PRINT POST APPROVED PP: 255003/07314 ISSN 1442-9942
Restaurant Catering AUGUST 2013 $6.95 GST incl.
Double take MoVida’s Frank Camorra and Andy McMahon explain how they make their partnership work
“The only way to make money is to make the customers come back” Wisdom from Leo Schadegg, Alphüte Restaurant, Adelaide
<Fine Food Extravaganza! Everything you need to know before the show, page 21 <How to get creative with your marketing, page 11 <Reviewing reviewers, page 8 <The benefits of opening late, page 46 <Hitting hot spots, page 52 Official Journal of Restaurant & Catering
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In this issue... Upfront 4
14 Cover story
From the Association John Hart writes about the resilience and creativity of our industry, and Brien Trippas on the impact of Government dithering on business
Two of a kind Business partners Frank Camorra and Andy McMahon have an innovative approach when running their successful MoVida restaurants
News & events Victoria’s finest honoured at the Awards for Excellence; we take on anonymous reviewers; and more …
What I’ve learnt
Better late than never
Restaurateurs who embrace creative marketing campaigns are thriving now while their more traditional cousins are crying poor
Leo Schadegg, the owner of Adelaide’s The Alphütte on teamwork, speed and being your own landlord
A band of business owners are taking on the domain of late-night dining, determined to defy trends and uncover ways to tempt punters out late at night
Fine Food guide
The latest and greatest stuff
Not for hippies
Everything you ever wanted to know about Fine Food 2013
Organic wine is carving a niche at the respected and pricey end of your wine list
Is offering free wifi access to your customers a business booster? The challenge was to give Spice Temple Melbourne a street-hawker vibe in the middle of the Crown complex
54 RESTAURANT & CATERING 3
from the association
The new normal
Our industry’s response to challenging times is inspiring and exciting
he resilience of our industry never ceases to amaze me. In spite of the worst of trading conditions, restaurants, cafes and catering businesses are still opening their doors and customers are still eating out. New restaurants are also opening and chancing their arm in what is a very shaky commercial environment. With the Association Awards for Excellence in full swing, it is great to see the very high quality of these new businesses. The exciting concepts and business models that present themselves, as conditions change, is inspiring. It is no surprise that contemporary ideas focus on increasing volume without the need for increased staffing. Creative menus with service that relies on the customer initiative seems to be the order of the day. The challenge is how to decrease staff-to-customer ratios and not compromise service. That’s driving an increased bar-style service, open service areas and waiter/ cashiers. Customers respond by embracing a high standard of product at a price they can afford. The question is whether the customer expectation of a quality dining experience is changing. The aspirational fine dining experience is most likely no longer the quality benchmark. Diners seem far more prepared to sacrifice the formality of service at least, for value. How far customer expectations have moved will probably be obvious from those that succeed and fail in the new market. Lets hope that the carnage is not too great is the industry adapts to the new normal. 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: email@example.com Web: www.restaurantcater.asn.au President: Brien Trippas (NSW) Senior Vice President: Kevin Gulliver (QLD) Junior Vice President: Matteo Pignatelli (VIC) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org President: Michael Sfera Chief Executive Officer: Sally Neville
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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 www.engagemedia.com.au Editorial Director: Rob Johnson Creative Director: Tim Donnellan Sub-editor: Kerryn Ramsey Contributors: Sharon Aris, John Burfitt, Ben Canaider, Amanda Lohan, Kerryn Ramsey, Chris Sheedy, A.M. Walsh
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Restaurant & Catering QLD Ph: 1300 722 878. Fax: 1300 722 396 Email: email@example.com President: Con Castrisos
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8,329 - CAB Audited as at March, 2013 4 RESTAURANT & CATERING
photography: north sullivan
Sitting in limbo The political limbo we find ourselves in is impacting business conditions, and we deserve better
here is no doubt that both business and consumer confidence are taking a battering right now. Even more than in pre-election periods in the past, the fixation on matters political are keeping the hands of many consumers in their pockets. Even business owners are more cautious than usual. They are not prepared to make even the smallest commitment until there is some resolution to who will be governing the country. It is not clear whether this heightened uncertainty is a function of the long drawn-out election campaign (which now has no certain end) or the machinations of the Rudd/Gillard/Gillard/Rudd switch. Either way, the effect is the same: spending is very, very slow! No attention at all has been paid to the issues of small businesses and particularly those in our sectors. The amendments to the Migration Act (requiring labour market testing for 457 visas) and the amendments to the Fair Work Act all passed through Parliament after Mr Rudd gave his commitment to business. How is that consistent? The uncertainty of the political environment is far worse that simply the lack of election date. There is no guess as to what will be the next commitment, the next cut or the next announcement, or who will be impacted. Surely we deserve a better environment in which to operate our businesses. Brien Trippas President, Restaurant & Catering
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SILVER Bartercard • Meat & Livestock
RESTAURANT & CATERING 5
News &events Victoria’s finest honoured More than 160 Victorian restaurants and caterers were recognised at the Savour AustraliaTM Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence at Crown Melbourne last month
he major awards announced at the ceremony include the following: • Four Figs in Beaconsfield won the Consumer Vote Award • Peter Rowland Catering – The Event Centre in Flemington took out the Caterer of the Year • Eleonore’s, Chateau Yering in Yarra Valley was awarded the Regional Restaurant of the Year • Jacques Reymond restaurant in Prahran won the title of Metropolitan Restaurant of the Year • Captain Baxter in St Kilda achieved the Victorian region’s top New Restaurant. Chair judge Kate McGhie believes it is important to acknowledge and celebrate excellence in food and service standards. “The Awards for Excellence represent an important moment, as the industry pauses to honour these outstanding venues. “The winners should be proud that they have been judged and rigorously reviewed amongst about 1500 entrants in one of the most objective awards
Mathew Macartney from Eleanore’s. systems that looks at the entire dining experience, rather than a single food or service dimension,” said McGhie. The winning businesses will now
compete with other region finalists in the national finals to be held at Royal Randwick in Sydney on Monday, October 28.
Welcome rise in dining out An increase in restaurant and cafe dining has been reported in ‘Dining Out Data’ released by Australia’s leading provider of industry research, analysis and forecasting services. The recent report, compiled by BIS Shrapnel, tracks consumers’ eating-out preferences, choice of food and nonalcoholic beverages, frequency of dining out and average spend within the different food service market segments. Consistent with the ABS Retail Trade Data, the report shows a peak in consumption at the end of the year (with 66
6 RESTAURANT & CATERING
per cent of people going out for a meal). Year on year 2012 (May) was 64 per cent of people going to a restaurant, compared to 65 per cent in 2013. And it was 54 per cent of diners going to a cafe by May 2012, compared to 55 per cent in 2013. In contrast, accommodation hotels have seen a decline in diners (from 9 to 6 per cent) and clubs and pubs are static at 30 and 37 per cent respectively. Interestingly, over the same period there was little change in the average spend. The average total spend is highest in
the Upmarket Restaurant section at $57 and lowest spend is in the Fast Food Chain with an average spend of $13. BIS Foodservice data confirms that market size increases over the past year are first and foremost due to all the rising food prices. The reason for dining out remains the same with ‘For Fun and Relaxation’ the most popular excuse and ‘Meeting Friends’ being the runner-up dining motivation. And according to BIS Shrapnel, average Australian eats out 2.5 times per month.
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News &events Review of reviewers
Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) is one step closer to stamping out fake reviews and testimonials on restaurant review websites R&CA is assisting the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate whether Australian online review platforms including Eatability, Urbanspoon and TripAdvisor need to be self-regulated or regulated by the ACCC. Not only will fake negative reviews be investigated, but fake positive reviews and the manipulation of review results as a consequence of undisclosed commercial relationships will also be in the spotlight. The initiative will look at online reviews or testimonials that do not reflect the reviewer’s honest belief about a product or service and may be based on an ulterior motive. It comes after concerns that fake online consumer testimonials and reviews are having a negative impact on the industry and the hospitality sector in particular. R&C chief executive officer John Hart said, “It is most concerning that anti-competitive behaviour and misleading comments are being posted on these platforms by competing
businesses. Some of these businesses may also be utilising marketing companies to post comments about competing businesses to help gain a higher rating.” The reviews and testimonials may be authorised by the business whose product is reviewed, a competitor, ex-staff or a paid intermediary such as a marketing firm or casual labour. “About 10 per cent of our members have made complaints about online review platforms, due to the fact that it is unclear whether the comments posted are legitimate and who the author is,” Hart said. Most members who have dealt with complaints about food quality and/or staff have been able to deal directly with the complainant, if the person has left contact details. However, most online review platforms do not require the complainant to leave contact details. The ACCC is also considering proposed guidelines and/or an industry forum to help online review platforms find a solution to the growing trend.
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August – September 2013
When Homer Simpson says, “I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer”, he could be at London’s Great British Beer Festival on Aug 13-17. gbbf.org.uk
Last day to apply for the NSW Wine Awards, covering everything from Best Young Chardonnay to Best Organic Wine of Show. nswwine.com.au
Unleash your creativity and take part in the Shoot the Chef photographic competition. Entry is now open; all part of the Good Food Month in spring. goodfoodmonth.com
Wondering why all the male customers are wearing new socks and are surrounded by kids and grandkids? Yes, it’s Father’s Day!
Curated by David Chang and his Lucky Peach cronies, the Mad Symposium in Copenhagen on Aug 25-26 has an internal theme: ‘Guts’. madfood.co
Food Bank Australia’s Greg Warren explains how the food industry surplus gets passed onto the welfare sector—at Melbourne’s HACCP Conference on Aug 27-29. haccptown.com.au
Take part in Bread for Good this month by inviting patrons to donate a gold coin to Unicef —this buys three meals for a hungry child. breadforgood.com.au
Nominations close for the Young Winemaker of the Year, with awards ceremony on Nov 11. youngwinemaker.com.au
Keen to become the next Ray Kroc? Get the inside scoop at Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo in Melbourne all weekend. franchisingexpo.com.au
Huon Hooke announces the winners of the Boutique Wine Awards at a presentation lunch in Sydney. boutiquewines.com.au
Another day to explore the massive Fine Food Australia trade show in Sydney on Sept 9-12. finefoodaustralia.com.au
Pastry chefs negotiate with manufacturers at the tradeonly Specialty Chocolate Fair in London on Sept 8-10. www.specialityandfinefood fairs.co.uk
Thanks to timezone changes, the Restaurant & Design Awards in London are announced here early this morning. restaurantandbardesign awards.com
Melbourne Writers Festival offers an abundance of mouthwatering cookbooks and food-inspired talks. Runs from Aug 22-Sept 1. mwf.com.au
A cocktail class at Complete Hospitality Training Melbourne is one of the National Skills Week events on Aug 26-Sept 1. nationalskillsweek.com.au
Game on—Southern NSW winners are announced in Wollongong at the Savour Australia R&C HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence.
Slip prevention and medical treatment tips are covered at The Safety Show in Sydney on Sept 3-5. safetyevents.com.au
National final of the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Awards takes place in Sydney. nestleprofessional.com
Packed-out events during the Brisbane Festival means business is booming at innercity restaurants this month. On Sept 7-28. brisbanefestival.com.au
A perfect antidote to the chilly weather is heading to the Barossa Gourmet Weekend to enjoy fine reds paired with tasty nibblies. On Aug 17-18; barossa.com
Bring the country to the city with Taste Orange @ Sydney on Aug 21-22, promoting regional produce and wines. tasteorange.com.au
Western Australia winners are announced at the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence. restaurantcater.asn.au
Winners of the ‘Inspired by Seafood’ contest for young chefs is announced at the Seafood Excellence Awards in Sydney. seafoodexcellenceawards.com.au
How can a restaurant support the 40 Hour Famine? Just put out a donation box and help fight global hunger. worldvision.com.au
Dining al fresco under lanterns in the Botanic Gardens is one of the highlights of the Darwin Festival on Aug 8-25. darwinfestival.org.au
Time to spruce up your outdoor zone—find ideas at the Landscape Australia Expo in Melbourne on Sept 5-6, Sydney on Sept 10-11. landscapeexpo.com.au
Time for Queensland to shine with the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence at Brisbane City Hall.
Watch out for a plethora of Lycra running shorts during the Yarra Valley Water Grape Run. starttofinish.com.au
Food-and-wine-matching events keep the punters satisfied during the Mudgee Wine & Food Festival on Sept 13-28. mudgeewine.com.au
RESTAURANT & CATERING 9
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forces Restaurateurs who embrace creative marketing campaigns are thriving now while their more traditional cousins are crying poor. By Chris Sheedy
ne particular cafe/diner in Gosford, NSW, is regularly teeming with customers as others in the region complain of hard times. At Taste Gourmet Pantry & Cafe, after diners finish their meal and pay, they receive a ‘no peeking’ envelope that contains a guaranteed special deal for next time they visit. It must remain unopened but on the outside of the envelope is printed the list of possible freebies, from a free cup of coffee to a free meal for two. Customers can only claim their gift if the envelope remains unopened until their return, which must be within a particular time period. Recently, in order to spice up the offer, the manager also implemented a roulette wheel where, on the way out, diners would be offered the chance to bet on a number. If their number comes up they receive free coffee for a month. If it doesn’t then they still receive the no-peeking envelope. “These promotions keep the eatery on people’s minds,” says Howard Tinker, author of restaurant marketing book More Bums On Seats (www.morebumsonseats.com.au). “The manager was at first concerned that giving away so many offers would damage business. But she discovered that the people who came in to utilise the offers actually spent more as a result.”
“A marketing campaign should be about keeping people engaged. Most restaurant owners think success is about attracting new customers, but that is difficult and expensive and mostly it means the restaurant doesn’t communicate with its current customers. The true way to experience success is by encouraging repeat business. Taste Pantry do this brilliantly.” For a higher-end restaurant, such a promotion would be frowned upon, but there are just as many creative options at the top of the food chain. Tinker, a restaurant marketing specialist, recalls working with a Sydney CBD restaurant that was suffering thanks to GFC-induced corporate budget cuts. They came up with a creative solution that paid handsome dividends. “They realised the people that made the bookings at the corporate level are the secretaries and PAs, so we reached out to all of the corporates on our database and, for Secretaries’ Day, asked them to nominate somebody for secretary of the year,” Tinker says. “Some great nominations were posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page and thanks to this social media coverage, we received lots more nominations. Over 150 PAs were nominated and the winner received a dinner for two and other prizes.” “But the real marketing coup was the fact that the rest of the runners-up, everybody that had been nominated, received a free lunch for them and a friend. All of these people of influence were treated like royalty and suddenly lots of bigbudget bookings came in and they continue to do so.” Marketing, Tinker says, should not be about instant success but should instead always have the long game in mind. It’s about long-term success, about creating repeat business and constantly refreshing the offer. Lucy Allon who, with business partner Luke Mangan, experienced her fair share of restaurant success, is now RESTAURANT & CATERING 11
a freelance consultant in the restaurant industry and the project manager of the Delicious Produce Awards. She is in a position to see a lot of what is done well and not so well in the industry and says restaurant owners who embrace traditional media, in terms of television, print and radio, as well as social media, are the ones that will thrive. “Coupons have been popular but after experiencing them, I don’t know whether most restaurant owners would say they’re that great,” Allon says. “But businesses that are embracing relationship marketing via social media are making very big steps forward. Kitchen By Mike [in Sydney’s Rosebery] stands out in my mind as a business that does it well. The idea of publishing their daily menu on their Facebook page early each morning, just as you’re getting ready for work, checking your Facebook feed and thinking about what you might have for lunch that day, is simple but incredibly effective. “TV appearances and cooking classes are also powerful and have the added bonus of making our industry more accessible, of demystifying it and making people appreciate what we do. Shows such as MasterChef have had a positive effect on our industry.” Joint ventures, Tinker says, can also be a very potent offering. He has recently set up a set of deals, across several restaurants, for the clients of a relationships counsellor who often runs courses with over 200 attendees. Another top restaurant Tinker was working with was approached for a joint venture by a leading boutique beer
maker. The idea wasn’t immediately an attractive one as a beer promotion wasn’t considered a good brand match. Then the chef decided to design a menu to match the beer selection and the special promotion was sent out to their database of past customers. The next month of business was a roaring success. “Many believe that marketing and promotions has to be all about giving away freebies but some smart marketing, such as this example, is simply about reconnecting with your past diners and refreshing the offering,” Tinker says. “It was a huge success in that it filled the restaurant every night and it brought past customers in for something new. Once again, true success comes from developing a great database and staying top of mind with those customers by communicating with them.” Other creative success stories include a rural restaurant that sponsored a rodeo and handed out a special deal to every one of the event’s 6000 attendees, an eatery that offered dads free beer for a month after Father’s Day when dining with their families, and a cafe/coffee roaster that has quarterly markets within its grounds as well as school holiday programs for kids and, during those programs, complimentary coffees for parents. With offers like that, these businesses couldn’t fail if they tried.
Integrated database to run targeted promotions Send birthday/anniversary/2-for-1 or similar deals Create barcoded vouchers to prevent misuse Track performance of each promo to the cent Move, join, split or change table sizes quickly Preset prices to prevent under/overcharging Split bills for your diners with a click of a button Unique staff logins for staff accountability Individual shift reports for better control
Keep your customers coming back for more.
12 RESTAURANT & CATERING
FOOD. IT’S OUR BUSINESS. Connect with your industry when Fine Food Australia returns to Sydney in September showcasing the latest products and equipment. Discover new business opportunities and learn about the latest trends and technology in foodservice and hospitality. With over 1000 national and international exhibitors, there is no better place to reinvigorate your food business.
For free entry, register online at finefoodaustralia.com.au before 29 August 2013 using priority code R&C2
food it’s back in sydney.
$30 admission applies at the door for visitors that don’t pre-register online.
Strictly trade only. Entry is restricted to members of the retail, foodservice and hospitality industry. Proof of business identification may be required. Persons not in these categories, including children, will not be admitted at any time. No prams permitted.
9–12 SEPTEMBER 2013 Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre finefoodaustralia.com.au
MoVidaâ€™s dynamic duo, Frank Camorra (left) and Andy McMahon.
of a kind
photography: Eamon gallagher
Business partners Frank Camorra and Andy McMahon have an innovative approach when running their successful MoVida restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney. By Kerryn Ramsey
us—with his credentials and his passion for his heritage and hen Frank Camorra the food—that he would do a great job.” arrived at a job Camorra had such conviction, McMahon even agreed to interview at the rename the establishment to MoVida at the Carron. It was Carron Tavern in West clear that these business partners had different skills but knew Melbourne back in how to bring out the best in each other. 2001, there was “Frank was a chef who was happy to put in 80 hours a week. undoubtedly It was a head-down, bum-up work ethic that he still has to a meeting of the this day,” says McMahon. “We complement each other with minds different skill sets. I’m probably a bit more jovial and more of with the employer and front-of-house, Andy McMahon. The a people person. I suppose that’s what Frank was looking for hotel’s cuisine was “caught in a time warp”, recalls McMahon, in a business partner—someone to be out and he was searching for an up-and-coming chef who could the front while he was strumming away produce a new contemporary menu. down the back.” The timing was right for Camorra who had just Camorra also appreciated returned from a Spanish vacation with his wife. “It was “I don’t think I’d McMahon’s interesting just one of those chance things that worked really ever been to a background—he had been well,” says McMahon. Spanish restaurant around the hospitality industry For five years prior to this, Camorra had been in my life but Frank all his life. As a child, he grew working part-time at various restaurants in assured us—with up above the Laurel Hotel in Geelong while studying architecture at Deakin his credentials and Ascot Vale which was owned University. He then made the move to Melbourne his passion for his and run by his grandmother and began working full-time as an apprentice, heritage and the and later his father. McMahon then head chef, for Guy Grossi’s restaurants. “I’d food—that he would recalls that Granny “couldn’t gained a love of the industry during those years,” do a great job.” cook to save herself but she knew recalls this Barcelona-born chef. Andy McMahon, MoVida co-owner how to run a pub!” Torn between the two professions, Camorra decided As the word got out about the to take a year’s sabbatical and returned to Spain to MoVida restaurant, Melburnians were contemplate his future. Entranced by the country’s vibrant enamoured with Camorra’s Spanish fare—a modern take on culture and revolutionary cuisine, he saw the vision of tapas and raciones as well as signature dishes. “There were bringing these elements into Australia. a lot of Italian restaurants around but there weren’t many With his partner Vanessa on board, Camorra took over the Spanish ones,” says Camorra, who grew up in Barcelona and kitchen lease at the Carron in 2001, working with McMahon Andalucia until his family migrated to Melbourne when he and his cousin Mykal Bartholomew (who later moved on was just five years old. to open Coda and Tonka). McMahon recalls he was a little By the time the Carron lease ended in 2003, the business dubious about Camorra’s cuisine choice. “I don’t think I’d partners were ready to go bigger and better, opening the ever been to a Spanish restaurant in my life but Frank assured RESTAURANT & CATERING 15
The original MoVida in Melbourne provides an authentic tapas experience.
graffiti-encased MoVida Bar de Tapas on Melbourne’s Hosier Lane. Here, Camorra’s vision finally came to fruition, drawing inspiration from the ‘MoVida’ youth movement in Spain after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. Artists, musicians, authors and filmmakers could finally express themselves freely, and this colourful history has been a stimulus for the passionate chef. It wasn’t long before the dynamic duo were turning away diners due to massive waiting lists. As soon as a nearby property became available, they signed the lease and opened the aptly named MoVida Next Door. “Not in our wildest dreams did we ever think we would have expanded to this point,” says McMahon, who then took the bull by the horn with a raft of new openings. This included MoVida’s Aqui, Paco’s Tacos and Bakery in Melbourne, the Bar Pulpo at Melbourne Airport, and finally the crowning glory—MoVida Sydney which opened last October. “It had always been an ambition of ours,” says McMahon. “For the past five years, we had looked at properties that came up but nothing hit the mark. This one was the right time, right property, right landlord, and we had good key staff members. They were willing to 16 RESTAURANT & CATERING
make the move and do something new with their lives. All the stars aligned and we finally pulled the trigger.” During the set-up time, Camorra and McMahon rented a Sydney apartment for six months. “It was crazy because I flew back each weekend to be with my family,” recalls Camorra. Fortunately, they were able to bring along trusted Melburnian staff members to run the Sydney operation. Head chef James Campbell and front-of-house manager Andy Jacoora, who had been working for MoVida from the get-go, plus two sous chefs, all relocated to manage the new establishment. “It’s comforting to know that these guys understand the ethos of MoVida,”
“Frank was a chef who was happy to put in 80 hours a week. It was a head-down, bumup work ethic that he still has to this day.” Andy McMahon, co-owner of MoVida
says McMahon. “They’re our best mates. It’s secure and in good hands. It made it a lot easier to come back to Melbourne knowing it was going to be looked after like it’s their own.” Treating staff as ‘family members’ is a key element to the success of the MoVida business. “A lot of our staff have been with us for a very long time,” explains Camorra. So, what’s the secret ingredient that makes the chefs and wait staff stay? “We’ve tried to make it a fun environment—if you work your bum off, you get rewarded,” explains McMahon. “People have responded to that and stayed around a lot longer than you would find in some other venues in town.” Camorra agrees: “When they’ve worked with us for so long, they become very close friends.” A sense of independence is another reason for longevity. “We encourage [staff] to make their own decisions; we don’t micromanage the guys,” says McMahon. “They are in a position for a reason and you have to back their decisions. We’re always there to help but I don’t like to jump down people’s throats if it’s unnecessary.” Camorra and McMahon are not scrimping when it comes to staff ’s salaries
Dedicated chefs are well rewarded at MoVida restaurants.
Andy McMahon’s top 4 management tips
Quality Spanish cuisine is key for chef Frank Camorra.
1. Stick to what you’re good at. 2. Hire like-minded staff. 3. Reward staff members who are consistently doing the right thing by you. 4. Do social networking in-house. “We found it better to have somebody who had been in the business for a long time who understood what we were about.”
Frank Camorra’s top 4 tips when opening a restaurant 1. Find an architect who you have an affinity with [Camorra’s right-hand man and former uni buddy is architect Adam Dettrick who’s designed most of the MoVida restaurants.] 2. Treat the bar as a centrepiece. “Our bars are not just designed for people to go and have a drink—they’re designed for people to eat and sit comfortably and interact with each other and the staff.” 3. Incorporate an open kitchen. “It adds a lot to the atmosphere. Without going overboard, we want people to share some of the theatre that happens in the kitchen and the background. 4. Spend two weeks with all staff in place before opening the doors to the general public.
MoVida co-owner Andy McMahon keeps the business ticking.
either. That includes head chef James Campbell who recently became a full partner. “We will hopefully be able to do that with other staff in the future,” says Camorra. McMahon continues: “We
remunerate them well; we pay by the hour. With a couple of exceptions of guys on salaries, we’re fair with what we pay people and what we ask back from them.” There are also a few ‘carrots’ that chefs can’t resist, particularly the tour to Spain each year—“for a bit of research and a bit of fun”, explains Camorra. Last year, the team drove from Valencia to San Sebastian and Barcelona. “You do end up putting on four or five kilos every trip but it’s worth it,” says McMahon, laughing. Even during these journeys, Camorra always manages to mix pleasure with work. His travel research has been converted into four Spanish-inspired cookbooks with food writer Richard Cornish, as well as the travel tome, MoVida’s Guide To Barcelona. Camorra and Cornish are presently
compiling a book on southern Spain that will go on sale later next year. If that’s not enough, Camorra is also about to embark on his third travel tour to Spain with MPT Worldwide Journeys, showing his favourite haunts to MoVida devotees during September and October. During this time, McMahon will be overseeing their latest venture—a MoVida hole-in-the-wall at Virgin’s domestic terminal in Sydney. “It’s a not-so-overly complicated version of MoVida—the same quality ingredients and a lot of the classic dishes,” explains Camorra. Although it’s a busy few months ahead, these two entrepreneurs aren’t even phased about opening their new food eatery. As Camorras points out, “If you’ve done it a few times in the past, it gets a little bit better each subsequent time.” RESTAURANT & CATERING 17
What I’ve learnt
Schadegg The owner of Adelaide’s Alphütte Restaurant on teamwork, speed, and being your own landlord
o me work is the most satisfactory thing I do. I enjoy doing it. I come from a very large family and cooking was very important. I always promised myself not to be poor. I got here in 1973 to work at The Barn. I came as head chef. I was only 23. I had someone to translate for me for the first six months; after that, I was off on my own. If you work tidy and you work long hours—it’s always been long hours—you can make a reasonable amount of money out of it. It’s not to fulfil some dream.
I started the first restaurant, The Schoenenberg, in 1979. It was a really old house. I did the walls, the ceiling. I had to upgrade so the bank would give me the money to put in toilets and a kitchen. I had another job at another restaurant and did the work in my spare time. It took 12 months. There were lots of Italian restaurants, French restaurants, Greek restaurants. But not Swiss restaurants. But as well as Swiss specials we had vegetarian meals, fish, meat, a good variety. We wanted to have as many customers as possible. We were never the trendy restaurant.
18 RESTAURANT & CATERING
I try to serve something on every table. I basically know all the people who come in. It’s important to be there and serve every customer. I always tell the staff, 'Go check with the customers to see if they’re happy'. You can correct things when they’re here. You can’t do anything once they’re gone.
Back then I had two restaurants—the Alphütte and the Lenzerheide. I tried every day to work in both. They were only six kilometres apart. At lunch I would work in one first, then go to the “It’s not me, not other. Then for the dinner service, the staff, but the I’d do it again. I managed to be in customers who make both places. It worked very well. it a success. The
customers pay to shop. The only way to make money is to make the customers come back.”
In 1982 I bought a block of land in the city and started building. In October 1983, the Alphütte Restaurant opened. This restaurant was bigger. The first seated 45, the Alphütte, 90 people. I tried to improve, change the menu. More fish, meat, poultry, vegetarian. Hopefully each customer who comes in has more than one choice. We’ve never been a restaurant that tries to do the
You have to be quick in the kitchen. Timing needs to be efficient. Before, most restaurants were very inconsistent.
But now I’m older I don’t want to turn the world upside down. I’m happy in myself.
It’s not only for the customers, it’s for the staff as well. I’m part of the team. I have no special status. I still help in the kitchen when it’s busy. If the cleaning needs to be done I do it myself. It’s how I grew up. It’s not me, not the staff, but the customers who make it a success. The customers pay to shop. To me it’s a simple system—every business is. The only way to make money is to make the customers come back. When you’re 63, you feel like you’re 20, then you see the mirror. I’ve been in the industry long enough. To me the best award you can get is customers coming back every day.
interview: sharon aris. photography: David Mariuz
I’ve always had my own property for all three restaurants. Instead of paying someone else you are paying yourself.
impossible—some things take too long to cook. When people came in they know what to expect.
RESTAURANT & CATERING 19
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
Mighty fine food Fine Food Australia’s 29th show kicks off in Sydney in September, showcasing the best products and services available to the foodservice industry
“We are so excited to be bringing Fine Food Australia back to Sydney in 2013. Since the show was last here, there has been some big changes in the industry—from food trends, to consumer eating habits, and of course developments across technology and foodservice. All of this and more is reflected in the 2013 show offering, and we pride ourselves on being the most relevant and beneficial food and hospitality event in the country.” Minnie Constan, Exhibition Manager, Diversified Exhibitions Australia
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ine Food Australia is the country’s largest and most relevant food and hospitality event. Featuring over 1,000 exhibitors, visitors have the opportunity to see, touch and taste everything all things Fine Food, as well as taking advantage of an environment that is proven to build relationships, drive business, and be inspired about their industry. Those attending will see everything from specialty and bulk foods, beverages, cooking and hospitality equipment and machinery, to bakery products, coffee and emerging food trends. Educational master classes, demonstrations, and competitions throughout the event will add to the excitement on offer, and those exhibiting will benefit from the foot traffic of over 23,000 buyers from restaurants, cafes, catering companies, food stores, and more, including international buyers, manufacturers and distributors. Registration is free online at www.finefoodaustralia.com.au until 29 August, then tickets will be available on the door for $30. Fine Food Australia is strictly a trade only event. Children are not permitted.
Some of the great events to expect at Fine Food 2013 From a prestigious baking skills competition, and the biggest nationally recognised pie competition, to the ever-popular New Product Showcase, there’s some great events to see at Fine Food 2013 New Product Showcase
Some of the events this year include the preselection of the Aussie team for the World Pizza Championship, and the Great Aussie Pie Competition.
Les Toques Blanches
Fine Food Australia will again host the Bake Skills Australia National Teams Competition, a prestigious National competition for apprentice bakers. Held across the four days of the show, the competition will see state teams compete across 26 different product categories including standard, specialty & artisan breads, croissants, brioche, several pastry products, special occasion cakes, fruit flans, desserts & premium chocolate offerings. Visitors to Fine Food Australia will have the opportunity to watch the competition unfold throughout the show.
After the success of the inaugural Les Toques Blanches chef theatre at Fine Food Australia in 2012, it returns again in 2013. Chefs from Les Toques Blanches, the internationally recognised peak body for professional executive chefs, will be presenting Master Classes to inspire and encourage excellence amongst chefs and restauranteurs. The Les Toques Blanches master classes provide visitors with the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned chefs, as they share inspiration, skills, techniques and knowledge. The series of master classes are designed to encourage excellence amongst chefs and restaurateurs.
Great Aussie Pie Competition For 24 years the Official Great Aussie Pie Competition has served to promote and celebrate Australia’s much-loved icon; the perfect pie. The annual Competition, which will be held each day of Fine Food Australia, is open to all pie making professionals and attracts thousands of entries from bakers across Australia. As the original and biggest nationally recognised pie competition in Australia, the Competition is highly regarded by the baking industry and represents the pinnacle of pie making excellence.
Pizza Selection New to Fine Food Australia in 2013, the Australian National Pizza Selection will see professional, junior and passionate “Pizzaiolo”, compete for pre selection into the World Pizza Championship (WPC). The winners of the competition will form the Australian Pizza Team and the Australian Pizza Acrobatic Team, which will represent Australia at the World Pizza Championship. Visitors to Fine Food Australia will
Offering up the most interesting and newest products from the Fine Food Australia exhibitors, the New Product Showcase provides a first hand look at the new products on display and on offer from the industry. An interactive initiative showcasing the best new products to hit the food industry in the last 12 months, this year’s showcase promises not to disappoint with everything from non dairy ice cream to catering equipment to seasoning and energy bars. Products featuring in the Showcase may also be nominated in the Best New Product Awards. The Best New Products Awards recognise the most innovative and exciting products to launch into the Australian industry in the past twelve months. Awards will be given in the following five categories: Best New Bakery Product Best New Hospitality Equipment Product Best New Retail Product Best New Foodservice Product Best New Australian Made Product
have the opportunity to watch the competition live, with participants competing in five different categories: Pizza Classica, Pizza Napoli, Pizza Dessert, Gluten Free Pizza and Acrobatic Pizza. The Australian Pizza team and the Australian Pizza Acrobatic team will be announced at the award presentation at 3pm on the last day.
Dates and hours open 9-12 September 2013 Mon 9 Sept: 10am – 8pm, Tue 10 Sept – Thu 12 Sept 10am – 5pm
RESTAURANT & CATERING 21
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
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Club Perfect launches updated website for pizza professionals Club Perfect, Fonterra Foodservice’s free online resource for Australia’s independent pizzamakers, has undergone a major makeover.
he popular website has been revamped in line with Fonterra’s plans to make it “the pre-eminent source of inspiration, innovation and aspiration for independent pizza and pasta chefs.” Club Perfect launched a few years ago with exclusive members-only content including innovative pizza recipes, an online masterclass section of reference material and interviews with top Australian pizzamakers. The new look Club Perfect – launched in June – has enlisted the services of some of Australia’s most prominent pizzamakers. Appointed as ‘Club Perfect Ambassadors’, they will be providing online masterclasses and pizzamaking demonstrations, contributing in-depth opinion pieces to the site, answering members’ questions and much more. Membership is free to all pizza professionals, who will receive ongoing exclusive content thanks to a regular schedule of site updates. “It only takes a few minutes to register on the site and then you have ongoing exclusive access to terrific recipes from Australia’s leading pizzamakers, plus video masterclasses, reference articles and a whole raft of regular updates,” says Club Perfect spokesperson Nick Dymond. The Club Perfect Ambassadors include current Australian Champion of the Global Pizza and Pasta Challenge Simon
22 RESTAURANT & CATERING
Best, 2010 World Champion Theo Kalogeracos, famous pizzamaking brothers Simon and Sam Lumbruso and innovative pizza chefs Kris Bailey and Matt Hunter. All will be contributing their expert knowledge and insights via a series of regularly scheduled content updates including online Q&A sessions, in-depth interviews, members-only promotions and competitions and more. “Club Perfect is bigger and better than ever, with a new website and new content designed to provide Australia’s pizzamakers with invaluable business advice, insights and expertise,” says Club Perfect Ambassador Simon Best of famed Queensland pizza restaurant Augello’s. “My fellow Ambassadors and I all agree that the schedule of activities for Club Perfect over the next 12 months is a terrific program, and we’re thrilled to be involved. “If you’re an Australian pizzamaker, you’ll want to sign up to Club Perfect today and take advantage of the fantastic new content that will be going up on the site over the weeks and months to come.” To learn more, visit the new-look Club Perfect (www. clubperfect.com.au) and sign up – and you’ll be among the first to be able to participate in a whole series of memberexclusive promotions, access fantastic pizza recipes and learn the ‘inside story’ of how some of our best pizzamakers stay at the top of their game!
FOODSERVICE Dairy for Today’s Professionals
Sydney Fine Food 2013 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. Maurice and his Sales Manager, Nathan will be at the Sydney Fine Food Australia with their international suppliers to show their products in action. If you are after refrigeration, steam jacket kettles, pizza ovens, insulated boxes, heated cabinets,
28 RESTAURANT & CATERING
S at ee u s S HG tand 20
Gastro 1807 CS PT (Prep Top)
utensil washers come and speak to us on stand HG20. From Denmark, the front runner in green technology, we bring in Gram 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 come to stand HG20 to meet the MKA team and see how out suit your needs. ď‚™
ABN 31 003 258 955
www.mauricekemp.com.au Commerical Equipment Systems
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
The KitchenAid Commercial Stand Mixer; made with chefs in mind Highly efficient and cost effective, the new KitchenAid 6.9L Commercial Bowl Lift Stand Mixer is perfect for busy commercial kitchens
he newly released KitchenAid 6.9L Commercial Bowl Lift Stand Mixer is the most powerful and quietest restaurantquality KitchenAid Stand Mixer yet; it’s clearly been designed with professional chefs in mind. There are several points which set this Stand Mixer apart from the domestic model. Firstly, the 11-Wire Elliptical Whisk means maximum volume in minimum time for lighter and fluffier whipped cream and egg whites. Secondly, the highly efficient DC motor runs longer and delivers optimum torque with less heat build up. And thirdly, the uniquely shaped Power Knead™ Dough Hook powerfully punches and rolls thick, heavy dough with smooth efficiency – making 25% more dough than its predecessor. “KitchenAid understands the importance of working closely with industry leaders and developing commercial machines that suit their ever changing and demanding needs. We know they want a product to be highly efficient and produce premium, cost effective results. We believe we’ve delivered with the KitchenAid 6.9L Commercial Bowl Lift Stand Mixer,” said Michael Day, Business Unit Manager – Commercial at Peter McInnes, the exclusive distributers for KitchenAid across Australia and New Zealand. Peter McInnes Pty Ltd will be showcasing the new KitchenAid 6.9L Commercial Bowl Lift Stand Mixer at the upcoming Fine Food Show in Sydney. Come and discover the suite of premium quality brands at stand # HZ21.
26 RESTAURANT & CATERING
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“Designed to suit the needs of the professional chef, the new KitchenAid Commercial Stand Mixer will not disappoint. It handles my flourless sponge, biscotti and nougat recipes with ease – very impressive! A great new KitchenAid which has found its place in my kitchen.” Deniz Karaca – Pastry Chef, Epicure’s MCG Culinary Centre / Winner of the Asia-Pacific World Chocolate Masters 2013
Mix power, passion and
performance Come and visit us at
Stand #: HZ21 Sydney Convention Centre 9th - 12th September 2013
Distributor of KitchenAid in Australia & New Zealand
INTRODUCING OUR HARDEST WORKING KITCHENAID COMMERCIAL MIXER YET We know you work hard – that’s why you deserve state-of-the-art equipment that produces exceptional results, every time. Whether you’re creating the most delicate of pastries or kneading the heaviest of doughs, the 6.9L Commercial Bowl Lift Stand Mixer has the power and stability to take on any task with ease. Designed specifically for professional chefs who demand perfection, this versatile machine will become the most reliable member of your kitchen team. PREMIUM PERfORMANCE, EXCEPTIONAL RESULTS, LEGENDARY KITCHENAID qUALITY.
Available at quality commercial kitchenware stores. View the entire KitchenAid Commercial Collection at kitchenaid.com.au Overseas model shown. ® Registered trademark. The shape of the stand mixer is a registered trademark of KitchenAid U.S.A. © 2013. All rights reserved.
IS A PROUD SPONSOR Of
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
NEW PRODUCT Me
Dairy products including milk, cheese, dips and drinks
nin e L e vel H a
A zone dedicated to high-end gourmet products
FOOD 4 THOUGHT ZONE
A hot new section for and organic products
FLAVOURS OF THE WORLD
International food for retail and foodservice markets
MEAT & SEAFOOD WORLD
The latest in gluten-free products
Fresh and processed products for the chef and supermarket
See the World of Comcater Visit us on stand HJ20 • Live Cooking Action • Expert Advice on Kitchen Equipment • Show Only Special Offers 28 RESTAURANT & CATERING
A full range of equipment ingredients and finished product
ectionery and snacks for the and foodservice markets
The latest in equipment for the foodservice industry
Cutting-edge ideas and packaging solutions for the foodservice industry
Hospitality equipment, furniture, interiors, guest amenities POS systems and more
Cash systems, POS systems scanners, software and more
r natural s
A full range of hot and cold beverages
Les Toques Blanches Master Classes
Australian National Pizza Selection
Australian Culinary Challenge
Bake Skills Australia
Official Great Aussie Pie Competition
Coffee Academy & Master Classes
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
Advanced Point of Sale Solution
edCat provides integrated, end-toend, Point of Sale, Accounting and Business Management solutions that give users total control of their business. As a leader in hospitality point of sale and accounting software since 1992, RedCat provide the complete business management system. They supply integrated software and hardware solutions for point of sale and accounting that can manage sales, staff, stock and payroll through to accounts, GST, customer loyalty, and web based multi-site reporting.
“ ” 30 RESTAURANT & CATERING
S at ee u s S HB tand 29
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
Skopeâ€“for the best in refrigeration
KOPE is a family owned company with an international reputation for innovative design and manufacturing. Positioned as the refrigeration brand of choice and market leader in the industry, we have strong partnerships with a number of global commercial refrigeration leaders who share our values for quality and performance. For the best in refrigeration you can depend on us. ď‚™
Depend on us to partner with the best. Our global partner brands are the very best in their field and share our values of innovation, quality and after sales service.
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Blast chilling and shock freezing
Modular cool and freezer rooms
Global whiteware manufacturer
Meet them at Fine Foods Sydney.
1800 121 535 skope.com
RESTAURANT & CATERING 31
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
STODDART–Australia’s premier suppliers of food service equipment.
S at ee u s S HG tand 44
TODDART are Australia’s premier metal fabricators, engineers and suppliers of food service equipment. Founded in Queensland in 1959, Stoddart now manufacture and import a large range of equipment for food service applications in their 22,500 m2 factory floor space in Brisbane. In addition, Stoddart’s warehouses and sales teams in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth ensure all regions of Australia are covered. Stoddart’s 370-strong team has vast experience working in Australia’s commercial kitchen industry. They are an industry-recognised leader in providing premium quality products and services. Their exclusive brands include Electrolux Professional, Woodson, Adande refrigeration, Koldtech displays, Culinaire equipment, Simply Stainless, Anets fryers, CookTek induction systems, Halton exhaust hoods, Duke and Metro shelving. Whilst Stoddart’s speciality is in food service applications, their engineering excellence has led to several other successful business units. These include custom stainless steel fabrication including major project kitchen contracting, architectural metalwork, stainless steel plumbing products, street furniture and precision fabrication. All of the aforementioned products are supported by Stoddart’s unrivalled team of equipment specialists. From Sales to Service, their staff combines integrity with technical excellence. This means you get the right product for your needs and the ongoing support when you need it. Products are sold nationally through a valued distributor network of over 200 retailers and contractors, which mean customers receive the right support in their own area. Being showcased at the upcoming Fine Foods Australia Exhibition, Adande’s patented refrigerated drawers are unique to the marketplace and enable customers to differentiate their product offerings. Adande drawers ensure the cold air is retained when you open a drawer, providing energy savings of up to 40%. Installed throughout QSRs worldwide as well as Michelin starred restaurants, Adande drawers suit a broad cross section of foodservice applications. With a pass through; or matchbox like; opening ability, the new Adande matchbox drawers provide access to stored ingredients from both sides of an island setup. This supplies an ergonomic solution for commercial kitchens with limited space and also saves valuable time in the kitchen. Each drawer comes with the ability to be set within the range of –22°C to +15°C at 0.1°C increments. For more details, see Stoddart at stand HG-44 at the show, or contact Stoddart today on 1300 79 1954.
32 RESTAURANT & CATERING
Above: Some of the range of products available from Stoddart.
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
Tip Top Foodservice to put Fine Food Australia on Ice
Tip Top Foodservice will be showcasing the coolest thing since sliced bread at Fine Food Australia in Sydney on 9 to 12 September 2013 – the company’s new frozen range.
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ip Top Foodservice’s new range of sliced breads and traditional English muffins are available nationwide and will be presented on the F4T Zone at Fine Food Australia. The range has a long frozen shelf life, is quick to defrost and offers the great taste of Tip Top bread. The new frozen bread range thaws quickly, meaning minimal impact on preparation time, and can be stored in the freezer for four months. This allows foodservice outlets to keep sufficient bakery product on hand to meet demand, while also minimising any waste. Critical to busy foodservice environments, the range has a number of features that will keep customers and kitchen staff happy: Fast defrosting—the range thaws quickly, so there’s minimal impact on preparation time. This means demand can be quickly met throughout the day, without any need for product wastage. It’s just like fresh bread once thawed—the product is frozen soon after baking to lock in freshness and taste. Available via distributors—This means foodservice outlets unable to receive daily fresh bread deliveries, like smaller outlets or those in remote regions, can always have bread on hand. Keeps the supply chain simple—Tip Top Frozen Bread orders can be added to existing foodservice deliveries, meaning there are no additional deliveries or invoices to worry about. The range is also distributed in manageable cartons of six.
34 RESTAURANT & CATERING
Get some Food 4 Thought from the Experts
Looking for some inspiration for your menu? Tip Top Foodservice has teamed up with Simplot, Fonterra and Don/KR Castle Maine to bring you the Food 4 Thought (F4T) zone at Fine Food Australia in Sydney on 9 to 12 September 2013. The F4T team will be showcasing their latest innovations, offering expert advice and sharing fresh recipe ideas through live cooking demonstrations. Improving burger builds, choosing the perfect combination of pizza toppings and boosting the profitability of your breakfast menu are just some of the topics that will be on the menu across the four days. Other sessions include taking a look at international sandwich trends and offering dining solutions for pubs and clubs. “Last year was the first year we ran the Food 4 Thought Zone. We were thrilled with just how helpful visitors found our demonstrations. This year we’re looking forward to showcasing our latest innovations and importantly helping our customers get the most out of our products” said Brian Esplin, National Business Manager for Tip Top Foodservice. Food 4 Thought Zone at Fine Food Australia will play host to the Great Australian Sandwichship Final. This unique competition, run by the Australasian Sandwich Association (ASA) gathers together Australia’s greatest six sandwich creators as they vie for the title of Australia’s number one sandwich artist.
FI AT SHO N T W 9â€“ E F HE C 12 O F4 AS O SE D T ED PT A ZO EM US N BE TR E R AIL 20 A 13
Frozen Sliced Bakery Range White Sliced (9323)
Super Thick White Sliced (9326)
Wholemeal Sliced (9324)
Super Thick Raisin Sliced (9327)
Multigrain Sliced (9325)
Traditional English Muffins (9328)
4 Months shelf life
Always on hand
No artificial colours or flavours
tiptop-foodservice.com.au To purchase, contact your local foodservice distributor. For further information, please contact our Customer Information Centre on 1800 086 926, or email us at email@example.com
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
The Patties Caterers Selection range
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Sourcing its beef from the pristine and untouched environment of Tasmania’s King Island is one of the reasons the gourmet pies and rolls by Patties Foods taste so good.
atties Foods, manufacturer of some of Australia’s most respected frozen baked savoury and fruit products, has developed a dedicated product and service offering specifically for the foodservice industry. The Patties Caterers Selection range is designed to offer a higher quality of product and provides flavours and varieties not available through traditional retail environments. The Patties Caterers Selection range is constantly evolving through regular testing and feedback, with Patties Foods recently introducing its new Patties King Island Caterers Selection Beef Range, which use authentic premium King Island Beef. King Island is located on the northern tip of Tasmania, and with a population of only 2000 people it has one of the world’s most pristine and pollution-free environments. These conditions provide the perfect environment for King Island cattle to flourish, with the King Island Premium Beef used in Patties King Island Beef Gourmet Pies and King Island Beef Gourmet Rolls ensuring their quality and great taste. King Island Beef Gourmet Party Rolls are blended with herbs and spices, encased in golden, flaky pastry, scored for extra visual and taste enhancement. The King Island Beef Gourmet Party Pies are cooked in rich gravy and encased in a delicious pastry shell. Like the rest of the Patties Caterers Selection range, that includes Spinach and Ricotta Rolls, Chicken and Leek Pies, Moroccan Lamb Pies and Three Cheese & Veg Filo Delights, these quality products offer versatility and style by providing a variety of appetising and visually appealing finger foods to cater for any occasion. Also available from Patties is the Eastern Delights Entertaining Pack, a selection of the highest quality prawn & squid money bags, prawn & squid bundles, filo wrapped prawns and prawn & squid spring rolls (15gm each: 600gm 40 Pieces). All items are ready to heat and serve. Patties Caterers Selection offers versatility and style by providing a variety of appetising and visually appealing finger foods to cater for any occasion. The Patties Caterers Selection range is snap frozen and available from your local distributor. For more information contact your local Patties representative - Victoria, (03) 8540 9100; New South Wales, (02) 8737 1800; Queensland, (07) 3209 7822; Western Australia, (08) 9571 8522; South Australia, 0439 576 270; and Tasmania, (03) 6234 7300.
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VISIT US SYDNEY FINE FOOD 2013 AT STAND B28
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide S at ee u St s C3 and 8
Passage Foods Foodservice Range: For the cook who wears many hats!
ntroducing our range of Simmer Sauces and unique Noodle Partners noodle sauces, bringing you an all natural, gluten free, Halal and Kosher solution to adding exotic flavour to your menu. The authentic quality of the Passage Foods range provides chefs and cooks with the ability to prepare truly authentic dishes quickly and easily. The Passage Foods range is available in convenient 2.5kg easy grip jars. Cost effective, great flavour, consistently delivered. “Proudly 100% Australian owned and manufactured.”
t a h t f e s h t c a h e h y t n a r o m F wears Butter Chicken Simmer Sauce Korma Simmer Sauce Mango Chicken Simmer Sauce Rogan Josh Simmer Sauce Coconut & Cashew Chicken Simmer Sauce Lemon Chicken Simmer Sauce Honey Lamb Simmer Sauce Char Kway Teow Stir-Fry Sauce Singapore Noodles Stir-Fry Sauce Mee Goreng Stir-Fry Sauce Pad Thai Stir-Fry Sauce The entire range is available in tough, easy-to-use 2.5L PET plastic bottles:
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NO ADDED MSG ALL NATURAL GLUTEN FREE
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
Grill Easier, Faster, Smarter New Taylor Crown L-Series Contact Grills join J. L. Lennard’s premier commercial food equipment ranges
new Crown L-Series Taylor Electric Contact Grill is to be introduced to Australasia by J. L. Lennard Food Service Equipment to provide two-sided cooking easier, faster and safer at the touch of a
button. The new Crown L-Series Grills to be shown by J.L. Lennard at Fine Food Australia Exhibition from September 9-12, where J.L.Lennard will feature global premier food equipment leading brands Henny Penny, Taylor, Zanussi Professional and XLT Ovens. J.L. Lennard Food Equipment NSW manager Mr Alex Mendelevich says the new Crown L-Series Contact Grills continue the strong tradition of innovation, quality and reliability that has characterised Taylor from 1926. The latest Taylor Model Crown #L820 to feature at Fine
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Food Australia Exhibition in September incorporates two cooking zones, with three heaters per zone and two upper platens. J.L. Lennard is one of Australasia’s most successful suppliers to the food service industries, with offices in the five Australian mainland state capitals, as well as New Zealand, offering an extensive local expertise to ensure first-rate service to its clients. For further information about J.L Lennard, please contact Alex Mendelevich,NSW Sales Manager, Phone: 02 9475 9000, Direct: 02 9475 9021, Mobile: 0418 550 043, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.jllennard.com.au.
First choice for quality catering equipment... Zanussi Professional • Modular Cooking Equipment • Combi and Convection Ovens • Refrigeration Equipment • Warewashing • Ice Makers
Henny Penny • Open Fryers • Pressure Fryers • High-Capacity open fryers • Heated Merchandisers and Display Units • Heated Holding Cabinets
Taylor • Soft Serve and Frozen Yoghurt Machines • Thickshake Machines • Frozen Carbonated Beverage dispensers
XLT Ovens • Conveyor Ovens
For Sales, Service and Spare Parts call J.L.Lennard on 1800 777 440 RESTAURANT & CATERING 39
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
Customer satisfaction starts at the ‘centre of the plate’
V G3 isit 6 sta gr for nd pr ade MS od d A uc ts
Meat Standards Australia (MSA) is a beef grading system proven to improve the quality and consistency of Australian beef. The world class system is based on over 600,000 consumer taste tests and operates along the entire supply chain.
SA takes into account the factors that impact the tenderness, juiciness and flavour of Australian beef from the paddock to the plate. When a chef orders branded beef that’s MSA graded, the product they receive will be consistently tender and juicy every time. In 2012/13 over 2.2 million cattle were MSA graded; significantly increasing the volume of graded beef. This prompted a refresh and relaunch of the program with Australian retailers which has been a major success with up to 50% of consumers now aware of the MSA symbol as a result of adoption in that channel. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) is now communicating the benefits of graded beef to the foodservice sector. According to Garry McAlister, Marketing Manager for National Accounts, “The MSA logo is increasingly seen as a symbol of quality consumers know and trust. We know that customer satisfaction starts at the ‘centre of the plate’ with the quality of the beef they are served.” MSA graded beef takes the guesswork out of buying and serving tender, juicy beef, ultimately contributing to a reduction in customer complaints – a chef ’s worst nightmare. “Sourcing branded beef that’s also been MSA graded is a commitment to quality that can help build customer loyalty and ultimately the reputation of a restaurant,” says Garry. “MSA is based on the eating quality of a cut of beef for a particular cooking method which gives chefs confidence to develop new menu
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items. MLA’s Masterpieces program which is underpinned by the MSA cut by cook method, was developed to showcase some of the underutilised cuts and how best to prepare them using popular international cuisine styles.” Use of the MSA trade mark or prefix on menus or other promotional material is voluntary but highly recommended for licensed operators. According to Garry, “It’s another piece of information that communicates the quality of your beef to customers; the ultimate result is clean plates returning to the kitchen,” he says. “Getting licenced is easy with a new on-line system, the whole process takes less than 30 minutes, an
important consideration in the time pressed foodservice sector.” If MSA graded beef is the missing ingredient on your menu, start a conversation with your wholesaler or contact Meat & Livestock Australia on 1800 111 672. For online licencing visit www.mla.com.au/msa and click the end-user licencing tab.
MENU PLANNING IN 3 EASY STEPS 2.
Successful menu planning is as easy as 1,2,3 with MSA - because customer satisfaction always starts at the centre of the plate with the quality of the beef you serve. Step 1. Select Meat Standards Australia graded beef. It takes the guesswork out of buying and serving beef, consistently delivering excellence in eating quality. Step 2. Add a side dish to complement your selected cut. Step 3. Plate up with confidence knowing that your customers will enjoy tender, juicy beef, every time. If MSA graded beef is the missing ingredient on your menu, contact your wholesaler or Meat & Livestock Australia for a list of stockists today. T: 1800 111 672 E: email@example.com www.mla.com.au/msa
MSA GRADED BEEF
delivers centre of plate excellence every time
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide S at ee u Sta s A3 nd 3
Poached Blue Eye with Potato & Leek Soup Serves 10 1.5kg 5L 250ml 12 12 100g 2 2 Punnets
Bulla Cream is the Cream of Creams
ulla Dairy Foods Cream is the cream brand that chefs across Australia trust to never let them down. Made with care by the same three Australian families since 1910, Bulla is dedicated to making products from only the freshest Australian milk and cream. “Bulla has been producing Australia’s best cream for over 100 years and you can taste the difference, Bulla cream is always an essential ingredient in my kitchen.” says Dario D’Agostino Executive Chef and President of Les Toques Blanches – Australia. “Its smooth creamy texture and perfect consistency makes for a memorable dish, every time.” For perfect results every time don’t forget to ask your distributor for Bulla Cream by name. www.bullacommercial.com.au. Bulla Dairy Foods is a major sponsor of the Les Toques Blanches Chef Theatre at this years Fine Food Australia Show. Stand A33.
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Blue Eye fish Freshly made fish stock Extra virgin olive oil Asparagus Baby Leeks Unsalted butter Radicchio Red Garnet Salt and pepper, to season
Potato & Leek Soup 60ml Olive oil 1 Brown onion, sliced 1 Garlic clove, crushed 6 Peeled Pink Eye potatoes 2 Leeks 125ml Vegetable stock 250ml Bulla Pure Cream Salt and pepper, to season Potato and Leek soup: Sauté garlic and onion. Add leek and cook for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Cover with vegetable stock and cook until the potatoes are cooked through. With a stick blender, blend the soup and strain with a fine sieve. Set aside. Poached Blue Eye: Cut the fish into 150g portions and poach them in fish stock until cooked. Clarify the butter and set aside. Bring the Potato & Leek soup to the boil, add Bulla Pure Cream and stir, adjust for seasoning. Cut the asparagus and baby leek evenly and blanch in salted boiling water. Remove vegetables and drain excess water, glaze the vegetables with clarified butter and season. In large serving bowl, place 150ml of soup, position the steamed fish in the middle and placed the steamed vegetables on top of the fish. Garnish with red garnet.
WHAT IS JOSPER? Josper is an elegant combination of a grill and an oven in a single machine.
S at ee u s S HC tand 05
It is aimed at a very demanding profession - the HoReCa sector. It is also highly rated by steak houses, brasseries, tapas bars, bistro-cafes, traditional restaurants, haute cuisine...
• It works 100% with charcoal. • A unique closed barbecue design. • Different levels of GRILLING. • Flexible and robust, easy to use, with a front opening door system. • Vent system for temperature control.
WHAT DO YOU GET WITH A JOSPER AND WHAT MAKES IT STAND OUT FROM THE REST? • OPTIMAL RESULTS WITH ALL TYPES OF FOOD: its high operating temperature allows you to grill and roast, preventing the product from baking. • HIGHER GRILLING QUALITY: adding the unique flavour of the finest embers; a unique texture and juiciness in all products. • FASTER: 35% faster than an open grill. • DUAL OVEN-GRILL FUNCTION: two machines in one. • LOWER CHARCOAL CONSUMPTION: about 40% less than with an open grill. • greatly REDUCES flames, preventing food from drying out or burning. • MORE QUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE: prevents the impact of constant heat on the chef. • IMPROVED CLEANLINESS: the ash is stored in a case in a sealed cabinet below the oven. • MORE PERSONALIZED SERVICE: we have a network of official dealers and consultant chefs all over the world to help with commissioning, advice and after-sales service.
HotmixPRO 159 Cheltenham Road, Dandenong Vic 3175 P: 1300 300 576 E: www.josper.es
Sydney Fine Food 2013 Product Guide
S at ee u s S HD tand 05
Toshiba TEC Hospitality POS solutions.
ocus POS is Toshiba TEC’s hospitality point of sale solution which is specifically designed for restaurants and cafes. FOCUS POS is distributed and supported locally by Toshiba TEC Australia, a well-established POS hardware manufacturer and supplier in the market. Packed with features such as table management, labour scheduling, inventory control, management reporting, Focus POS’s point of difference to other software packages in the market is its affordability and ease of use. With more than 4,000 installs in
North America, FOCUS POS has proven itself to be very reliable and stable to use. Its fully featured functions can be set up very simply or can incorporate a host of different features and graphics
to deliver a simple-to-use yet very effective restaurant management system. Features such as customer service, gift card management and loyalty, extensive reporting and inventory control can all enhance the efficiency of a POS operation and increase store profitability. Some common usage applications include fine dining restaurant to a pizza take away and home delivery. For more information, please call 1300 10 30 38 or visit www.toshibatec.com.au.
RESTAURANT & CATERING 45
Better late than never?
A band of business owners are taking on the domain of late-night dining, determined to defy trends and uncover the ways to tempt punters out late at night. By John Burfitt
here are the people going to come from?” CETN business consultant Jonn Close responds when asked about restaurants extending dining hours to take in late-night diners. “We do not have 24-hour cities in Australia. There is not the demand and most restaurants can’t afford it,” says Close of CETN (Close Encounters Trading Network). If the costs outweigh the revenue, what is the point? I am just not sure there are enough people heading out to dine at 11pm who will maintain the trade.” Late-night dining in the Australian dining scene seems to have something of an image problem. Dining after 10pm is often seen to be either a fast-food trip to the likes of a kebab shop or the exclusive domain of iconic establishments like Pancakes on the Rocks or the small eateries of the Chinatown precincts. Added to the mix are the bars that offer snack plates over the counter to accompany late-night drinks. It is not only the image and the reduced number of regular diners which is the challenge. The restaurants that do offer a broad menu for the late-night diner also have to negotiate various staff award conditions and extended opening council permits, not to mention resident issues and staff security. There are indeed a number of food businesses across the
46 RESTAURANT & CATERING
country that keep the doors open until late, but some have found the model unworkable. “We found it is too hard to make a business work during the prime dining hours, let alone extending the kitchen to late night and hoping the diners will pop in,” Zoe Ladyman of Melbourne’s recently closed Libertine says. “You hear people say if you stay open, clients will get used to it and come in, but that didn’t happen for us. I just don’t think latenight dining is part of our dining culture in this country.” But the concept of late-night dining, stresses Jim Lund of Hospitality Consulting & Coaching, cannot adopt a one-size-fitall rule. Just like any business, Lund says, a number of factors play a significant role in establishing a regular late trade, the top of the list being location. “Those places in high volume areas where there is a lot of people all the time stand the best chance of making it a success,” he says. “During the week, staying open with a late dinner menu might be a waste of time and money, but on the weekends, it might be well worth it. “It is a matter of keeping a close eye on wages, as in many states after midnight the staff rate clicks over and that might be too difficult to accommodate.” The other factor is timing and ensuring the business plan offers a right balance. “The bulk of people want to eat between
“It takes a while as it does not automatically work in the beginning. It is something you have to work on, to market properly and logistically.” Marty McCaig, restaurant
just has to make it viable,” says Lund. seven and nine, and if you have done manager, Trocadero One such place is Trocadero in Melbourne’s the bulk of your business by then, you are Arts Centre precinct. The restaurant and bar fine,” says Lund. “But if you are relying on caters to the before- and after-show dining crowd, the numbers after that time to make the business with its closing hours listed simply as ‘late’. work, then you could be in trouble. “This has been part of our plan from the very start, as we “There are some people who are swimming upstream by want to establish our business as a late-night venue not just catering to that crowd, and I do hope they find ways to for the theatre crowd but for the entire city,” Marty McCaig, make it work. The dining scene is changing constantly and Trocadero’s restaurant manager, says. it makes sense to accommodate this. The business owner RESTAURANT & CATERING 47
“It takes a while as it does not automatically work in the beginning. It is something you have to work on, to market properly and logistically. You have to have the right systems from a budget point of view.” At Trocadero, such factors implemented after 10pm include a dedicated supper menu and reduced kitchen and front-ofhouse staff. On weekends, Trocadero attracts an average of 150 for dinner and then another 50 back for the supper menu. “These are significant numbers and so we monitor and adjust everything accordingly,” McCaig says. “It has to come down to the customer experience. The opening hours have to be consistent and reliable, so that people know they can come here late and we are open. That word of mouth about reliability is what you need to count on.” Reliability has been one of the business foundations of the 24-hour Maisys Cafe in Sydney’s Neutral Bay for the best part of three decades. “One of the reasons this works for us is the reputation we have and the fact so few others do what we do,” manager Paul Tam explains. “Few licences like this are given out, so we are lucky.” Tam says while the business has had to endure the ups and downs of the market, Maisys has kept the doors open 24 hours
48 RESTAURANT & CATERING
a day regardless. “Once you start closing early and not being reliable, you lose your reputation as you have made it difficult for the clientele—and that is not good for you in the long run. “We always have at least one person in the kitchen and one front of house, and that is efficient and is also viable.” Combing a dining area at the rear of a busy bar area is proving to be a successful business model for Añada in the Fitzroy bar strip in inner Melbourne. A full menu is available until 11, with a short menu on offer until 1am. “If you can combine the two and make them both work, then that is your best shot,” Añada’s owner Jesse Gerner says. “I do wonder about places that push a restaurant on its own as a late-night venue. It is expensive keeping staff on and if you are not serving that many dining customers, with a bar, staff then have a range of other things to do as well.” Just as Trocadero’s McCaig and Maisys’ Tam claim, the success of the late-night business does come down to offering consistency to the customer. “You have to be in there doing the work, and some of those nights will be very quiet,” Gerner adds. “It is a gamble and some times will be tough and so you might amend the hours a bit, but if you build up that regular trade, it does pay off in spring and summer. It is a matter of being the place that people know they can rely on late at night.”
Introducing the FireFountain and the FireLamp With the enormous success of the FireStick, the new FireFountain and FireLamp outdoor patio heaters in LPG or Natural gas have been added to complete the real flame collection. These flame heaters are fully standards certified, remarkably the outer protection grills never get hot and are always cold to the touch making them 100 per cent safe and child friendly. Not only do they heat any outdoor area, they truly create a statement with a great atmosphere and ambience, making a
very pleasant change from the old dull style mushroom heater. David Diamond of Climate Australia says that all three styles are fully patented and that they are the outdoor and patio heaters of the future, creating both heat and a stunning features. He claims that the new designs use less gas and therefore are cost effective and burn longer: “We have a heater for every venue and all budgets, with a large range of finishers.” To find out more, call Climate Australia on 0414 485555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or see their website at www.climateaustralia.com.au.
Great new refrigerated drawers Adande’s patented refrigerated drawers are unique to the marketplace, enabling customers to differentiate their product offerings. They make sure that the cold air is retained when you open a drawer, providing energy savings of up to 40 per cent. Installed throughout QSRs worldwide as well as Michelin starred restaurants, Adande drawers suit a broad cross section of foodservice applications. At just 450mm wide, the new Adande Compact drawers provide convenient storage next to griddle and fry stations. Compact units also have many other uses, from refrigerated upright bottle storage to frozen ice and, being small and easy to use, are ideal for outside catering. For more details, contact Stoddart today on 1300 79 1954.
RESTAURANT & CATERING 49
Not for hippies Organic wine is carving a niche at the respected and pricey end of your wine list, says Ben Canaider, and this creates some opportunities for the savvy restaurateur
Qualitative advantages: If commercial incentives are not hen you think about great enough, then the qualitative aspects of organic wine organic wine, don’t try certainly help sales. Think of some of the best names in to remember anything; Australian—and indeed international organic wine making— just try to forget. Forget and among them you find some of the most highly regarded about tree-huggers, wines in the world: Cullen in Margaret River (who arguably make forget about hippy Australia’s finest cabernets), Joseph Drouhin in Burgundy, winemakers, forget Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Central Otago’s about astral calendars Felton Road, the dynamic Telmo Rodriguez in Spain’s and grapes being in Rioja, Alsace’s Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, mystical synch with the mysteries of the universe. Forget all and Sauternes’ Château d’Yquem. Gosh, of that and focus on one thing: premiumisation. Because imagine if that were a dinner party that’s where organics in wine is being taken—to the wine list... posh and increasingly respected end of the wine list. And the reason so many highly And there are some compelling reasons why this is The reason so many regarded brands are going into happening—and why your wine inventory should highly regarded brands organic practices is all down to mirror the changes. are going into organic quality. Organic grape growing, Commercial advantages: Consumption of practices is all down to so its practitioners claim, makes organic wine grew by nearly four per cent in 2010. quality. Organic grape for grapes that are more alive In the same period non-organic wine consumption growing makes for and offer more of their terroir. grew by only two per cent. This consumption grapes that are more The deadening effects of artificial comparison hints at a growing consumer attraction alive and offer more additives applied to soil and vines towards organic wine, as we’ve seen across the entire of their terroir. can have a residual effect on finished organic food and beverage board—milk, pasta, muesli wine, or so is the claim. And if you scoff and so on. Despite higher prices charged for organic at this and think organics is just a marketing products, people are prepared to spend. Michelle Gadd, who trend, think of how much better an organic runs an online organic wine portal and retail presence, www. chicken tastes when compared to a Mr. Supermarket one. organicwine.com.au, compares organic wine prices to boutique Ethical factors: Of course, linked closely to enhanced organic wine prices, and reasons that consumers like organic wine’s wine flavour is the organic mantra of environmental ethics. Look handcrafted origins, as well as its environmental purity. 50 RESTAURANT & CATERING
after the land in a sustainable, zero-effect manner and the land will look after you. Forever. The leaching of chemical agricultural additives through the various stratas of our landscape and waterways seems to resonate with food and beverage customers in so many ways. If you are going to be an advocate of the new organic wine mainstream then it is always handy to know what organics actually is. The category breaks down as follows: Organic viticulture. Like all organic farming, there’s no use of chemical or artificial fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Green manure, composting, companion planting to limit invasive weeds are also part of the practice. Currently in Australia it takes a minimum of three years for a vineyard to be certified ‘organic’. Proponents of organics point out that conversion to organic methods can eventually lead to lower production cost inputs. The organic wine market in Australia has yet to see these lower costs trickle down to wholesale or on-premise wine prices. Bio-dynamic viticulture. Bio-dynamics is often said—rather cheekily—to be organics on steroids. It takes the fundamentals of organics and adds to it notions of a sort of spiritualism. It is also said to be a little like homeopathy for plants. Astral and moon-phase planting, the preparation and application of fermented mineral and herbal potions—these are some of the techniques employed. Bio-dynamists claim that just as lunar cycles affect tides, so too do they affect plants. Organic winemaking. The absence of any chemicals in the wine-making process is the key here—as well as using organic grapes in the first place, of course. Preservative 220, or sulphur dioxide, is allowed, however. And this leads to the prickly question of preservative-free wine, and whether SO2 should be allowed in organic wine making. Wine scientists point out that SO2 occurs naturally in the course of wine’s fermentation. Sulphites themselves are common in many natural products— eggs, for instance. But as a side issue preservative-free wines represent a problem for any on-premise business: as a stock item it has all the shelf-life of milk... Speaking of problems, if there is one downside to organic wine in the on-premise world, then, as Michelle Gadd admits, it is the relatively low multi-region and multi-grape variety spectrum that organic wines cover. With about 2000 organic wine producers globally (fewer than the total number of commercial wine producers in Australia alone), the search for breadth, depth and interest (not to mention the odd bit of novelty) can be a challenge for your wine list. The fact that organic wine doesn’t really have a widely perceived brandchampion, leading the category into consumers’ minds (and wallets/purses) is also perhaps a hurdle. The use of some bolt-on marketing techniques on premise could turn aspects of organic wine to your favour, though: a designated organic wine night (Tuesdays, for instance) or a food-and-winematching special designed to highlight your organic wine inventory. Organic free-range Wagyu beef carpaccio served with organic free-range Margaret River cabernet… If organic wine sales are growing, and if organic wine methods are increasingly part of the wine growing landscape, it is better to be on the tip of the trend and be seen to be an early-adopter than to appear to be a johnny-come-lately in a few years’ time.
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the latest offering from Sandhurst fine foods
100% Australian olives direct from Penfield South Australia
Contact Mimmo on email@example.com and he will send a sample direct to you.
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RESTAURANT & CATERING 51
Republica in St Kilda offers free wifi as a ‘value-add’ product.
Is offering free wifi access to your customers a business booster or a painful waste of time? Catri Menzies-Pike investigates
t seems that restaurateurs and hospitality business owners are increasingly considering adding wifi access to the package they offer their customers. Cafes have long offered free wifi services to customers and for workers, students and backpackers on the hop, being able to log in is a drawcard, especially if it’s free. For restaurants and larger venues, however, the stakes are different. Work habits are changing and many busy people want reliable access to the internet as they roam about. But is eating a meal compatible with surfing the net? Who needs an internet connection when you’re sharing a meal with friends? And with business owners calculating covers to narrow margins, is there a risk that wifi users will take up valuable table space as they work, check Facebook, and peruse their latest eBay purchases? Although the customer who sits on one cappuccino and surfs the internet for hours is a familiar figure in the cafe world, it appears that most restaurateurs aren’t encountering such problems. In fact, while larger venues that cater to young corporate crowds are reporting uptake of wifi services, smaller venues are finding that customers aren’t particularly interested in wifi access. At Republica in Melbourne’s St Kilda, free wifi has been available to customers for the past six years and it’s used
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by nearly everyone who comes to the big beachside venue. Customers flock to Republica to drink, eat, work and socialise, and all these groups enjoy the free wifi service. City workers who are working out of the office are taking advantage of the wifi as they soak up the atmosphere, and so do local backpackers and people working on the move. Republica has an event space that’s often used for workshops and conferences, and there are obvious perks to being able to offer wifi access to the groups who make use of the space. In fact, wifi access is now part of the whole package at Republica. As the venue’s marketing and sales coordinator, Natarlia Webb, puts it, it’s a “value-add product” that’s part of the total service customers receive. It’s more than worth it, she says, and increasingly, customers assume that they will find wifi access at hospitality venues. “I think they do expect it, they certainly ask for it and are happy that it is available.” It’s not quite the same story at The Italian, a restaurant in the centre of Melbourne. (No prizes for guessing what’s on the menu there.) The Italian has had a wifi network set up for use by customers since it opened but Erica Slutzkin tells Restaurant & Catering magazine that only around one customer a week makes use of the service. Staff use the network to access the internet and manage bookings and other aspects of restaurant
administration. But right now, when it comes to customers, wifi access isn’t exactly make-or-break for The Italian. Customers don’t rely on it, says Slutzkin. Even so, it’s a useful and hassle-free complement to their other services. Omar Majdi opened the doors at Afous, a Moroccan and Spanish tapas restaurant in Sydney’s Mosman, last year, and wifi has been on the menu since day one. He and his staff use the service and he wanted to explore all avenues for attracting customers to the business. Patrons do use the service from time to time but as at The Italian, wifi access hasn’t notably drawn in a crowd. The most memorable occasion was a family function where a number of people logged on to Skype to speak with family members overseas. Even though the technology isn’t being used a great deal by patrons, Majdi is pleased he has an up-todate service installed and is ready for the future. What about the technical challenges? Managing wireless networks might be yet another skill to add to the repertoire of hospitality business owners. There’s no need, however, to become an IT whiz. All the people Restaurant & Catering spoke with had outsourced their set-up. Majdi says he’s “not a techy person”, but to date he hasn’t had any problems dealing with the network at Afous. An IT company managed a painless initial set-up at Republica which was recently upgraded to a more reliable system. Instead of providing login details and fiddly passwords, all patrons have
to do is ‘like’ the venue on Facebook to gain wifi access. However, it’s not always smooth sailing, and glitches do occur from time to time. When that happens, says Webb, customers tend to be understanding. “We try and resolve it as fast as possible but as it’s a free service and a bonus to our patrons, we hope they can understand these difficulties and work with us,” she says. “We find we rarely have issues with this.” At The Italian, the set-up was also simple and given that the service isn’t heavily used by customers, there haven’t been many technical issues. Like Webb, Slutzkin says customers are generally understanding about access problems given it’s a free service. Most IT companies offer services for small businesses and can tailor wifi solutions for restaurants and other hospitality venues. Some restaurants approached by Restaurant & Catering magazine have wifi networks established for staff which they make available to customers on request. Several said that wifi access for customers was so insignificant that they’d prefer not to comment for this article. While big venues like Republica are seeing benefits from providing wifi access to customers—especially customers who are working onsite—for now it seems that customers are still going to restaurants to eat. As our dining, work and social lives undergo rapid transformations, however, that may change. Many more restaurants may find themselves managing wifi networks as well as cooking superb meals.
URBAN GRAZE COOKING SCHOOL Kellyville, Northwest Sydney
Home based business and delightful residence - Business with Freehold (optional) Urban Graze has been in operation since August 2006 at its current venue at 6 Patterson Ave, Kellyville NSW. It is a home based business meaning that to operate this business; you would need to live or partly live in this delightful home. The operator of this lucrative business opportunity would need to have good, broad cooking skills – probably a qualified chef with knowledge of different cuisines and food ingredients. Conducts between 4 and 6 classes a week with a maximum of 10 people per class ranging in price from $99 to $105 per person. The benefits you gain as opposed to working in a restaurant and café – shorter hours which enable you to a quality life style; basically no rent and live in a very comfortable house; no peak hour traffic; low transport costs; very low food costs, 99% of all regular home expenditures are tax deductable and the opportunity to expand the catering and tourism side of the business.
There is a comprehensive Memorandum of Information prepared for this exciting business - please contact: Michael Fischer of Michael Fischer & Associates – Restaurant Broker and Consultant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 0418 866 899 Web: www.fischerconsulting.com.au
RESTAURANT & CATERING 53
Spice Temple Melbourne
e had a joint venture between ourselves and designer/architect Grant Cheyne to deliver two projects in Melbourne for Neil Perry—Spice Temple and The Waiting Room. They are both located in the Crown complex along with Neil’s Rockpool. “We wanted Spice Temple to have a street-hawker/food-market type of feel and for the fit-out to reflect that kind of rawness and simplicity. We designed the space to be moody and dramatic with theatrical lighting and screening to create a sense of personal space. When you’re sitting down, your focus is on the comfort of the space and, of course, the food, which is what it’s all about. “The build and fit-out were fairly quick so we didn’t have much time to deliberate on certain choices. It was great to work with Neil as he trusts decisions that have been made. He has a good working relationship with Crown and our builders were excellent in regard to project management and delivery of our concepts. It was a pretty intense period but everything was completed on time. “The restaurant is over two levels. The first level faces the promenade off the Southbank complex and the second level is in the downstairs basement area. The position of the existing kitchen from the past restaurant was set so the travel path for waiters was a challenge. We needed to create a dedicated vertical circulation through stairs to facilitate that arrangement. “Spice Temple is also linked by a shared tunnel and a number of spaces to Neil Perry’s two adjacent venues, Rockpool and The Waiting Room. All the amenities are in one central location with shared back-of-house connections.
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“All the fittings and furniture were designed 1:1 Architects and custom made 31 Niagara Lane specifically for Spice Melbourne VIC 3000 Temple. The beautiful T: 03 9624 8700 Earl Carter photographic W: www.one2one.net.au portraits help create the atmosphere and are a perfect embellishment to the space. In the bathrooms, even the hand basins were designed by us and custom built. “To help create the mood, we used a number of different materials. The Axminster carpet has a floral texture and is quite light. We had to add some extra lighting to ensure the floor wasn’t too dark. To establish a depth of field, we suspended simple timber planks in front of the walls. We then stuck Chinese newspapers behind them and lit it through the middle. The hand-crafted furnishings are all of timber and leather. The ambience is simple yet luxurious. “We also used the services of lighting designers, Flaming Beacon. The pendants over the dining area offer perfect illumination to enjoy the experience of the food arriving. When patrons begin their meal, the plate of food is highlighted in front of them. The lighting also complements the Earl Carter photographs on display. “Neil Perry is all about the food, the experience and the service. The design and the atmosphere of Spice Temple enhances the customer’s experience of Neil’s magnificent food. I eat there all the time.”
interview: Kerryn Ramsey. Photography: Earl Carter
The challenge for 1:1 Architects’ David Nock was to give this restaurant a street-hawker vibe in the middle of Melbourne’s Crown complex
P iz za b ase s