easy way to do this is with pasta dishes. Not only are they relatively inexpensive and simple to prepare, but with a little care and discernment in your choice of ingredients they’re sure to present attractively – which in this age of social media is more important than ever in generating repeat business and customer goodwill. And by using Anchor Extra Yield Culinary Cream from Fonterra Foodservice, you can take the time and trouble out of pasta sauce preparation. Using conventional cream to make pasta sauce can be quite problematic – in high temperatures and acidic environments, its composition can break down leading to splitting, curdling and separation. But Anchor Extra Yield Culinary Cream won’t split or separate under high temperature, and adding ingredients like white wine or lemon juice is no problem. And because it’s pre-

reduced, Anchor Extra Yield reaches coating consistency far quicker than conventional cream, enabling you to prepare your sauce faster without the need for an extended observation period. When serving pasta on the menu, pizza is the natural complement to also offer your customers. Fonterra Foodservice’s Perfect Italiano Mozzarella has long been regarded as the pizzamaker’s cheese of choice – providing excellent coverage, great stretch and mild taste which will complement your other toppings without overpowering them. Or if you’re wanting a stronger cheese flavour than regular mozzarella, use Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus – developed specifically for pizzamakers. For those pizza businesses whose ovens are consistently running at high temperatures, Fonterra has developed Perfect Italiano Ultra – designed to perform

Perfect Italiano Mozzarella is the pizzamaker’s cheese of choice.


Anchor Extra Yield Culinary Cream takes the time and trouble out of pasta sauce.

under rigorous conditions while still delivering the key qualities of minimal oil-off, even melt and consistent browning and blistering. To further evoke the authentic flavours of Mediterranean cuisine, you can add different cheese styles to your toppings, delivering distinctive textures and flavour combinations. A sprinkling of Perfect Italiano Parmesan over pizza will add a distinctive finishing touch and can also be used to enhance your pasta dishes. Another versatile cheese choice is Perfect Italiano Ricotta, which is ideal for use with

pasta, savoury pizza and even sweet dessert pizzas. Perfect Italiano cheeses are available in a variety of formats to suit your requirements – such as Traditional Mozzarella in Shred and Block; Ultra and Pizza Plus in Shred; Parmesan in Block, Shred, Shaved and Grated; and Ricotta in convenient tub format. For information on the extensive Fonterra Foodservice range visit fonterrafoodservices. And stay up to date with the world of pizza, pasta and Italian style cuisine by visiting

Consistency and reliability. It’s what every kitchen needs. Anchor Extra Yield Culinary Cream is pre-reduced and ready to use - no prep required. With high heat and acid stability, there's less chance of splitting meaning you get each dish right first time, every time. Anchor Extra Yield Culinary Cream has a delicious taste, creamy texture, coats pasta well and gives sauces a glossy finish. For consistent, tasty pasta that keeps your customers coming back, use Anchor Extra Yield Culinary Cream.

For more on Anchor Culinary Cream, visit

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21/02/2017 9:04 AM



Premium Convenience: AGB Launches Individual Garlic Slices

New-look Australian brand caters to the burgeoning garlic bread market Tip Top Foodservice, the specialist foodservice bakery division of George Weston Foods, has launched a new product for the Australian foodservice sector, Garlic Slices. This launch coincides with a complete rebrand for the Australian Garlic Bread Co (AGB) range. According to international trends, garlic bread is an increasingly popular menu item in the UK and US, with Australian dining trends expected to follow suit. The new AGB Garlic Slices are catering for an increase in demand for more premium, convenient options. The diagonal-cut slices take 4–5 minutes to cook and come packaged in convenient trays so venues are able to prepare only what is required. “The new AGB Garlic Slices are particularly good for hotels, restaurants, caterers and cafes that want a premium garlic bread option. They’re not just your classic sub that you get from a pizza place,” explained Darren O’Brien, National Account Manager, Tip Top Foodservice. “Designed to be taken straight from the box to the oven, the slices are not stuck together in the packaging so there is less likely to be damage and waste unlike other slices on the market,” O’Brien said. “On top of that, as the slices use margarine instead of butter, the product is low 34 RESTAURANT & CATERING

With six months frozen shelf life, the slices come in small cartons of 144 slices (separated into four trays for easy baking) that can be stored easily in the freezer and baked on demand for restaurant-quality, justbaked garlic bread. The AGB range is available frozen nationwide via distributors. It includes: Individual garlic slices 4.5” Garlic Bread for One 9” Garlic bread in foil 9” Herb bread in foil 9” Garlic bread horizontal cut 9” Herb bread horizontal cut 11” Garlic Bread in foil

The restaurantquality AGB Garlic Slices take 4–5 minutes to cook.

allergen and vegan friendly which is pivotal in today’s dining scene.” The AGB Garlic Slices herald a new era for AGB which has been producing garlic bread in Australia for countless years. The refreshed brand caters for venues looking for restaurant quality bread without the price tag. “AGB has been well known as the garlic bread that Australians love for almost two decades,” said Tim Lucas, Tip Top Foodservice’s Marketing Manager. “The new logo reflects AGB’s move in to premium convenience in 2018 with the launch of Garlic Slices and we’re excited to work with

venues to see how they can incorporate it in to their new year menus.”

See the full AGB range at and contact your local distributor to place an order.

About GWF AND TTFS Tip Top Foodservice is the specialist foodservice bakery division of George Weston Foods. The specialist division has an extensive product portfolio which includes many of Australia’s best loved brands including Tip Top®, Abbott’s Village Bakery®, Bürgen®, Golden®, Speedibake®, AGB®, Bazaar® and Top Taste®. For more information, visit:

About George Weston Foods George Weston Foods (GWF) is one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest food manufacturers, employing around 6,500 employees across 60 sites. In addition to Tip Top, George Weston Foods portfolio includes Don®, KR Castlemaine®, Weston Milling® and Jasol®. For more information, visit:




GARLIC SLICES AGB’s new Garlic Slices are ideal for pubs, hotels and restaurants who want to save time in the kitchen, without compromising on quality. Serve as a delicious side, a luxury addition to salads, or get creative with your bruschettas.

Premium Diagonal Slice

Up to 6 months frozen shelf life

4 - 5 min baking time

Cooks in salamander grill, oven, hotplate or sandwich press

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C O NTACT YOU R LOCA L DI ST R I BUTOR TIPTOP-FOODSERVICE.COM.AU | 1800 086 926 AGB 5589 : CARTON OF 144 © Registered trade marks of George Weston Foods Limited. All rights reserved.



Being launched by Stoddart in March, the Kompatto contains all of the cooking modes of a great professional oven, as well as packing them all into a 519mm-wide footprint. This is space optimisation at its finest, utilising 40% less space than a conventional combi oven, allowing more work space without any loss in production. Although considered to be of superior quality, “dry” steam is not always suited to every food type and desired result. When cooking large food items or food with particularly dense fibres, it is advisable to use steam

Kompatto – Superior cooking with 40% less space than a Conventional Combi Oven. with the proper degree of hydration and penetration, which will cook the food faster while preserving the tenderness. So far, only the Kompatto’s patented Steam Tuner system can deliver these options. The Kompatto’s unique Meteo humidity control system allows for precise and efficient water consumption with minimal waste. Additionally, the water needed to reduce steam condensation is used in a more economical way, reducing consumption even further. Like all Stoddart products, the Kompatto is a robust

unit that is built to last and has therefore been confidently backed with a solid 24-month warranty.

To discover more about this unique product, or to

see a demonstration in one of Stoddart’s operational demonstration kitchens in each state office, call 1300 791 954 or email







Mediterranean-style Braised Lamb Shanks Recipe


850g crushed tomato 2 cinnamon sticks 4 springs fresh thyme 2 springs fresh rosemary  Spice Mix 2¼ tsp garlic powder  1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika 1 tsp salt 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper ¾ tsp ground nutmeg 

Lamb 6 lamb shanks  2 tbsp olive oil  1 medium-sized onion, roughly chopped 36 RESTAURANT & CATERING

2 celery sticks, chopped 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into, medium diced 2 cups dry red wine 3 cups beef stock

Instructions Preheat the Kompatto oven to 160°C. Pat the lamb shanks dry and season with the spice mix on all side. In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat, seal the shanks on all sides. Transfer the shanks to a large GN tray. Return the pan to heat.  Add the onions, celery and carrots. Sauté on

medium-high until the vegetables gain some colour. Deglaze with red wine and reduce by 1/3. Add the stock, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, thyme, and rosemary and salt & pepper. Then, add to tray with lamb shanks. Ensuring shanks are fully submerged, cover the tray and place in Kompatto oven. Cook in the oven for 2½–3 hours* (Check periodically through cooking process just in case more liquid is needed. When the shanks finish cooking, the liquid will have reduced to about 1 /3 of original amount). * Cooking time may vary depending on size of shanks used.


Small in size -

Big in stature

In the modern catering and food service sector, there is a capital element to be taken into account: space organisation. Space has been getting smaller and smaller in order to reduce operational costs. To address this requires a new way of thinking about a product: multi-function, efficient & space saving.

In one word: Kompatto



The big data revolution has arrived in the kitchen as Internet of Things technology promises to change the game for restaurateurs. By Shane Conroy

HOW LONG has it been since you checked the temperature of your fridges? Is it 10 minutes? Perhaps 10 hours? Maybe even 10 days? Now ask yourself if any of those fridges failed, how long would it take you to notice? Enough time for the food inside to spoil? Or just long enough to risk a food poisoning outbreak? “Your fridges don’t even need to completely fail to cause a major problem,” says Michael White, chief executive officer of CCP Technologies. “If they fall to between five and 60 degrees Celsius, that’s the danger zone for bacteria multiplying and growing on your food.” While food safety programs usually recommend manually checking the temperature of your fridges twice per day, the reality is that more pressing issues can often distract restaurant and cafe staff from this task. “While that may not 38 RESTAURANT & CATERING

seem like a big issue, the cost associated with making someone sick is huge,” says White. “It can potentially have an enormous impact on your business.”

The IoT solution This is a problem that new Internet of Things (IoT) technology is solving for restaurant

“If you’ve got a machine that’s sending you a gazillion bits of data then what do you do with that? On its own, you can’t really make much sense of that data … You need to do some analysis on it so you can gain insights that you couldn’t possibly get in other ways.” Stuart Corner, IoT Australia editor

and cafe owners. IoT essentially refers to a network of internetconnected devices that transmit data to a cloudbased platform. Users access this platform to view the data and draw insights into how various aspects of their business are performing. CCP Technologies is one company that is applying IoT technology to refrigeration in commercial kitchens. Sensors are placed inside fridges that transmit a range of data to the cloud. Restaurant and cafe owners simply log in to a digital dashboard via their computer, tablet or smart phone to get a realtime picture of how their fridges are performing. “There is a range of benefits that can be gained from this data,” explains White. “For example, you can ensure the temperate of your fridges is optimised to reduce energy consumption, improve product consistency,

extend shelf life, and reduce food wastage.” Perhaps even more beneficial, however, are the automated alerts that not only inform you when the fridge is failing, but also when maintenance may be required. “The sensors can pick up changes in the operation of the fridge like increased frequency of defrost cycles that eludes to a potential problem, such as a blocked valve or a failing compressor. “Having that predictive data means you are able to get the maintenance done before you have a failure. You can even have alerts sent directly to your maintenance contractor so they’ll show up on your doorstep before you even know there’s a problem.”

Unlocking the power of data This technology is fast becoming a hit with restaurant and cafe owners for its ability to

reduce the admin load by eliminating the need for manual fridge checks, and for the protection it offers food businesses against the risk of spoilage. However, fridge sensors are only the beginning for IoT in the kitchen. White says his company is currently working on expanding its IoT offering with a range of new devices in the works, such as sensors that could be applied to ovens, grills, coffee machines—and just about any other kitchen equipment you can name. “We see our software as the critical control point for these devices,” White explains. “We have developed a technology backbone that can

integrate with partners who are monitoring other things in the kitchen, and then bring that information together on one platform.” While the devices are impressing early adopters, the real value is in the data—and the insights you can draw from it. “If you’ve got a machine that’s sending you a gazillion bits of data then what do you do with that?” asks Stuart Corner, editor of IoT Australia website. “On its own, you can’t really make much sense of that data. Each bit of data in itself is meaningless. You need to do some analysis on it so you can gain insights that you couldn’t possibly get in other ways. That’s

when you’ll start to see some real benefits.” To draw value from your data, says Corner, it’s important to understand your key business drivers, and how your collected data applies to these drivers in order to put it to use to achieve your goals. “At the higher level, IoT software will provide you with a visualisation of your whole network. This adds value to the basic data and reveals actionable insights that you can use to make real improvements in your business.”

Real-time restaurant management Mark Page, director of sales consulting at Oracle, agrees. Oracle’s Hospitality

Simphony Cloud Service is built around helping restaurateurs make sense of their collected data. “Restaurateurs are becoming more and more aware of the need to understand the data that comes out of this technology,” he says. “Our Simphony solution, for example, is a card-based pointof-sale platform that’s centrally hosted. We have apps that connect to it and give you a real-time data feed, so if your sales are dipping versus what they were last week, you can get straight on the phone to your restaurant manager.” The app also tracks other metrics such as sales per hour, transactions, discounts as a percentage of sales, and actual sales versus forecast sales. The result is a very clear realtime picture of how your restaurant is performing at any given time. “It’s all graphical and very simple so you can drill into the detail to find new efficiencies in the kitchen or better engineer your menu,” he says. “In the old days, you used to have to wait until tomorrow to find out what happened today,” Page adds. “However, it’s too late then. This kind of technology runs on realtime data, which means you don’t have to wait til tomorrow to make decisions for today.” RESTAURANT & CATERING 39



Wine pairing—how to sell food and wine matching like a pro. By Ben Canaider THE ZENITH of human civilisation is nowadays on the lips and the tips of the tongues of nearly every Australian—food and wine matching. It is easy to understand why. As more and more of your customers know more and more about wine, they are also now dabbling with the strange science that is the successful marriage between wine and food. Apparently one can get this right, and one can get it wrong. How to use food and wine matching as an avenue to increased sales—and to upselling wine and even menu items—calls for a twopronged attack. One involves observing the more general guidelines about worthwhile and enjoyable food and wine pairings; the other involves calling on the classic food and wine marriages. Your menu, your wine list, and your specials boards should all be used to highlight and recommend food and wine matching suggestions; and your staff may need a touch of priming when it comes to any food and wine pairings your customers may ask about. And on 40 RESTAURANT & CATERING

that last point, that’s the only direction verbal food and wine matching suggestions should flow. From the customer to you or your staff. Never the other way around.

General guidelines White meat/white wine; red meat/red wine. Okay, this is safe, but try telling a Spaniard she can’t eat fish with Rioja. And this is where the problems start. It is not so much white wine/white meat, but the flavourings that are cooked with the food—in the sauces, the braises, and the dressings—that affect the wine choice. Cook some dory in a pan with a light lemon juice sauce and you want good chardonnay or semillon. But cook some kingfish with haricot beans, chorizo, garlic, and paprika and you need— you must have—some tempranillo, or grenache, or maybe even mencia. The general guidelines about wine and food matching are more about nuance and about flavourings than about one key ingredient. So think about the general effect of your dish rather than its key ingredient, and then you can sort out

the appropriate wine. Fresh, bright, pert, alive and uncooked foods—whether they include meats or not— are always going to be happier with younger, livelier white wines. Such fresh dishes when they have a spanking of any Asian heat or spice or condiment need fresh wines that cannot be out-shouted: sauvignon blanc, for instance. Do you have a menu focused on fish? Any deep-fried fish is instantly rosé wine territory—that great crossover pink drink that’s now so loved by your customers. Once again, this is an example about the influence of the cooking on the key ingredient that sets the tone for the accompanying wine.

Your menu, your wine list, and your specials boards should all be used to highlight and recommend food and wine matching suggestions.”

Steam a piece of white fish and you need white wine; deep-fry it and the game changes. Richer food flavours— whether they be fish or vegetables or pulses or red meat—also help you usher in both white and red wines that have some bottle age. Drink a good chardonnay with three or four years bottle age with some scallops cooked with a rich sauce, and the wine sings. Red wines that in most restaurants are current release and have unabashed oak and tannin require much more care. Red wine tannins and oak need fats. Meat fats such as you find in lamb, pork, sausages and the rougher cuts of beef. This is because tannins are the gruff, drying taste that red wines such as cabernet introduce to your mouth. The fats in the accompanying food help assuage those tannins. Balance and happiness ensues. With Australia’s very macro, global food embrace, we are, of course, adoptive to many global flavours: from Asia to Spain, to France and to the Pacific. Such foods are often flavoured heavily, and

with spice and chilli heat. Fortunately God made South Australia and in it there is a red wine that deals with any heavily spiced dish you make: grenache. Its ripe, tutti frutti flavours love curry and chilli and fish sauce and spices and herbs. If you want to set a more determined signal to your customers, however, try some of the classic pairings, as announced on the menu. These combinations are tried and tested; they are automatic. Chablis and oysters. Tempranillo and paella.

Riesling and charcuterie. Nebbiolo and truffle risotto. Pinot noir and duck. Cabernet sauvignon and roast lamb. An Australian shiraz/cabernet blend with a T-bone steak. Methods of getting any or all of these food and wine pairings into the brains of your customers can be suggested via wine flights or degustation menus, where the wines in the flight or the dishes in the degustation come with appropriate food and wine matchings. Wine by the glass is also a great

boon. The days of a table of four sharing one bottle of white and then a bottle of red could lead to some pretty average wine and food combinations for one or two of the diners. A wine list that suggest a food matching for each wine and a menu that does ditto helps guide, entertain, educate and make happy your customers. Finally, it is perhaps always worth bearing in mind that if a customer orders the ‘wrong’ wine with the wrong food (the cabernet with the

curry, for instance), the customer’s head will not explode. As everyone’s favourite wine expert, Ernest Hemingway, once said of his time in Paris in the 1920s: “Wine is the most civilised thing in the world. In Europe we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and wellbeing and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary.” RESTAURANT & CATERING 41


ANTICA PIZZERIA E CUCINA WHEN restaurateur Anthony Crea wanted to open a modern Italian establishment that would reference his family heritage from Napoli, Italy, he turned to Ryan Genesin. The director of design practice Genesin Studio was a natural fit to create this new eatery in Adelaide’s CBD as he already had contacts with Crea’s furniture designer brothers. “I knew we would need a large space to accommodate the kitchen and its wood-fired pizza oven,” says Genesin. “Anthony found an old furniture store that was an empty shell just waiting to be re-imagined.” The first thing Genesin did was rip off the front of the building, replacing it with a blackened steel facade that is monolithic and dramatic. Entry to the restaurant is through a purpose-built brick vaulted tunnel that opens up


into an expansive space with high ceilings. “This project is based on bricks,” says Genesin. “It’s a versatile and textured material that offers a lot of scope. The building’s bricks were cut by hand, making each one a little different.” Simple bricks offer a cohesive narrative throughout the building yet the variety of ways they are utilised adds excitement. Whether it’s the vaulted bricks of the ceiling, the bricks used for lower detailing around the bar, or the banquette setting made of bricks, the nuances keeps it interesting and lively. “Antica Pizzeria e Cucina was the first interior project to win a national brick award,” says Genesin. The restaurant is unquestionably modern yet in the inventive brickwork quietly references old

Italy without ever being cliched. “The front of the building faces west so we added openable louvres to allow some sun fenestration,” says Genesin. “During the day, there is light and shade. At night, the ‘Flamingo’ wall lights for Platek (from Artemide, artemide. illuminate the space beautifully.” The kitchen is open for viewing with a long communal table that allows customers to see the craziness and creativity. The pizza oven from Naples is huge and imported from Italy. “The pasta makers are top shelf—the Ferrari of pasta makers Anthony tells me!” says Genesin. When it comes to furniture, the ‘Tangerine’ dining chairs and stools are by Resident (from

Aura Objects, auraobjects. com). Genesin Studio designed and made the tabletops while the longer tables were designed by Anthony's brother, Franco Crea ( The narrative of the space continues into the bathrooms. “The vanity units are tinted so dark, it’s almost impossible to look at yourself,” says Genesin. The cubicles, however, are large and contain a clear mirror so customers can check themselves out and make any adjustments necessary. “Antica Pizzeria e Cucina is a lively, chatty space full of laughter, conversation and happiness,” he adds. “The food is mouthwatering and the space is textural, familiar and welcoming which has customers coming back for more.”


Adelaide designer Ryan Genesin has created a modernist Italian restaurant with a serious nod to the piazzas and laneways of old Napoli. By Kerryn Ramsey

R&C Feb 2018  
R&C Feb 2018