Hospitality Business November 2022

Page 31

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AUT’S first COSTARTERS course graduates unveil their ideas and Johnty Tatham, aka the Lucid Chocolatier, wins the top New Zealand chocolatier title 08 NEWS

New Zealand hosted its first AHICE Aotearoa conference at The Pullman in Auckland, with 458 delegates in attendance. 32 MARISA BIDOIS,


CEO How to address New Zealand’s hospitality worker shortages.



More than 250,000 people are booked to return to New Zealand shores via cruise ships as the 2022-23 season gets underway! 33 CHEF


Meet Vicky Shah – Bringing KOL’s Indian cuisine to the forefront in Ponsonby.


enterprising New Zealanders bring international experience home to service the ghost kitchen market. 16 SYNERGY


Global Business Director Leander Cadbury catches up with NZ agency, Stoddart NZ. 24 KAI PASIFIKA

Chef Peter Gordon’s Homeland demonstration kitchen and restaurant hosted top talent from our Pacific neighbours to showcase their gastronomy skills using island produce. 26 PROFITS


Mean Business Director Stuart Robertson explores how tiny steps can increase profitability, including menu design! 29 VEGEPODS


As the Cost of Living index shows no quick fix for spiralling produce costs, Vegepods and Culinary Kitchen initiatives may ease the pain.

Contents 29 12 08 20

Sailing into 2023 with hope

It would be easy to dwell on the negative influences affecting the hospitality sector right now –as spiralling food costs, fair pay agreements and ongoing staff shortages remain top of the industry’s concern agenda. Yet as 2023 rapidly approaches and our November edition shows, the sector is rising up to meet the growing opportunities on the horizon.

A group of 458 hotel industry delegates, from throughout New Zealand and Australasia, gathered at The Pullman Hotel for New Zealand’s inaugural AHICE Aotearoa conference (pages 8 & 9 ) to discuss, debate and lead by example the future growth the country can expect, as we encourage travellers to return to our shores. This includes an anticipated 250,000+ cruise ship passengers (pages 12 & 13) disembarking to taste our hospitality between now and the end of March.

Coping with this influx requires innovative staffing ideas, as Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association discusses in her column (page 32), and SkyCity’s new robotic staff members displays (page 22).

Mean Business Director, Stuart Robertson provides tips on how tiny business changes can affect your bottom line and looks at how your menu is an essential marketing tool. (Pages 26-27). These initiatives combined with ghost kitchens in Auckland and Christchurch, (page 14), culinary garden kitchens, and the rise of vegepods show (pages 29-31) we are gearing up nicely to tackle 2023 with gusto and optimism.


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And congratulations to Chef extraordinaire Mark Gregory for his entry into the Restaurant Association Hall of Fame!

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Hospitality business – ISSN 2382-1892 (Print)

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NOVEMBER 2022 Vol. 9 No. 6

Hospitality entrepreneurs shine at AUT

“I’m blown away by the ideas, business concepts and enthusiasm of these young people. It was an amazing night,” Astle says.

In association with Hospitality Business’ online newsletter

“Seeing their confidence in themselves and their businesses grow is very rewarding,” she said.

Four entrepreneurs who have completed the inaugural AUT CO.STARTERS - Hospo Edition course, pitched their refined business ideas to an enthusiastic audience at its recent graduation event.

These included: a waffle making-business called Waffle Supreme; a low-fi Café for students; a business offering cooking classes to turn unhealthy meals into more nutritious, delicious versions; and NewOldWays, a platform connecting authentic home-cooked meals from registered kitchens with the local community.

Famed Auckland Chef Tony Astle is a culinary mentor at AUT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism. He helped deliver the course and motivated the presenters and audience at the graduation event with business advice gleaned over his years as Chef Patron of Antoine’s in Parnell.

Martin Bell is the Director of Entrepreneurship, and Innovation at AUT. He says the business ideas developed during the course are a great example of how the sector is re-establishing and re-inventing itself.

“Obviously, the last couple of years have been pretty brutal for hospitality businesses and it’s heartening to see so many great ideas and so much fresh thinking bubbling to the surface.”

Students completing CO.STARTERS - Hospo Edition attended 10 weeks of workshops on Monday and Tuesday evenings. On Mondays they came to understand general business concepts that on Tuesday night were refined specifically to hospitality.

Sabrina Nagel is the course’s Programme Manager and says it was great working with a mix of hospitality entrepreneurssome with early-stage ideas and some with existing businesses wanting to re-invent what they are doing.

Who is NZ’s top chocolatier?

A new, young Wairarapa chocolatier has taken out the title of New Zealand’s best in the NZ Chocolate Awards.

Johnty Tatham, aka Lucid Chocolatier, is the NZ Chocolate Awards 2022 Supreme Winner with his Lucid Chocolatier 68% Port creation. He took the title ahead of 150 NZ-made chocolates from 31 chocolate makers and chocolatiers from across the country at the Awards, which were judged in Auckland.

Lucid Chocolatier 68% Port also won the Bean to Bar Flavoured category. It is produced with nibs from Marañon cacao beans that were submerged in a 10-yearold Taylor’s Tawny Port. The judges raved about it saying “Outstanding aroma notes and flavour and complexity. Flawless texture with exceptional length. Perfect example of restraint.”

Lucid Chocolatier was also Bean to Bar Plain Category Winner for Bean to Bar Lucid Chocolatier 72% Santiago De Sisa. In addition to being the Supreme Winner and collecting two Category Winner titles

Lucid Chocolatier, founded in 2020, is a bean to bar maker meaning it controls the entire chocolate making process from sourcing cacao, roasting it, grinding and winnowing, tempering and making through to selling. All Lucid chocolates are made exclusively from Peruvian cacao, which Johnty chose after analysing nearly 30 samples from throughout world with the top three all coming from Peru.

Industry experts Sophie Gilmour and Camille Rope hosted the Tuesday evening hospitality sessions, with their expertise complemented by AUT Senior Lecturer Lindsay Neill’s academic perspectives on hospitality and business.

“We really enjoyed the process of combining our at-the-coalface approach with Lindsay’s slightly more macro lens on both hospitality and business, and we feel that the students benefitted greatly too,” Sophie Gilmour says.

CO.STARTERS - Hospo Edition will likely run again in 2023. Dr Neill says that the time is right to be an entrepreneur in hospitality.

“Lots of people have hospitality business ideas, some of which emerged from our COVID lockdowns,” he says.

“This short course is a great way to test and refine those ideas into workable business realities.” onCO.STARTERS-HospoEdition.

NZ Chocolate Awards Director Kathie Bartley said it was wonderful to see so many new chocolate makers being recognised in the biennial awards. “It bodes well for chocolate lovers looking for special treats to enjoy and share over the coming gifting and summer season.”

A complete list of all winners, including medal winners is on

Lucid Chocolatier won 14 medals at this year’s NZ Chocolate Awards; seven Gold Medals, four Silver Medals and three Bronze awards. Johnty Tatham (aka Lucid Chocolatier) is the NZ Chocolate Awards 2022 Supreme Winner.

Swiss-Belhotel International returns to Brisbane

Swiss-Belhotel International has announced its return to Brisbane in Australia with the signing of a management agreement for the Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane.

Scheduled to open its doors to guests by April 2023, the hotel is centrally located in Woolloongabba, directly across from the iconic Gabba Stadium, which hosts all major sporting events and is being redeveloped to serve as the centrepiece of 2032 Olympic Games. The Cross River Rail Station, which is due for completion in 2024, is located just opposite the property.

Mr. Gavin M. Faull, Chairman and President of Swiss-Belhotel International, said, “We are delighted to partner with ENZCORP PTY LTD and very excited to return to Brisbane with the new generation of Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane which is one of our premium brands.

“The distinctive concept and quality of the product makes it a fantastic addition to not only our portfolio but to the city of Brisbane. We look forward to welcoming guests with a truly unique hospitality experience in this soughtafter destination once the hotel comes to life.”

Elaborating on the company’s continued expansion in the region, Mr. Faull said; “Oceania is one of our key growth markets and we are making great progress in the region with several properties under negotiation. This new signing is closely aligned with our vision of strengthening our presence in the ‘land of plenty’ as well as bolstering our global portfolio”.

Mr. Patrick Laybutt, Vice President –Operations & Development, Australia and New

Kiwi chorizo crowned NZ Food Awards’ 2022 supreme winner

Described as a true free range “Paddock to Plate” product, Poaka Artisan Cured Meats has been crowned the Massey University Supreme Award winner for its whole chorizo salami, at the 2022 New Zealand Food Awards.

More than 350 guests attended the gala dinner at the Central Energy Trust Arena –the first time the awards have been held in Palmerston North.

The winning Poaka chorizo salami was described as a delicious product with a compelling and engaging story and is an exciting contribution to New Zealand’s cured meats selection.

As the name suggests, Poaka Artisan Cured Meats focuses on traditionally made free range meats. Their heritage breed Tamworth, Berkshire and Wessex saddleback pigs are slow grown on open pasture and finished on acorns and sweet chestnuts, delivering a “melt in your mouth” texture traditionally found in European charcuterie.

Judges described the entry as, “A journey from a traditional style Catalan product to a modern high quality New Zealand chorizo, this is a unique product to be savoured by consumers in our high class restaurants, food service and speciality food markets”.

Head judge Kay McMath says the chorizo salami is a delicious product with

a compelling and engaging story, and is an exciting contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand’s cured meats selection.

“A key aspect to the success of the product was the careful consideration and addressing of challenges along the whole value chain, from animal production and feeding through to the development of new drying procedures and facilities, and the journey to scale.

“Poaka is to be commended for their efforts to implement a long-term, resilience-

Zealand, stressed; “We are proud of returning to this spectacular destination; Swiss-Belhotel Brisbane is being developed as a best-in-class product with 103 luxuriously designed rooms, 7 suites and two penthouses over 11 stories.

“Catering to the diverse needs of both business and leisure guests the hotel is being equipped with all modern facilities to offer a work-life balance including a superb rooftop bar and dining area, multi-functional conference space, energizing gymnasium and sauna, and a relaxing rooftop swimming pool.”

The winning Poaka chorizo salami was described as a delicious product with a compelling and engaging story and is an exciting contribution to New Zealand’s cured meats selection.

From left, Supreme winner, Josh Hill (Poaka), Massey University ViceChancellor Professor Jan Thomas, and Doug Hill (Poaka).

based perspective throughout their farming practices and their production of premium foods that deliver a special consumer experience,” she adds.

Poaka Artisan Cured Meats also won the Cuisine Artisan Award and the New Zealand Food Safety Primary Sector Award.

Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas says the finalists and winners are proof that Kiwi ingenuity continues to thrive, despite a difficult few years.


Mark Gregory joins Restaurant Association Hall of Fame

Globally celebrated chef and businessman Mark Gregory adds another prestigious achievement to his accolades with the Restaurant Association inducting the longserving industry icon into its Hall of Fame for 2022.

Since 1992 the Restaurant Association has annually awarded the Hall of Fame induction to one individual who has made, and continues to make, an outstanding contribution to the hospitality industry.

In joining the Hall of Fame, Gregory is now in the company of industry greats including Otto Groen; Fleur Sullivan; Michael Van de Elzen; Tony Astle; Simon Gault, Judith Tabron and many others.

“We’re thrilled to recognise Mark for his remarkable career throughout which he has not only built many successful businesses both within hospitality and elsewhere, but also consistently and generously given back to the community,” says Marisa Bidois, Restaurant Association CEO.

Gregory’s achievements are considerable. In the kitchen, he was named New Zealand Chef of the Year in 1986 and 1987, before an international stint which saw him win the British Chef of the Year 1988. By 1996, Gregory was awarded a Master of Culinary Arts by the Royal Academy – a first for a New Zealander – and earned

Meilleur Ouvrier (Master Craftsman) status in France. He has worked in prominent establishments across Europe and the United Kingdom over the course of two decades, including nine years as Executive Chef at London’s luxury One Aldwych hotel. Gregory has founded multiple successful restaurants including Its’u in London. He returned to New Zealand from his international sojourn in 2007.

Demonstrating breadth of talent, it isn’t only in the kitchen where Gregory kept things cooking; he is a director of Eveve, a provider of restaurant management software, online booking system Restaurant Hub, and the owner of Le Chef-brand clothing. A published author and frequent culinary judge, Gregory consultants to others in the industry seeking insight from his vast knowledge and experience with clients including Lion, Cookie Time and Kenwood Delonghi.

One of his proudest achievements, however, is founding the DINEAID charity, which helps the New Zealand hospitality community collectively raise funds for City Missions ahead of Christmas. As the holidays approach, participating restaurants invite a voluntary DINEAID $2 donation from patrons, with funds raised going to those in need at the most special time of year.

“From everyone at the Restaurant Association and on behalf of the industry, congratulations to Mark. He has earned his place in the Hall of Fame as a legendary contributor to the New Zealand hospitality scene, providing great food and experiences and positively impacting a broad cross section of society,” Bidois concluded.

Interim agreement will get Auckland Showgrounds up and running

Auckland Showgrounds is set to open following the appointment of a new operator to run the site.

Landowner, the Cornwall Park Trust Board (CPTB) has appointed NZ Exhibition & Events Co (NZEEC) to operate the Showgrounds under a temporary licence as an events and exhibition facility while the CPTB secures a new tenant for the site.

The CPTB’s previous attempt to conclude a lease agreement had been delayed by a legal challenge from XPO Exhibitions. As a result, a conditional agreement between the CPTB and Xytech had been cancelled in August.

CPTB CEO Murray Reade said with the High Court case having been resolved, the CPTB was “keen to get the gates open”.

“The past few months have been an extremely frustrating time for us – and for

would-be users of the Showgrounds,” Mr Reade said.

“While the case was before the Court, we simply could not provide the certainty any organisation needs to commit to a lease agreement – and with the threat of further injunctions hanging over us, we could not even achieve a viable temporary arrangement.”

Mr Reade said the CPTB had used the time to complete a wide range of deferred and important maintenance work to ready the Showgrounds for operation again.

Mr Reade said the CPTB’s agents would shortly be seeking expressions of interest from potential operators, but it would likely take several months to secure an agreement with a new operator.

“Rather than wait for that competitive process to work through before we do anything else, we’ve managed to come to a short-term arrangement that gives

event organisers the opportunity to plan with confidence, that gives us revenue to help fund the operation of Cornwall Park, and that gives the people of Auckland the opportunity to enjoy what we expect will be some first-class events,” said Mr Reade.

NZEEC director Mark Frankham said he was already in discussion with exhibitors who had previously used the Showgrounds – and was expecting interest to ramp up once people knew the site was again available.

“We look forward to welcoming everybody back to the Auckland Showgrounds,” said Mr Frankham.

Mr Reade said several parties had already expressed an interest in taking over the lease of the Showgrounds and he was confident the process that would start shortly was the best way to identify the right entity to run the site.

Mark Gregory

AHICE Aotearoa Highlights NZ Opportunities

Agathering of 458 senior delegates were in attendance for the inaugural AHICE Aotearoa at The Pullman Auckland hotel mid October.

The day started out with a Breakfast Masterclass Investment Outlook led by Colliers National Director – Hotels Dean Humphries who revealed opportunities in the New Zealand market and discussed significant deals, including an announcement that YHA’s portfolio of 10 hostels have been sold to an offshore investor. While Humphries couldn’t reveal the details of the buyer, he stated that it was a “well known tourism fund” and that this is their first investment into New Zealand.

Humphries was joined by Auckland Airport General Manager Property and Commercial, Mark Thomson, who detailed the experiences of the airline industry recovery.

“Domestic [flights] are currently about 85% of pre-COVID levels and we’re confident that is going to get to 100% by the end of the calendar year,” Thomson said.

“International is 60% at the moment and based on slot bookings – the bookings that airlines put in for international – we see that getting to 70% by the end of the year. That’s really encouraging for a number of reasons.”

Event Hospitality Director of Development Hotels and Resorts, Peter Hill, was also optimistic about the outlook for New Zealand.

“Our view long term is incredibly positive –with the opening of many markets, increased air capacity, the great appeal of New Zealand will be stronger than ever,” he said.

Australia and NZ International Investment Group (ANZIIG) Managing Director, Yesh Mudaliar , spoke to the opportunities that China will bring now New Zealand has reopened.

“In my opinion, the Chinese market is a sleeping giant,” he said.

“When they do return, it’s going to be a great time for hoteliers, we’ll be able to capture that market and welcome them with open arms. From the intel we have, it’s forecast to come back in the second half of next year.”

NZ Hotel Council Aotearoa Strategic Director, James Doolan, crunched the numbers, revealing that New Zealand’s 350 hotels represent an estimated total asset value of NZ$12.25 billion. Meanwhile, STR Regional Director – Pacific, Matt Burke, delved into the data behind hotel bookings and revealed that New Zealand hotels are 50% booked for the next six months.

On the design front, experts from Proinvest Group, Scott Carver, and more discussed the integration of culture design and the importance of sustainability in design and construction.

TOA Architects’ Nicholas Dalton discussed the Motive framework and why it’s important that when it comes to sustainability the focus is not just on the site but the also the surroundings, to uplift the whole environment.

AHICE Chair and Convenor James Wilkinson was joined by Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry, who discussed the entry of Jo&Joe to New Zealand, in partnership with CP Group, as well as the entry of Tribe and Hyde, and the success of Accor’s sponsorship of Stadium Australia.

“The Accor Stadium is an incredible opportunity for us – not only the branding – inside all the individual brands come to life,” she said. “And our loyalty guests can experience it all.”

She also spoke about Accor’s partnership with Qantas and status matching, where guests can earn Qantas points when they stay at an

National Party Leader, Christopher Luxon with AHICE director James Wilkinson (left) and Hotel Council Aotearoa Strategic Director, James Doolan (right).
David Allott, General Manager – Hospitality, SkyCity Hotels.

Accor property and can earn ALL points when they fly with Qantas.

The Owners’ Outlook saw leaders from Proinvest, Langham, CP Group and more share their insights.

CP Group New Zealand Asset Manager, Terry Ngan, discussed the importance of technology in hotel operations, guest experience, and how hotels recruit and retain staff.

He also spoke about CP Group as a leader on sustainability, becoming the first hotel group in the country to be granted a sustainability linked loan.

“That journey started 10 years ago, not last year,” he said.

“It’s a culmination of that and our strong team of ESG managers and leaders which led to our bank believing in us and funding us, and giving us KPIS to reduce carbon emissions and improve ESG.”

National Party viewpoint

New Zealand National Party Leader Christopher Luxon spoke passionately about the revival of the tourism industry and his desire to work directly with industry leaders to achieve outcomes.

“I want to work in quite a different way where you, the industry, generate the sector strategy,” he said.

Driving the return of international travellers and skilled workers was a key focus in his presentation.

“We need to kickstart tourism and we need to do it now,” he said.

“We have to realise when we put up barriers [to working in New Zealand], people will seek out better opportunities elsewhere and we have to compete.”

Luxon said the National Party has been calling on government to make New Zealand a more attractive destination for working holiday makers, as well as a three-month visitor visa that WHM visa holders can add

onto their stay to further enjoy the country.

“The main way forward for New Zealand is value over volume,” he said.

“We need to earn more from each of our international visitors coming to New Zealand, and the likelihood of more turbulent economic times ahead of us as a global economy means accessing those higher value visitors who we found in the GFC.”

He also spoke to productivity in the tourism sector, which he said, “sits in the mid 40s”.

“If we can lift tourism productivity to be in the top 10%, we’d earn an additional $9 billion of value from tourism each year,” he said.

“Tourism can help build a pathway to greater growth and prosperity.”

F&B, technology, development

A panel of F&B experts including Benjamin Kreig, Vice President Operations of FutureLog Oceania, David Allott, General Manager – Hospitality, SkyCity Hotels, Doron Whaite, General Manager of QT Auckland, and Franz Mascarenhas, Managing Director of the Cordis Auckland, spoke passionately, about the role of tech in food and beverage venues and how robots can boost productivity particularly during staff shortages, in a session facilitated by Hospitality Business editor, Kimberley Dixon. The importance of driving the return of skilled workers, with better training, culture and motivations was a key topic.

Sir Ian Taylor

Internationally renowned New Zealand businessman Sir Ian Taylor had a captive audience for his keynote address. He spoke about his world-leading computer graphics company Animation Research Ltd – launched at the height of COVID in 2020 – which uses Virtual Eye technology to provide real time sports graphics for the world’s biggest sporting events.

In a pre-recorded video interview, Air New Zealand’s Chief People Officer, Nikki Dines, shared the importance of diversity in the workforce, including gender and cultural diversity and hiring people with disability. Air New Zealand flights incorporate the Maori language into the service onboard.

“For those who are fluent, we want to celebrate them so that their colleagues are learning and customers are learning,” she said.

Colliers’ Dean Humphries returned for an afternoon session, highlighting the strength of the latest hotel development cycle in New Zealand, with 54 hotels built.

“I don’t think we are ever going to see a bigger development cycle – that started in 2016-2017 and will finish 2024-2025 – it’s been a real journey,” he said.

In the development outlook, panellists spoke about the rise of mixed-use developments.

“A lot of investors are looking to de-risk, so a lot of future properties will be mixed use,” said BWH Hotel Group Director of Development Performance, Elena Martiniuc.

Delegates had a lesson in New Zealand culture from Sudima Rotorua Hotel Operations Manager, Awatere Douglas, and Sofitel Wellington Area General Manager, Raymond Faulkner, who taught delegates Maori song and dance.

Langham Hospitality Group CEO Brett Butcher also appeared by video interview, discussing the evolution of the Cordis Auckland and the group’s hopes to expand in New Zealand.

“We’re very keen to speak to anybody that would like to take our Cordis or Langham brand further in New Zealand,” he said.

“I think the Eaton brand fits really nicely in New Zealand. We’d like to bring the Langham brand back to Auckland. Cordis or Langham fits beautifully in Queenstown, Wellington and other destinations.”

During the final session, delegates enjoyed drinks with the bosses, with leaders from Wyndham, TFE, and more sharing some final thoughts on the future of the industry. ■

HM magazine Editor in Chief, and AHICE director James Wilkinson. Franz Mascarenhas, Managing Director of the Cordis Auckland.
Sir Ian Taylor, Director of Animation Research Ltd.

Gearing up for 2023

It’s obvious the industry is back with a bang! AHICE confirmed that everybody is busy well beyond what was expected. And the forecast is for more of the same for summer and next year. A nice way to shake off the Covid blues, but better if there wasn’t the staff and skill shortages most hotels are experiencing.

The only real issue with that bang is being ready for it. A quick way to lose your competitive edge when it comes to Guest experience, both before and during their stay with you, is to be under-equipped. With that in mind, do you feel truly ready for a bumper 2023? Or are there investments to make, changes to implement, and a new gear to find in order to get back to profitability?

Clarity are in the same boat, and we’ve been seriously busy upgrading our products and services in order to best serve new and existing clients in 2023. Over our 25 years of supplying systems to the hospitality industry, our development has always been driven by what you our customers want. Now you just need it faster and you want it simpler! These are challenges we’re up for.

Clarity’s mantra for our product development:

1. keep it simple

2. make it all in one

We’re investing massively across our product range. Updating the tech stack

of our products so that they becomes even more flexible and user friendly. Not just Clarity Hotel Manager, but across all of our products. New, intuitive user interfaces, and more options to simplify internal processes, better guest engagement functionality, sophisticated rates and inventory control, improvements to third-party systems integration, and easier access to data ‘shaped’ to your needs.

Let’s not forget the little ‘tweaks’ our customers asked for.

Yes, we listen to them, and yes, the products change.

No ego, just better products. Best idea wins!

Our 2023 goals are ambitious, but we like to think our customers have a golden opportunity to grab a windfall that’s absolutely needed after the last three years. It belongs to the quick, the smart and the ones who care for their guests. We can help you make the most of that opportunity.

Not only are we gearing up the tech side, but also gearing up our training, especially the self-help programmes. We’re making it easier for less staff to do more by being efficient and knowing the systems thoroughly. We think utilising better software for doing the heavy lifting is better than a frantic recruitment strategy and a ballooning of your payroll.

We also keep it simple by providing inclusive supply packages, so you don’t have to deal with detail and multiple providers. And of course, 24x7 in-house support. All with one thing in mind - how can we make it simple for you? ■

If you want to switch gears and make running your hotel/group easier, give us a call on +64 (0)9 480 2507 or +64 (0)21 964278, visit our websit at or send us an e-mail at Looking forward to 2023 with excitement!

Clarity - keeping it simple.


New Beginnings for New Zealand Cruise

Iput forward to our cruise clients throughout April/May 2020 when all this kicked off that going in hard and early meant that we would be the first out the other side and potentially one of the safest destinations on the planet.

As it turns out we are well over two years before restarting and we are very nearly the last cruise destination to restart. I cannot profess to speak of anyone else’s experiences of these last years but I know that we are all bonded together by the sheer adversity we have faced both in our working lives and subsequently our personal ones. In particular hospitality and the cruise sector have been hugely hard hit.

On July 31 2022 we finally re-opened our Maritime Borders. On August 12 we had the first call in 880 days of the Pacific Explorer to Auckland. This signified our ‘new beginnings’ and reinforced the positive feeling that we are able to navigate through this Covid-19 era within the maritime industry. It was fantastic to have these excited guests pouring in to Auckland and other regions and back in to our café, restaurants and bars, spending also on retail!

We have 42 different cruise vessels visiting Aotearoa in 22/23 season

which began on the October 16 with the Majestic Princess calling in to Tauranga, Auckland and Bay of Islands. These vessels will incorporate 150 voyages visiting 26 different New Zealand destinations.

We, along with Regional Tourism Organisations, have committed to working with our communities so they can be informed regarding the return to service and what it looks like, solidifying a destination management partnership.

We need to continue working with all relative tourism associations and entities in particular the hospitality sector; there is strength in collective thought and that sharing of expertise is vital. We have over 900 port calls for our season ahead with January being the busiest month.

Overall Dunedin will receive the most calls with Auckland then Christchurch following closely behind. A total of 253,505 cruise visitors are expected to come via our maritime borders. We have a plethora of Ship turnarounds in Auckland as well as Dunedin and Christchurch.

These ports will see an uptake of accommodation and again spending within our cafes, bars and restaurants, and retail will see a spike on and

around these dates as guests often fly in 42 different cruise vessels visiting Aotearoa in the 22/23 season October 2022 – March 2023 Executive Director ID Tours Ltd /Board Member NZ Cruise Association /Director Tourism Industry Aotearoa 150 voyages visiting 26 different NZ destinations.
‘Queenstown is often not thought of as a cruise destination nor does it often realise that it does indeed benefit from this sector.’

900 port calls with January being the busiest month

for a few days before boarding and stay a few days post debarking.

New Zealand also offers great choice in pre and post touring which are often up to seven nights pre cruise and post cruise, all of which of course require accommodation nights within all the duration of these tours offered.

We also offer Overland Tours with perhaps the most popular being guests dropped in Milford heading to Queenstown from tours and one night accommodation to then travel to Dunedin to pick up the ship again the following day.

A total of 253,505 cruise visitors via our maritime borders.

Pre-covid we would have put approximately 10,000 bed nights in to Queenstown all of whom also would do some touring and shopping etc., I mention this as Queenstown is often not thought of as a cruise destination nor does it often realise that it does indeed benefit from this sector.

Pre covid we also had a winter season in Auckland for ships that were home based there for itineraries in and out to the Pacific. These will begin again for the winter season in 2023. This also provides a key opportunity for hospitality providers, in Auckland especially.

Our resolve stands strong behind a deep commitment and united voice in getting our cruise industry started again. The future of the cruise industry is strong, it will be different and it is most definitely in our hands as to what that might look like.

So far the data we have around this season coming is that the vessels visiting our country will be 80%-100% full. Demand is strong for a cruise holiday which is fantastic and one we should be taking an advantage of as a cruise destination. ■


Meet The Kitchen Collective – a Growing Kiwi Initiative

The Kitchen Collective is the brainchild of two Kiwi hospitality entrepreneurs who brought their international experience of cloud kitchens and food delivery service back to New Zealand.

Harrison Stott and Rob Humphrys opened their first TKC in Christchurch early 2021, with their second location opening in Glendene, Auckland in May this year, and they are currently looking for a third location as interest in the concept continues to grow.

Harrison has a strong history with the start up tech sector, including UK’s Karma Kitchen and Rob was a founding member of deliveryonly franchise Peckwater Brands in the UK and America.

Known as a Cloud or Ghost, Host or Virtual Kitchen, The Kitchen Collective is a fully equipped commercial kitchen space that is shared and available to rent by established or aspiring restaurateurs, caterers and food service providers.

The digital ordering and delivery sector has grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic over the past five years in America, indicating that ghost kitchens are an extremely profitable business venture. Ghost kitchens are a particularly profitable alternative to owning a dine-in restaurant in high rent areas, or areas saturated with eateries. Virtual restaurants also save money on start-up costs, building maintenance and front of house staff.

According to Reportlinker, the online food delivery services global market will reach $US192.16 billion by 2025.

What are the benefits of operating from a cloud kitchen?

The cloud kitchen industry is booming internationally alongside the rise in demand for delivery services. Particularly with the impacts of the pandemic, there’s been a shift toward athome dining as well as increased pressure on the hospitality industry to innovate and cater to customers in more cost-efficient ways. Just some of the benefits of operating from a cloud kitchen include:

• Fewer-start up costs and lower overheads

• Preserve your dine-in experience with a delivery-only kitchen

• Test local demand before investing in bricks and mortar

• Expand your business footprint into new areas

• A kitchen optimised for delivery-only service

• No front-of-house labour costs

What size kitchens do you have?

At The Kitchen Collective the private kitchens range from 21.55m² to 50.23m².

How much does it cost to rent a private kitchen at The Kitchen Collective?

Pricing starts at $2,000 NZD per month in a private kitchen. To discuss pricing and leasing options in more depth contact harrison@

What commercial kitchen equipment does The Kitchen Collective provide?

The larger private kitchens provide:

• 10-tray commercial combi oven

• 6 burner hobs

• Fryer

• Standing double door fridge

• Single door freezer

• Dishwasher

• Stainless steel benches

• Preparation sink

• Wash-up sink

Please note that the final equipment supplied will vary depending on the size of the kitchen.

Can I bring in my own cooking equipment?

Yes, absolutely. We will just need to discuss this with you ahead of time to work out what the best solution is. In the shared kitchens you’re also able to bring your own equipment providing it doesn’t need to be connected to gas or a three-phase plug.

How long are the leases?

We offer flexible lease options that start at one year within our private kitchens. In the shared kitchen space, we offer both ad-hoc memberships and monthly memberships so users can book a shift that best suits you and your business.

Can I use a kitchen as a one-off?

Absolutely. Our shared kitchens are the perfect option for people who just need access to a food safety compliant commercial kitchen for a limited amount of time. We have eight benches in the shared kitchen space available to book on a shift by shift basis; 7am - 3pm or 4pm - 12am (or both).

Is there storage onsite?

Yes, we have a shared walk-in cold room, walk-in freezer and dry storage. All are available to use at a minimal extra cost. Private kitchen storage includes a rack system and shelves, plus any additional storage you’d like to bring onsite. If you’re using our shared kitchens, due to the rotation of users we can’t have any equipment or ingredients stored within the actual kitchen space.

What is included in the shared kitchen?

If you book a bench in the shared kitchen you will have access to:

• 7-tray combi oven

• Two burner hob

• Working benches with under counter fridge and freezer (only accessible during shift)

• Washup area

• Conveyer belt dishwasher (shared)

Is The Kitchen Collective site secure?

Yes, all entrances are accessed via keypad with unique codes. You can also sign in via swipe in our members-only app at the main entrance. We have an onsite community manager during the day and security cameras operating 24/7.

Will existing members get first rights for new locations?

Yes, we’ll offer kitchen spots in all new sites to existing members first before signing up those operating within one of our spaces.

Can I tour the kitchens before committing?

Of course, we love showing off the space! Get in touch with us to arrange a date and time. ■

Facilities are located at: 9a Akatea Rd, Glendene, Auckland & 466 Tuam St, Phillipstown, Christchurch. collective/

Harrison Stott.
more information contact Harrison:
Our cloud kitchens – a collective of private and shared commercial-grade kitchens – are designed to help food creators minimise costs, maximise profits and streamline operations. We provide the space.
do the cooking. For

Grilled To Perfection With Synergy

Leander Cadbury, Global Business Director at Synergy Grill Technology made a whistle stop visit to New Zealand late October to catch up with Stoddart, Synergy’s exclusive Kiwi importer and distributor. While here Leander took the opportunity to talk to Hospitality Business editor Kimberley Dixon, over a business lunch at Stoddart’s demonstration kitchen at 52 Pavilion Drive, Mangere, to discuss the benefits and tech history of the Synergy Grill range.

After starting a career in investment banking, Cadbury shifted focus to help grow the families’ Cambridgeshire, UK innovation and manufacturing business, which has since pioneered what is believed to be the world’s most advanced commercial char grill, employing more than 25 highly skilled technicians to develop the award winning series of grills.

“I am now visiting our agents around the globe, from South Africa to New Zealand. In the same way

that there have been great advances in other categories of foodservice equipment, such as modern combi ovens, at Synergy we are doing that to the category of char grills and flat-top griddles,” he explains.

“Of all the main categories of equipment in any modern kitchen, whether it’s a cloud kitchen, QSR, fine dining, casual, or catering installation, the technology for char grills has been the same for the last 50 years. Every chef knows that many grills are dirty, messy, and unreliable bits of kitchen equipment that’s got hot and cold spots, takes skilled labour to use and heavy labour to clean. Synergy Grills takes those hassles out of the equation.”

Demonstrating the Synergy Grill’s ease of cleaning – or ‘fat atomising’ properties, as Leander calls it, Stoddart Executive Chef, Adam Dickson also showed how a vacuum cleaner can also effectively help to reduce the cleaning time required to make the synergy grill sparkle.

Innovator and Company Chairman, Justin Cadbury developed the

ground-breaking technology of the fuel-efficient burner to be used for the new generation of fat atomising gas grills, producing better quality food at lower energy costs than ever before. Synergy Grills were developed says Leander, in partnership with chefs over many years with particular emphasis on global development and sustainability and a focus on robustness and energy efficiency to meet today’s environmental goals.

For Cadbury and the team, one of the main goals was to reduce unnecessary labour.

“The simplicity of Synergy Grills is not there to remove the magic or artistry of a chef. Instead, we’re reducing the time being spent on cleaning and managing the equipment while making it easy to train someone to use. This allows chefs time to expand menu development, improve consistency, all while saving a restaurant or food service provider up to $20,000 a year in running costs.”

“We had the product 80 to 90 percent

The patented Synergy Grills are kinder to food and reduce the amount of grease that passes through ventilation systems

of the way there about 10 years ago and since then we’ve worked closely with top chefs as well as companies like Whitbread, QSR chains and contract caterers to really refine and develop it, making it robust and reliable

Why Synergy Grills are Like No Other

Synergy Grill has patented awardwinning technology designed around its gas burner system.

This works at incredibly hot temperatures yet uses an average of 59 percent less gas than a standard grill.

The HSE paper DW/172ventilation in catering kitchens states how vapourising grills require 22 percent to 25 percent less extraction. (Synergy Grill is believed to be the only vapourising grill on the market).

An additional benefit is that Synergy Grills reduce the amount of grease that pass through the ventilation system, so they require less cleaning. In fact, many customers say, they halved the number of duct cleans required after installing a Synergy Grill.

Synergy Grills are also kinder to food and will not cinder food the way other grills can. Yet they still gently smoke the food giving you an incredible flavour whilst giving clear contrasting bar-marks.

Because the grill atomises fat, natural oils are returned to the food, providing continual self-basting. Through this cooking method, less moisture is lost during the cooking process, giving you more succulent food, and boasting 50 percent less shrinkage than a standard grill.

Simply Great Steaks

Synergy has been the grill of choice for the prestigious World Steak Challenge since the competition began in 2015.


Visiting Global Business Director of Synergy Grills, Leander Cadbury with Stoddart New Zealand’s Executive Chef, Adam Dickson at Stoddart’s demonstration kitchen, 52 Pavilion Drive Mangere, Auckland.

had no hesitation in selecting Synergy Grills once again this year,” noted Lorraine Hendle, Managing Director of the World Steak Challenge.

Cadbury explained that the World Steak Challenge is the ultimate competition for steak producers and suppliers to showcase their product quality and breed credentials on the international stage.

“To have Synergy selected as the grill of choice by the organisers is a real honour and a testament to how it consistently brings out the best results in every cut of meat in a quick and sustainable way.”

“Synergy Grills has worked with us at the World Steak Challenge since it began. The rigorous preparation and judging process means we need consistency of delivery and an even distribution of heat across the entire cooking surface. Every year the team of judges compliment us on the quality of our chosen grills and therefore we

Synergy Grill Technology has also won a raft of awards for innovation and sustainability, including the 2020 and 2021 Energy Efficiency Award at the annual Footprint Awards.

With pioneering, award-winning technology that is revolutionising the hospitality industry, Synergy chose Stoddart as its exclusive importer and distributor in New Zealand.

“It sounds silly, but with Stoddart’s deep understanding of and experience with the Kiwi hospitality and foodservice sectors, and their desire to be at the forefront of innovative technology, it’s a partnership in perfect synergy with who we are as a company.” ■

For more information about Synergy Grill Technology, visit

“Synergy Grills were developed in partnership with chefs with emphasis on energy efficiency, global development and sustainability ,” Leander Cadbury.

Scan to view the range online

Superior cooking whilst using significantly less energy

With pioneering, award-winning technology, Synergy Grill is revolutionising the hospitality industry. Through high power and low energy consumption, Synergy Grills enable faster food preparation while significantly reducing energy costs when comparing to equivalent grills.

Winner of the 2019 footprint award for sustainable catering equipment, Synergy are the only gas grills that have gained accreditation from the Carbon Trust, a global organisation that is providing solutions for the world’s climate crisis.

Robotic Solutions To Staff Challenges

Two new team members at Andy’s Burgers & Bar at SkyCity in Auckland are taking customer service to a whole new level!

Both Bella and Bud – who gained their names from an employee competition - are delighting customers and their employers alike with their thoroughly reliable, efficient, cute and friendly workplace habits.

Capable of carrying up to four full trays to a table at any one time the newly employed BellaBots, with their innovative bionic design, and furniture sensing modes, are proving highly cost efficient for Andy’s, says Cecilia Qian, Restaurant Manager – Casino, at Auckland’s SkyCity.

“At a time when hiring staff is a major challenge for the hospitality industry we have found the robots to be an ideal solution. Our patrons love the novelty factor and the return on our investment is invaluable.

“Customers order their meals via the QR code on their tables, which go directly to our open kitchen for preparation and when ready, are delivered by either Bella or Bud, our friendly robots. They work in tandem and are pre-programmed to the needs of our facility.

“They can even sing Happy Birthday to customers, and love to have their ears stroked!”

According to David Allott , General Manager of Hospitality at SkyCity Auckland Ltd the robots have the ability to pay for themselves in less than 6 months and a local service agreement with the suppliers ensures any technical problems can easily be addressed should they arise.

Featuring an innovative bionic design language, cute modeling, multi-modal interaction and many other new functions, BellaBot provides users with a friendly food delivery robot experience.

Automation Eases ‘Revenge Dining’ Trend

Alongside the often discussed ‘revenge-travel- trend in the hospitality industry at the moment, lies a counterpart trend in the Food & Beverage sector according to FutureLog Oceania Vice President, Benjamin Kreig.

“Unable to dine in their favourite hotels and restaurants for so long during the global pandemic, customers are now trying to make up for lost time and are exhibiting ‘revenge dining,’ behaviours,” explains Kreig.

“While this growing trend is a relief to the industry it’s putting renewed pressure on chefs, kitchen teams and all those involved in the F & B e-procurement journey to stay in control of their ordering, inventory taking and recipe management process.”

FutureLog’s Recipe Module – designed with the hospitality industry in mind, brings time saving automation to tasks such as adding nutritional and allegen information to recipes. With full POS integration, inventory decrementation is recorded automatically and efficient, real time menu engineering can be completed in just a few clicks.

FutureLog develops a range of e-procurement solutions tailored to the hospitality, catering and gastronomy industries. Cloud-based and fully interfaced, it offers market-leading functionality that differentiates it from other procure-to-pay platforms.

Helping customers to automate manual tasks, streamline stakeholder communication and digitally transform their ordering, inventory management and invoicing processes is what makes us tick. We offer easy-to-use solutions for each step of the

F & B procure to pay activities are designed to ease revenge dining pressures.

digital procurement journey, with intuitive, transparent experiences along the way.

“Data also lies at the heart of what we do. Supported by robust analytics, customisable reports and dynamic visualisations, our new Business Intelligence module brings simplicity

and clarity to customer data, helping our clients to identify trends and make data-driven decisions,” says Krieg.

The FutureLog platform also has a strong F&B focus. Our recipe and inventory management modules can be interfaced with client POS and finance systems for automated menu engineering and recipe management with real-time costs; a “must-have” for today’s gastronomy teams.

“We also understand hospitality’s fastpaced nature and the need for agility and responsiveness. Available on both desktop and mobile devices, our application makes it easy to complete P2P journeys while on-the-go.

“Alongside our centralised master data management and seamless tech stack integrations, our solutions can be fully implemented in less than a month, with onsite/remote onboarding options available. As it’s completely cloud-based, there is no large upfront investment, only monthly turnoverbased subscriptions that keep your operational costs to a minimum.”

Led by Benjamin Krieg, the Oceania office is located in Sydney and serves customers across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. With some of our first New Zealand-based customers now preparing to join us in the coming months, we’d love to discuss how FutureLog can assist your business. Contact Benjamin now to arrange a complimentary, obligation-free pilot. ■

Benjamin Krieg, Vice President Operations +61 424 954 881


Swiss-Belhotel International NZ Appointments

Four senior appointments have been made across Swiss Belhotel International’s New Zealand operations.

Adam Berman

Operations ManagerSwiss-Belresort Coronet Peak

Adam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and is currently pursuing his Masters in Hotel Management. With 13 years of management experience in the travel and hospitality industry, his strong skills and expertise at the front office, his comprehensive understanding of guests’ needs combined further with hotel operation management, makes Adam an ideal executive to lead the property.

Adam has been appointed Operations Manager of the 3-star, 54-room, SwissBelresort Coronet Peak in Queenstown, reporting to Mr Patrick Laybutt, Vice President - Operations and Development - Australia and New Zealand, and Ms Suzanne Pentecost, Cluster General Manager - Queenstown,

New Zealand & General Manager SwissBelsuites Pounamu, Queenstown.

Chris Boyd

Acting General ManagerSwiss-Belboutique Napier

Chris started his career in Swiss-Belhotel International five years ago in Brisbane and then moved to The York by Swiss-Belhotel, Sydney. Chris has extensive knowledge and leadership experience in hotel operations and is now responsible for the 5-star, 52-rooms and suites, SwissBelboutique Napier. He reports to Mr. Patrick Laybutt - Vice President - Operations and Development - Australia and New Zealand.

Rohit Phanse

Regional Accounts

AdministratorNew Zealand

Rohit holds a Masters in Business (Accounting stream) and is a Chartered Accountant with CAANZ. He has gained 10

years of customer service related experience along with his accounts and legal qualifications.

Rohit is responsible for overseeing the financial management of four properties in New Zealand and also reports to Mr. Patrick Laybutt, and Mr. Chathura KandambyRegional Financial Controller.

James Cowan General Manager SwissBelsuites Victoria Park, New Zealand

Mr. James Cowan has been appointed as the General Manager for SwissBelsuites Victoria Park, Auckland, New Zealand.

James has been in the industry for nearly 20 years, overseeing all aspects of hotel operations, including revenue management, sales and marketing, cost management, and maintaining stakeholders interest.

James is now the General Manager of Swiss-Belsuites Victoria Park, a 5-star, 40 suites apartment style property.

New Hotel Manager for Regent of Rotorua

With a strong background in hotels throughout New Zealand, Mike Eccles, the new Hotel Manager at the Regent of Rotorua understands the challenges faced by the industry to deliver for both international and domestic visitors.

Eccles has worked in the hotel industry for over 20 years since completing his Advanced Diploma in Hotel Management in 2000. Bruce Garrett, Managing Director of Brook Serene says: “I am very pleased to welcome Mike Eccles back to the fold. Mike worked with us at The George in 2009 as Front Office manager before heading north and gaining further experience in Rooms Division and

Hotel Manager Roles. Mike will help ensure our guest experience is seamless as well as oversee some very exciting new developments we have planned for this property.”

Regent of Rotorua has been recognized as one of the high quality, safe and sustainable hotels in New Zealand by being rated four plus stars and awarded the silver Qualmark status under the Sustainable Business criteria ■

Delight your Customers

Shop all your Christmas needs at Gilmours in-store or online.

Serve up some magic with

Auckland’s latest destination for eats and entertainment... CONTACT: Alan McArdle 021 288 0337 DESTINATION QUALITY EXCEPTIONAL EATS. 8 CINEMA BOUTIQUE MULTIPLEX. LANDSCAPED TOWN SQUARE. ARCADE ENTERTAINMENT FOR YOUNG AND OLD. 5 eateries ranging in internal size from 130sqm to 400sqm with additional external expansion environment. 8-cinema multiplex is expecting to attract an additional 200,000 visits in it’s first year. A beautiful outdoor space to provide a centralising focal point for the entertainment precinct, the wider town centre and the South Auckland region as a whole. A 1,200sqm entertainment concept space best suited for a modern arcade or entertainment user. Match Realty Limited Licensed Agent (REAA 2008)

Shared Kitchen food blog ger and cook book author


Vanille du Pacifique

The Loska family managing Vanille du Pacific have been working with the best Tahitian vanilla growers over the years, supporting more than 200 of them in remote Polynesian islands. www.

Venui Vanilla in Vanuatu has perfected a cultivation system plus processing and curing methods that represent the ultimate in vanilla production. Venui Vanilla works closely with local growers and their communities across six islands in Vanuatu. They have expanded to cultivating other spices including pepper, chilli, ginger and turmeric.


83 Islands rum

83 Islands Distillery makes premium craft rum and spirits using Vanuatu ingredients. They have been filling barrels and aging rum since 2019, making limited-editions flavoured rums and gins and other spirits using local ingredients. Their 2020 Rhum Agricole is made with wild sugarcane.

Distillerie Moux David

Founded in 1991 on the island of Tahiti. The distillery has about 13ha of sugar cane plantation as well as fruit tree orchards. In 30 years the distillery has developed two exceptional vintages: Cuvé triple vintage

“Where have all these amazing products been hiding?”
Julie Biuso

a fusion between 3 barrels of aging; and Cuvé single cask for 15 years. Tamure Dream is a rum with the scent of wild oranges.

Distillerie du Soleil

Terre du Sud rums are produced and distilled on rich and preserved land in New Caledonia. Their sugar canes and local fruits, picked and peeled by hand, bring incomparable aromas. The white rum won the silver medal at the Concours Général Agricole of the Salon International de l’Agriculture 2019 edition. www.facebook. com/


New Caledonian blue prawns

New Caledonian blue prawns (Litopenaeus stylirostris), produced by aquaculture company SOPAC . Levels of some amino acids are particularly high in Cristal Blue prawns, giving them a unique sweet flavour.

Niue Honey

Niue Honey is certified organic completely free from chemicals (including glyphosates), disease and parasites. Niue’s bees have never suffered from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).Niue Honey won two First-in-class golds and was named Best International Honey at the UK’s 85th National Honey Show - The Oscar’s of world honey.

Fresh Produce

Tuikai Fiji snap freezes its white and golden taro, and cassava produce within 24 hours of harvest to lock in all the flavour and goodness. The produce is organically grown on rich volcanic soil with abundant rainfall.

Cacao and chocolate

Gaston Chocolat is produced from pure single origin Vanuatu cocoa. The company is close to a network of farmers, and flies out to remote islands to visit them. Gaston Chocolat handles the whole harvest and post-harvest process, from the fruits on the trees to turning them into chocolate bars.



frozen albacore tuna Golden Ocean Fish’s core business is sustainable tuna long-line fishing, processing and exporting of yellow fin, big eye and albacore tuna. Also other Blue Pacific deep sea fish - marlin, swordfish, mahimahi, wahoo, opah, escolar, sailfish and spearfish. All products carry SQF Code Edition 9.0 certifications.


Banz Kofi is based in Papua New Guinea, roasting the freshest organic single origin Arabica coffee beans from the Waghi Valley. All coffee is roasted fresh to order and shipped direct to the end user. Complex flavours are developed that lack the acidity that ruins many coffee brands.

Plus the Pacific Island Wake Up blend from South Pacific Coffee Company, Fiji.


Bora Bora sea salt

Bora Bora Sea Salt is produced naturally on the French Polynesian Island of the same name. Bora Bora Sea Salt is offered as a pure product, or mixed with Tahitian vanilla, or ginger and curcuma, or coconut. Presented in custom-made ceramic jars, beautiful gift boxes or in refill bags for restaurants.

Fiji Fire Chilli Sauce is a blend of hand-picked native bongo chillies, local wild-harvest turmeric, naturally brewed vinegar, carrots and sea salt. It is all natural, has no additives, no extra flavouring, and no preservatives.

The Cacao Ambassador

Cacao Butter, Cacao Nibs, and 100% Cacao Paste – sourced from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. The Cacao Ambassador products come from over 18 years of experience in the craft chocolate industry and with the farming communities who grow cacao.

Fiji Fijiana produces a Japanese-style cacao curry mix, made from healthy ingredients. The best quality sourced from the Fijian hinterland.

Trade enquires contact
The Pacific chefs with Homeland’s Peter Gordon: Leonid Vusilai (Vanuatu) Dora Rossi (Samoa), Losavati Sewale (Fiji) Rangi Mitaera-Johnson (Cook Islands) and Tuiohu Mafi (Tonga).

How tiny gains can have a massive impact on profit

Most hospitality businesses operate on a tiny margin; often between five and seven per cent, but rely on selling a high volume of products to make money – sound familiar?

This model makes hospitality a hard graft, but it also creates an awesome opportunity to double, or even triple, profit!

It sounds too good to be true, but in most cases, this miraculous profitability boost can be achieved by adopting a strategy that focuses on the aggregation of marginal gains. – Let’s take a look at how that works.

How it works

Let’s imagine a pretty typical hypothetical café that operates seven days a week and has a turnover of just $15,000 per week, or $780,000 a year.

TURNOVER $780,000 FOOD COST $273,000 35% WAGE COST $280,000 36% EXPENSES $171,600 22% PROFIT $54,000 7%

Its food costs are 35% of turnover, wage costs are 36%, and operating expenses are 22%. This gives an operating profit of just 7%; or $54,600 per year.

Increasing turnover

Increasing turnover is always a great place to start. Not only does it add more money to the bottom line, but if you increase turnover by increasing your prices, this higher turnover will also improve the food cost, wage cost and operating expense ratios.

In the case of our café, it would be very easy to increase turnover by just 5%, from $780,000 to $819,000 a year

(or $107 a day), by simply increasing prices by 5%.

In addition to increasing prices, there are loads of other ways to increase turnover through things such as clever marketing, altering your service offering, and suggestive upselling.

Decreasing food costs

While increasing turnover is a great start, there’s no point in stopping there, this café should be doubling down on its profit gains by now focusing on reducing food costs.

The best way to do this is to look at current food costs as a percentage of turnover, and then set an achievable target, one or two percentage points below this.

You can then look for ways of achieving this target by calculating the true food cost of every item on your menu, then looking for ways of reducing them by a myriad of available methods, such as portion sizing, waste reduction and seeking cheaper alternatives; just to name a few.

Using our hypothetical café as an example, reducing the food costs from 35% to 33% of the original turnover would save $15,600 per year.

FOOD COST $273,000 $257,400 5.7%

Decreasing wage costs

Already we’ve been able to significantly increase the operating profitability of our café, but let’s keep on going by diving into wage costs.

Wage costs are one of the biggest costs to businesses, particularly right now, so we need to monitor them closely, and constantly hunt out efficiencies and ways to keep the roster lean.

Like food costs, the best way to reduce your wage costs is to set yourself a target and work backwards from there.

In the case of our café, we’ve targeted a tiny saving of just one person-hour, per day. With an average wage cost of $25.00 per hour, this is a saving of $9,075 a year.

“Like food costs, the best way to reduce your wage costs is to set yourself a target and work backwards from there.”

WAGE COST $280,000 $271,725 3.2%

Decreasing expenses

Operating expenses go up every year. Many of them, such as rent, are all but impossible to reduce; however like staff rosters, expenses can build up a little fat over time.

Left unchecked, costs associated with things like subscriptions, services and utilities can all creep up; but often, these items can be cancelled if superfluous, or their costs reduced by shopping around.

In the case of our café, we’ve been able to easily reduce expenses by just two percentage points saving $7,800 a year.

EXPENSES $171,600 $163,800 4.5%

Bringing it all together

Using our hypothetical café as an example, we can see how a small increase in money coming in, together with small reductions in money going out, can create a huge increase in profitability. In this simple example, we’ve been able to turn a moderate $54,600 operating profit into $126,075; an increase of 131%!

If you haven’t done so already, just imagine this in the context of your own business! Small turnover and cost opportunities lie everywhere and it’s amazing how they all add up. ■

Menus are one of our most powerful marketing tools as they will heavily influence customers’ perception of a restaurant, how much they spend, and in many cases, where they choose to dine.

It’s critical therefore that we put the same care into the design of our menu cards, screens and boards, as we do in designing the menu items themselves, by considering the three fundamentals of profit-driving menu design.

1. Know Your Market

Don’t try to be everything to everyone! Design your offering by intimately understanding who your ideal customers are, and how and when they dine.

Truly understanding your ideal customers’ needs, at various times of the day, and paying attention to what’s currently selling and not selling, will help guide what items should be on your menu.

2. Menu Design

Did you know customers spend about 60-90 seconds looking at a menu and even less for some dining formats, such as busy food halls? To make things even more challenging, they often devote only moments to deciding whether they want to dine with you or not.

Menus, alongside all your other design elements, therefore need to communicate your offer in a clear and appealing way.

Studies show that when reading a menu, customers’ eyes are normally first drawn to a spot near the centre. They then look to the top right

corner before moving in an anticlockwise direction around the menu. Understanding this will provide some valuable clues on how to best lay out your menu, and where your most profitable items should be located.

Make it easy for customers to digest your menu by not overcrowding it, providing plenty of clear space, and having no more than seven items in each section.

Avoid price being the dominant item on the menu. If it is, it’s more likely to negatively influence what customers order. By putting the focus on the name of the dish and its descriptor, your customers are more likely to make their decision based on their attraction to a dish, and then use this to justify the price.

To carry this logic one step further, it’s good practice to avoid stacking

TURNOVER $780,000 $819,000


FOOD COST $273,000 $257,400

WAGE COST $280,000 $271,725

5% 3.2% 4.5%

EXPENSES $171,600 $163,800

PROFIT $54,600 $126,075


*Bio: Stuart Robertson, Mean Business. Owner of hospitality consultancy Mean Business, Stuart brings big business discipline to the hospitality sector, working with café, restaurant and building owners to create profitable eateries and dining precincts.

Foundations of Profitable Menu Design

prices on top of each other in a column. We call this column pricing, and when your menu is laid out like this customers often subconsciously scan down the column of prices to help make their choice.

3. Pricing

When considering your price, your goal should be to sell the greatest number of meals to the greatest number of people at the highest possible price. When this is perfectly balanced your profit is being maximised.

Make sure you know your food, wastage and packaging costs down to the cent; so that you can set your selling price at least three, but ideally four, times higher than this cost. –We call this bottom-up pricing.

You also need to consider your bottom-up, alongside top-down pricing. Top-down pricing is what you believe the market will be prepared to pay. Ideally, these should be about the same, however, if your top-down price is lower than your bottom-up price, you will have to re-engineer your recipe. If the top-down price is higher than your bottom-up, that’s great, there will be even more margin available to you.

Consider how the price of each item on the menu affects the perception of the value of other items. For example, imagine the majority of mains on a menu are around $25, but one main is $35. How will your customers perceive this? For some, that $35 dish will make the cheaper dishes look like great value. Meanwhile, others may think that a $35 dish is something really special. ■

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New Staff Support Initiative Set to Reduce Cost of Living

Spiralling fresh produce costs have prompted a new initiative which helps staff grow their own organic fruit and vegetables and harvest honey from beehives at work. It has even been welcomed and adopted by restaurants and hospitality providers also seeking to manage fresh produce costs.

A staff support programme established by a national beverage distribution firm, Hancocks, for more than 200 South Auckland staff provides up

to 150 kg of fresh produce per person annually and is part of a quarter of a million dollar investment to reduce the cost of living for workers.

More than 20 contained gardens, known as Vegepods, surround the fence line at the Mangere site where vegetables and herbs are planted and harvested by a team of volunteers to help feed staff and their families.

The great thing about the pods is how much fresh produce you can get out of a small space >>>



Food prices were 10.1 percent higher in October 2022 compared with October 2021, Stats NZ has announced, reaching a 14 year high.

“This was the highest annual increase since November 2008,” Consumer Prices Senior Manager Nicola Growden said.

“In October 2022, the annual increase was due to rises across all the broad food categories we measure. Compared with October 2021:

• grocery food prices increased by 9.7 percent

• fruit and vegetable prices increased by 17 percent

• restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 7.5 percent

• meat, poultry, and fish prices increased by 10 percent

• non-alcoholic beverage prices increased by 8.7 percent.

The Stats NZ information revealed that restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by only 7.5 per cent in the past year, below the average food price increase.

“Restaurants are being hit by both labour and food price increases with more price hikes and wage increases pending,” says Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association.

“Restaurants are in the process of increasing prices. Some have already done so but others are taking a more cautious approach.

“Customers like certainty so businesses are trying to lock in food prices for the coming months to avoid fluctuations in pricing. This means working closely with suppliers and focused menu planning.

“Diners can expect to see reductions in the number of items on a menu and also some price increases.

“The hospitality industry is not a duopoly so the competition makes it a very challenging playing field,” said Bidois.

and how much faster it grows -50% faster than a normal garden, says Lisa Lowe, Vegepod’s owner. “We have six vegepods being used at the Hobbiton restaurant and King’s Plant Barns use them for their café kitchens.”

Sustainable gardening experts help educate the employees on how to harvest rainwater, grow fresh produce without the use of chemicals and pick only what is needed.

In addition, the company has invested in 30 lemon, lime, apple and mandarin trees and six beehives to provide the staff with honey all year around.

Joe Jakicevich, Hancocks managing director, says the initiative was created to provide employees some additional support as the cost-ofliving spikes.

According to Stats NZ prices of fruit and vegetables this winter

have increased by 16% over the past year - driven by significant increases in capsicums, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers and green beans.

He says the programme may provide a template for other organisations wanting to help offset inflationary led increases in fresh produce prices.

“We recently merged our warehouse and office teams with staff taking turns picking fruit and vegetables which are bagged and left in the communal kitchen for everyone to help themselves.

“We have had experts come in and give us some tips on gardening so many of our team are becoming quite green fingered. The teams have also learnt how to harvest just what they need to get the best out of the garden from a sustainability perspective and we are also collecting our own rainwater,” he says.

“It’s wonderful to see how proud the teams are of these pods, we call it our community garden and often staff will bring their kids and extended families in to have a look and show them what they’ve been doing,” he says.

“Right now, we’re getting underway for our spring planting, so we’ll be adding cherry tomatoes and obviously more lettuces as they are pretty pricey for people,” he says.

“Sales have continued to grow beyond this as Kiwis feel the financial pressure and are turning towards finding ways to help combat the rising cost of vegetable prices,”
Lisa Lowe.
Well known New Zealand tourist attraction, Hobbiton has six Vegepods growing fresh produce for its restaurants.

To supplement the community garden produce, Jakicevich also provides a monthly box of fresh fruit and vegetables for all staff members.

Jakicevich said it took three days to set the garden up and he hopes to expand the programme to the firm’s Christchurch and Wellington offices.

He says the raised garden beds can produce up to three tonnes of fruit and vegetables each year. A single large pod could produce up to 50 lettuces every six weeks - the retail equivalent of $2,500 annually. The value of each harvest can be significantly higher when growing other crops.

“Pandemic driven food shortages, the rising cost of produce, inflation, petrol and heating is having an impact on all Kiwis. We wanted to do something tangible for our staff, that also gives them a sense of pride and teaches them new skills.

“My hope is that we will extend this programme, I’d love to be able to put a vegepod in each of their homes too,” he says.

Jakicevich has invested a quarter of a million dollars in support for his staff including health and wellness checks.

“As we look to life beyond COVID we can see the impact this has had on Kiwis mentally, physically and financially. I feel a responsibility to my staff to help ensure they are in the best possible place. I want Hancocks to be a good company full stop. That we are looking after people, looking after our community, and looking after customers,” he says.

Lisa Lowe, owner of Vegepod NZ, says the company has had a 55%

increase in sales over the past 12 months as financial pressures continue to impact Kiwis.

“Initially we noticed sales start to climb as a result of COVID - as isolation measures saw households opting to grow their own produce.

“Sales have continued to grow beyond this as Kiwis feel the financial pressure and are turning towards finding ways to save money and help combat the rising cost of vegetable prices.

“We have been selling more Vegepods in all cities and towns across the country with the most growth in sales coming from Auckland (Central & South) and the South Island.

“We have also noticed a trend towards more people in the Millennial age group buying vegepods and getting back to basics by growing their own produce to lower their food bills,” she says. ■


• Larger Stock - Growing your own herbs and produce is a surefire way to know where your food came from. When other restaurants are worried about shortages and costs, you’ll still be fully stocked. You can also grow uncommon herbs that can give your dishes unique flavours!

• Fresher, Better - Tasting Ingredients - Since the ingredients are growing only feet from your kitchen, they retain their strong flavours. Herbs sitting on a shelf lose their flavours over time. Having a culinary garden allows you to skip the storage shelf, resulting in better-tasting ingredients.

• Environmental Benefits - Most people know that plants help filter the air we need to breathe, but using home-grown ingredients in your commercial cooking also cuts down on the packaging that store-bought produce comes in. Less packaging means less waste in landfills. It also cuts out a huge amount of carbon emissions that result from the transportation of goods from the farm to the store to the kitchen.

• Sense of Fulfillment - Tending to a garden can bring a tremendous sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Studies suggest that gardening can actually reduce the risk of diseases like depression and improve your mood. You can even use the garden as a team-building exercise to create a happier, more cohesive staff.

• Free Landscaping - In addition to their functionality, gardens also provide beautiful landscaping for any facility. Your customers will love having the leafy green plants and colorful flowers around, especially if your dining area is outside.

• Novelty - Culinary gardens are becoming popular in the same way that farm-to-table restaurants and locally-grown food have. Knowing where your ingredients come from makes it easier to know they are all-natural, with no pesticides or preservatives.

“The great thing about Vegepods is how much fresh produce you can get out of a small space and how much faster it grows -50% faster than a normal garden.”

A Solutions Based Approach To Our Skills Shortage

More than a year ago we wrote to the Government raising concerns regarding our sector’s large skills gap and staffing shortfalls, seeking support from Government to find workable solutions that keep businesses operational.

Nothing was operationalised, and now, in November 2022, we find these staffing shortages more severe than ever.

In our July member survey we found that 85 per cent of businesses were understaffed. Two thirds had to temporarily close in August due to staffing challenges.

Feedback is that businesses are permanently recruiting – 78 per cent of those businesses currently recruiting say that they receive fewer than five applications.

It is clear that we need a practicable, solutions-based approach to our sector’s continued staffing challenges.

We have some ideas on how this can be solved and have proposed the following:

• Adopt HospoCred as a tool to help combat migrant worker exploitation

• Progress a Sector Agreement for hospitality

• Immigration NZ to provide clear progress updates for employers

• Work with sector leaders to refresh the image of hospitality

• Re-align the Executive’s public commentary on hospitality

1. Adopt HospoCred as a tool to help combat migrant worker exploitation

It is our view that one of the most effective ways to eradicate migrant exploitation in Aotearoa New Zealand is to introduce sector-specific accreditation, like we have done with HospoCred. This would serve as a useful tool to help the Government get ahead of the problem, by acting as a rigorous pre-check requirement.

HospoCred can help migrant workers make informed decisions when applying for work in New Zealand acting as an assurance that their employer adheres to the highest standards of employment and safety.

2. Government to progress a Sector Agreement for hospitality

While grateful for the Government median wage carve out for our industry, we believe that the time is right to begin exploring a sector specific agreement for hospitality.

We are calling on the Government to work in partnership with our sector to scope out work for a hospitality sector agreement to give our industry the legitimacy, clarity, time and appropriate workforce that we so desperately need.

3. Immigration NZ to provide clear progress updates for employers

One of the most common pieces of feedback to our helpline is the frustration in visa processing times. To avoid excessive frustration, we recommend that the Government implement an easy to access, weekly update on visa processing delays.

4. Government to work with sector leaders to refresh the image of hospitality

Our sector is not ignorant to the fact that there are bad operators in our industry, as is the case in every sector. However, we are concerned that the perception of the industry has been disproportionately tainted by the constant publicity of the underbelly of our industry.

Considerable work has been done by the industry to lift employment standards. The Restaurant Association is proud to be leading this work with a number of initiatives, such as the

recently launched HospoCred and the Association’s workers support initiative - Tautoko Hāpai Ō.

If the Government is committed to helping the sector become less reliant on migrant labour, we would welcome proactive efforts to recreate the hospitality employment narrative, in order to help us help New Zealanders see hospitality as a career pathway for life and attract locals to our workforce.

5. Re-aligning the Executive’s public commentary on hospitality

We are frustrated by the flippant comments made by Ministers about pay and conditions in our industry. These have a significant influence and reach and go a long way toward business sentiment and employer confidence.

We are aware of the rogue operators in our industry and the legacy issues they have caused, and through our recovery we are tackling those issues head on. Our sector is moving as fast as we can to build a more sustainable industry—but this work takes a blow every time our businesses hear from the Government that they aren’t good enough.

Our businesses continue to take up the challenges thrown at them with determination and pride and we would like to see that publicly recognised by Government ministers.

We remain optimistic that if we work more closely with Government, we can rebuild the confidence of employers, employees and customers in our industry but this can only happen with a certain degree of mutual respect. ■

“We are frustrated by the flippant comments made by Ministers about pay and conditions in our industry.”
- Marisa Bidois


position he held for the next two-anda-half years.

In early 2022, Vicky moved to a head chef role at Ben Bayly’s Ahi establishment, before the Sahrawats offered him the head chef role and profit share in their new venture, KOL. He accepted and has been busy working on dish and menu development ahead of the restaurant’s expected opening in early November.

Vicky says he’s excited by the cuisine that will be on offer at KOL. “When you go to India, every street you go to you see the charcoal kebabs,” he said.

“Coming to New Zealand, there’s not a lot cooked on charcoal and you don’t get that smoky flavour. At KOL, we’ll have that flavour and will be pairing it with the best local produce – it will be the best of both worlds.”

Vicky Shah

Born and raised in Mumbai, Vicky Shah’s love of cooking was first inspired by his mother, an excellent cook in her own right.

As an only child, he would hang out in the kitchen with his mum and try new foods. Vicky began cooking alongside his mother and decided at around 14 that he wanted to be a chef.

Food was always the cornerstone for his family’s get-togethers, and Vicky felt encouraged by the joy he saw when his loved ones would eat the food he’d prepared.

Vicky, now 26, decided to move to New Zealand in 2014, soon after finishing his schooling. He studied at NSIA in Symonds Street (now called The Culinary Collective Cooking and Hospitality school), while working part-time at SkyCity for 18 months. He was also introduced to Chef Sid Sahrawat through a family member and spent some time working at his fine dining restaurant Sidart while still studying.

Vicky felt Sidart was the best restaurant and Sahrawat the best chef – and he wanted to learn from the very best. When he finished his studies, he took a full-time job at Sidart, first as a pastry chef, before working in every section of the kitchen over the course of the next two years.

When Sid and Chand Sahrawat acquired another fine dining institution, The French Café, in 2018, Vicky transitioned over to that kitchen, spending four months working under its previous owner, well known restaurateur Simon Wright.

Vicky then spent nearly 18 months at The French Café before floating between it and the Sahrawats’ other restaurant, Cassia. He eventually became head chef at Cassia in 2019, a

Vicky says he wants to change people’s minds about Indian food.

“KOL will offer casual Indian style dishes but not as you know them –there is more to Indian food than a traditional Indian curry.”

But ultimately, Vicky is looking forward to sharing the joy of good food with diners.

“There’s just something about cooking and then seeing someone smile, that’s what you want to cook for – that means everything to me.” ■

Vicky Shah Head chef, KOL
“Coming to New Zealand, there’s not a lot cooked on charcoal and you don’t get that smoky flavour. At KOL, we’ll have that flavour.”
– Vicky Shah
A KOL feast of Indian flavours with Kiwi produce.
Vicky Shah, Head Chef at newly opened KOL restaurant.

DoorDash App Heads South

DoorDash has launched in Christchurch, marking a significant milestone in the company’s plan to expand across New Zealand.

Christchurch locals can download the DoorDash app and get deliveries from their favourite local restaurants, cafes, and convenience stores.

Rebecca Burrows, DoorDash’s Regional General Manager of Australia, New Zealand & Canada, says, DoorDash is excited to work with Christchurch’s hyper-local and diverse array of eateries, and support their growth.

“We have found that our merchants and dashers are very excited to partner with DoorDash as a new delivery platform after our successful Wellington launch in May this year,” she said.

Christchurch locals now can choose from a host of national brands along with local favourites include: Boo Radley’s, Cafe Valentino and Sun Dog Diner and Mumbaiwala.

Anup Nathu, the owner of the Christchurch-based Indian restaurant Mumbaiwala, said they are thrilled to work with DoorDash to share his love of Indian street food.

“Having DoorDash in Christchurch brings in a huge opportunity for us as a restaurant. We are so excited to have the DoorDash team on the ground and embedded in the

community, listening to what we need so that they can support us and other merchants to share our food with Cantabrians,” Nathu said.

The Christchurch launch comes five months after DoorDash first entered the New Zealand market in May this year, starting in the foodie capital Wellington. Today there are hundreds of dashers in Wellington making deliveries from over 500 merchants.

Burrows said DoorDash is thrilled to continue its plans to expand around New Zealand, and has received great feedback from merchants so far.

“This is part of our commitment and excitement to grow our coverage across New Zealand cities and create opportunities for merchants and dashers to connect with local communities.”

Since launching in 2013, DoorDash has become the largest on-demand local commerce platform in the United States and can be found in thousands of cities world-wide. Its mission is to bring together communities by connecting consumers with their favourite local and national businesses bringing ‘More to Your Door’.

Te Pūkenga – a new era of learning for industry

Like strands of harakeke being woven together, our work-based training organisations, institutes of technology and polytechnics are joining together to become Te Pūkenga.

Te Pūkenga will be Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest tertiary education provider. It will create better ways of learning for industry, focused on where our workforce needs to be, now and in the future.

As one, national network, Te Pūkenga will provide flexible, career-focused learning that fits around the learner’s life – on-the-job, on campus and online vocational training.

Working for everyone

Te Pūkenga will be the cornerstone of a cohesive, sustainable vocational education system that helps improve wellbeing for all New Zealanders, and supports a growing economy that works for everyone.

It will help New Zealand move to a vocational education system that puts learners in the centre.

Closer to industry

Te Pūkenga will work closely with industry and business to understand their needs. Directly aligning the training we provide with the needs of employers and their staff.

It’s about helping our communities and workplaces grow and thrive together, and providing businesses with knowledge and skills that are relevant to their changing industries.

Fit for purpose

Te Pūkenga is supporting a modern, futurefit workforce for Aotearoa. Learners are encouraged to stay connected with their whanau, culture and communities as they work and learn.

The same, only better

Local campuses, courses, support and training teams will remain in place, but are now part of Te Pūkenga.

This will create access to a wide diversity of subjects and locations, and flexible ways of learning – on-the-job, on campus and online. Helping our people, our communities and our workforces grow and thrive together.

Te Pūkenga. Learn with purpose. Find out more at


Work-based training that fits your business

Our training will be relevant to the needs of business and industry.

Te Pūkenga is working towards a modern, future-fit workforce for Aotearoa.

Find out more at tepū

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