Restaurant Association of New Zealand

Member News

Tax changes AIM to please

The Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Act 2017 has introduced changes to the method of provisional tax calculation, improvements to interest and penalty calculations.

New Zealand School of Food & Wine - popular courses on offer with member discounts

We are pleased to be able to offer Restaurant Association members a discount on some of the NZ School of Food and Wine's most popular courses. These are the Licensed Controller Qualification, 1 day food safety course and a beginners course to starting your own food business.

Restaurant Association celebrating our achievements in 2016!

Wow, it's been a busy year, here are some of the Restaurant Association's achievements in 2016. We thank all of our members for their support and for being part of this journey with us!

​What type of employment relationship do you have?

Different types of employment require different employment agreements. Unfortunately, the types are sometimes misunderstood and the wrong type of employment agreement used – this can lead to all sorts of trouble down the track! This article gives you a quick overview to set the record straight.

How to Engage Your Superstars

If you are in charge of a superstar, then you must be a super superstar. Right? That’s a lot of pressure. One of the awkward secrets of managing superstars is that many managers are not 100 percent sure they really have what it takes to continue leading that superstar.

Member update: November 2016 earthquake

We have spoken to many members over the past week and we know that a number of regions are still being dramatically affected as a result of this week’s earthquake and after shocks (not to mention the storms). We just wanted to reiterate that we are here to help, so if you do need advice or support please give us a call on 0800 737 827.

Not Enough Chefs In The Kitchen

As Auckland’s skills shortage looms, MIT announces drive to train local chefs.

Exclusive member savings available through Noel Leeming

WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION HAS PARTNERED WITH Noel Leeming to offer members fantastic savings on products in its Noel Leeming stores nationwide.

Internationally Recognised Chef’s Qualification

International Culinary Studio is a proud initiative of culinary professionals and educators who have realized the potential for people currently working in the industry who are required, or want to up skill themselves to get qualified with an International accredited Chef Qualification.

"That's It, I Quit!"

Even the most harmonious workplaces can sometimes experience discord, where an employer may unexpectedly be faced with a heat of the moment resignation that sees the employee storming off, vowing never to return. Are resignations made under these circumstances final?

Order the Restaurant Association Health & Safety Package

The 2016 Restaurant Association Health & Safety Package is now available to order.

Wintec hospitality students learn on the job

New Zealand’s hospitality industry is crying out for appropriately trained and skilled workers and the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) has developed a work-based learning programme to address this.

Hospitality Industry Going Strong In 2016!

There is continuing strength in the hospitality industry as latest figures we have sourced from Statistics New Zealand show nationwide annual sales grew by 7.2 per cent for the year ended March 2016. Industry sales are now almost $9 billion per annum!


10th July, 2016

Beef + Lamb New Zealand are calling for chefs to get creative in the kitchen for the 21 st annual Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards.

Reservation Dogs

14th April, 2016

Whilst customers assume we are just in the business of selling food, we are also in the business of renting chairs to people who eat food. In order to maximise revenue ideally we like all of our seats occupied form the beginning of to the end of service with hungry and thirsty guests.

ServeWise - e-learning tool

14th April, 2016

ServeWise is HPA’s new national e-learning tool developed for frontline sellers and servers of alcohol. The tool has been developed in response to industry as well as regulatory agency demand for improved standards of training across all licensed premises.

Winetopia - a celebration of New Zealand wine (20-21 May, 2016)

14th April, 2016

With 673 wineries spread the breadth of the country, in just a few decades New Zealand wine has changed our landscape, our reputation and our palates. Now just after this year’s grape harvest winemakers will be heading to Auckland for a new national wine celebration from 20 – 21 May, 2016 and you are invited.

Changes for 2016 Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards

14 April, 2016

The Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards are back for 2016, with new categories and a new announcement date but the same commitment to recognising excellence in New Zealand's world-class restaurant scene.

Minimum Wage Increases on 1 April

It has recently been announced that the minimum wage will increase by 50c on 1 April, 2016. If you are not sure who this will apply to and the difference between the adult minimum wage and the starting-out wage, we clarify for you here:

Judges announced for NZ Vegetarian Dish

23 February, 2016

The country’s premier vegetable competition, The New Zealand Vegetarian Dish Challenge 2016, will be judged by some of New Zealand’s leading hospitality figures.

Christmas update 2015

An update on our opening hours over the holiday period 2015, info on gift vouchers and gift cards and more...

Restaurant marketing and booking site Restaurant Hub launches

The team at Eveve NZ have soft launched their new restaurant marketing and booking site Restaurant Hub. A natural extension of the Eveve booking system, Restaurant Hub lets consumers search and book for Eveve NZ restaurants around the country.

Gina's Italian Kitchen...

Gina's has been creating memorable dining occasions in true tratorria style since 1994, whether a birthday celebration, an office team building exercise, sports club end of season wrap party or a night to catch up with a group of friends, Gina's reputation for understanding socializing and celebration is well documented.

Congratulations to our Christchurch hospitality champions

Christchurch is transforming before our eyes.

A Celebration of Wine and Food!

It is a three-day celebration of Wine and Food at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine (NZSFW) from 13 – 15 September, with an impressive line-up of amazing wines from some of NZ’s most illustrious wineries, a showcase of food and produce from local Auckland artisan producers, hands-on cooking workshops, free cooking demonstrations, master-classes and much more!

Music and hospitality ~ a great combination at Fort Street Union

Fort Street Union Rooftop Pizza Bar was born out of a space that used to be a dingy and unloved backpackers bar in downtown Auckland. By peeling back the layers and revealing the heritage rated “bones” of the building, Andrew Roborgh and partners ‘Cook Brother Bars’ were able to create a venue with a very unique vibe.

Heilala Vanilla celebrates 10 years since its first harvest

Since arriving on supermarket shelves, Heilala Vanilla has grown into a world-class food business, winning customers with its range of organically grown, bourbon variety pure vanilla products. The company has also won praise from the food industry and chefs alike, and now exports to more than seven countries.

Booking scam...

We have been contacted recently by a member who received the following scam email (see below). As it may be "doing the rounds" we alert you to it:

Does your social media actually make you money?

If you'€™ve got a business, you've probably been told a thousand times how important it is for you to be on social media. But does having a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account actually make you any money? According to social media expert Wendy Thompson, Managing Director of social media marketers Socialites, you can'€™t underestimate the importance of having a brand that people engage with on social media.

Train to gain

The main function of businesses in the hospitality industry is to serve people - whether it's food and beverage, accommodation or a combination of these and other services. The importance of employee training and development in hospitality is paramount; this is because every job aims for the same goal of customer satisfaction.

Firing up your business: 5 tips from Google

With more and more Kiwis using the web to research and buy goods and services, it’s essential that New Zealand businesses get their online strategy right. Here are 5 tips for getting your business firing...

Dining precinct plans unveiled for historic Queen Street building

Plans have been unveiled for a new up-market central Auckland single-site dining precinct to rival the likes of the Ponsonby Central, Viaduct, and Britomart precincts.

Tork brings a touch of modern glamour to the table

On walking through the intriguing entrance of the popular, new Madame Wu on the Brisbane River it’s clear to see that the atmosphere is as important as the food and wine. An exotic mix of textures, lighting and sculpture provide an uber-modern vibe...

'Tea break' bill becomes law

Despite a little last minute debate, and the distaste of Union representatives, Labour, the Greens and NZ First, the Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament at the end of 2014 and was passed into law. The new Act officially is in force from 6th March, 2015.

Do you want to increase your financial literacy?

While you may have a grasp of the basics regarding money matters for your business, this is an area that most of us have limited expertise in...

Don't let go: how to keep your star performers

What causes a high performer to lose their passion for their job? The work could be rewarding, the team efficient and capable, and the pay excellent, and yet still they may feel unfulfilled. Why could this be?

Essential update on new Health and Safety legislation...

Our Help Line has had a number of calls from members recently concerned about the new Health and Safety reforms. In order to set your minds at ease here is a brief update to bring you up to speed on some of the key implementation dates.

How Do You Know If It's A 'normal' Day Of Work?

As the upcoming Christmas and New Year public holidays approach it is often challenging when staff work different shifts and hours week by week to determine whether a public holiday falls on an '€˜ordinary working day'€™ for an employee.

Your Christmas Game Plan...

With the busy season well and truly upon us many employers are finalising their rosters over the Christmas and New Year period and with this comes the usual confusion over payment for workers on the public holidays.

Mentor Me!

When wrestling with a problem, have you ever wished you could seek the advice of an industry expert who has ‘been there and done that’?

Successful Recruitment Means You Have To Think Big

One of my tips to successfully recruit, train and retain employees is to act like a big company behind the scenes. What do I mean by this? Have all the correct systems in place and the ability to consistently use them, just like a big company would do.

Dine in style with Tork LinStyle

The look and feel of a table setting creates the first impression, so if you're aiming high you'll be pleased to know Tork® have launched a top of the range linen-look napkin designed to impress.

Cafe & Restaurant Managers In Demand

The hospitality sector is facing a critical shortage of skilled managers, with many businesses struggling to find suitable candidates and positions remaining vacant for months.

Spotlight on employee performance = what should you do?

Most employers will encounter employee performance issues and concerns in their business. The key is to commence a process, whether that is an informal or formal process, without delay. Do not let performance concerns fester until you are at breaking point.

Creating great salespeople

Sales is an integral part of the success of your restaurant or bar and it is imperative that your team see themselves as salespeople, not only waiters or bartenders. Every aspect of training, from Induction, through Job Descriptions, pre-shift briefings and team meetings should have a sales focus. Never be shy to tell your team that you are in business to make money! In order to get the best results however you will need the team to buy in to your ideas and goals and that’s where you need to make things fun. A great team training session could see your staff discussing these topics:

Fresh Hot Chips - delivered

Take-away orders are on the rise; meet the chips that will stay crispy for the ride home.

Can you spot a bully at your workplace?

Employers need to be aware of unsuitable behaviour and create a safe working environment which prevents workplace bullying. In fact, employers who ignore workplace bullying risk breaching the Employment Relations Act and the Health and Safety in Employment Act (as well as other legislation) which prohibit acts of bullying, including discrimination and harassment.

It's Finally Here - are you ready for the new Food Act

The current Food Act is more than 30 years old and is an outdated piece of legislation. Food and the way it’s sold, eaten, produced and its availability has changed considerably since 1981 and a new Food Act has been developed to improve on the current legislation.

New Zealand Culinary Fare 2014 - call for volunteers

We are calling for volunteers to assist at the NZ Culinary Fare event; marshals, assessors, judges and general helpers are required over the three days.

Staff Training For New Alcohol Laws

While having a formal staff training plan in place for the sale and supply of alcohol is not a legal requirement of the new Act, it is certainly something you will be required to outline when you undergo your liquor licence renewal. A training plan provides staff with clear roles and responsibilities and develops service that will ensure that staff are successful in implementing your host responsibility practices and meeting your obligations under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

NZ Culinary Fare Essential Update May 2014

Exciting things are underway as planning for this year’s NZ Culinary Fare (17-19 August, 2014) progresses.

Adding musical flavour to your customer offering

For hospitality businesses, playing the right music is an important ingredient in crafting the right atmosphere for their customers. The Shaky Isles Coffee Company has four successful locations around Auckland. Sam Ansley talks about how The Shaky Isles use music to create their own distinctive style and ambience and how other businesses can be sure the music they play enhances their customers’ experience.

Helping to build your brand through customer service excellence

Are brands becoming less important due to the rise of the power of online review sites, social media and recommendations posted online by sites like Amazon?

The Art Of Sales

While the industry appears to be in the midst of some recovery, many operators comment that purse strings are still tightened amongst consumers. Here are some suggestions to help your business increase its sales performance.

Getting Through The Licence Application Process

Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act applications for new licences and renewals for existing licences will be assessed with stricter guidelines than before.

Measuring profitability to stay ahead

Some of the most eagerly requested information by Restaurant Association members is data measuring cost of sales, gross profit, operating expenses and other measurements to see how your business compares with others in the industry.

We want to be able to provide members will up to date information which will help you to sharpen your financial performance and with this in mind we are launching the 2014 Hospitality Industry Operations Survey.

Changes to The Licence Controller Qualification, the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and the LCQ Bridging Test

ServiceIQ have put together a short ‘plain English’ guide to the changes to the Licensed Controller Qualification and includes important information for managers on the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

Refresher on the Sale & Supply of Alcohol Act

As the 18th December will bring about the final introduction of the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act...

The Taste Summit - Member Discount Code

Click Read More or Login, to View your special Restaurant Association member ticket price code...

Make significant power savings switch to LED lighting

LEDMEPlus is a professional electrical company specialising in upgrading business and residential premises to LED lighting. If you have at least 10 x 50W Halogen fittings or normal light bulbs in your premises, you should be talking to us.

Win a Chelsea Foodservice Masterclass

8 lucky winners (and a colleague/friend of their choice) will win a golden ticket to the Chelsea Sugar Foodservice Masterclass to be
held on Wednesday 18 September, valued at $2,000 each.



Paying to remove air from your business may not sound possible, but it is a reality affecting the bottom line, and is not limited to the Restaurant industry, but every industry in New Zealand. Tony Curach, owner of iconic Stone Oven Cafe in Devonport, Auckland, is a great example of how things are changing, and air is no longer an issue. To clarify, this is not unwanted air, but air that is trapped in waste, contained in skip bins and cages.

Dad & Daughter date night - a special celebration

Operation Ginger: unregistered poultry suppier shut down

Restaurants and retailers of poultry products are reminded to buy only from reputable sources...

Anchor invites Kiwis to taste the difference in milk from its new 100% LIGHT PROOFTM bottle

Kiwis now have more reasons to enjoy the delicious taste of fresh milk more often, thanks to Anchor’s introduction of New Zealand’s only triple layer, 100% LIGHT PROOFTM bottle.  This innovation is designed to deliver Kiwis the best tasting milk in the world by locking in the taste and goodness nature intended.

New look www.dinefind.co.nz coming soon!

As you know we are in the process of upgrading our www.dinefind.co.nz dining guide website, which promotes Restaurant Association member establishments. We hope you will be as excited as us by the modern new look and new features on the site.

Now Businesses Can Search For Electricity Savings

New Zealand small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) can now look for electricity savings through a new initiative launched by the Electricity Authority. Following the success of the "What's My Number" residential campaign, SMEs now also have the opportunity to easily check they are with the most cost effective electricity provider for their business needs at www.whatsmynumber.org.nz/mybusiness.

Tork cuts cutlery-wrapping time in half

Large establishments have to roll up hundreds of pieces of cutlery often many times a day and with no simple cutlery wrap solution in the market, Tork set about to create one.

Dealing With Customer Complaints

You pride your business on providing an exceptional customer experience and for the most part your customers are happy and business is going well but at some point you will have to deal with a customer whose experience has not met their expectations. Does your business have a set process for dealing with different types of customer complaints?

Insurance for members - what is going on?

Insurance in NZ is more costly following the earthquakes and it doesnt matter where you are situated because the whole country is now seen as riskier by insurers and global reinsurers. And its not just earthquakes; think tornados, floods, snowstorms, landslips, etc. Check out the map below and you will see how expensive and frequent these natural disasters have been.

Are You Ready To Be Inspired?

The Restaurant Association will be at the Restaurant and Bar Show and NZ Culinary Fare this weekend, at the ASB Showgrounds, so if you are in Auckland drop by and see us on 19, 20 or 21 st and join us for breakfast on Tuesday morning.

DOL Visiting Hospitality Businesses To Check on Compliance

The Department Of Labour (DOL) have just begun a project which will involve them visiting hospitality businesses between now and June next year to ensure they have written employment agreements in place in their businesses.

Special accommodation rates for NZ Culinary Fare competitors and supporters

CityLife Auckland A Heritage Hotel - set conveniently on Queen Street is offering a special for NZ Culinary Fare out of town visitors

Are Your Good Enough For Loyalty?

Fundamentally loyalty is about having customers who are passionate enough about your product, service, or both, that they want to return to your business to experience it again. The most important part of your loyalty program is having a product and service that your customers like.

Where Is NZ's Best Cafe?

With more than 3,000 cafes from Cape Reinga to Bluff, its clear that New Zealand is a cafe-loving nation, and entries are now being accepted for the Cafe of the Year competition to determine which will be crowned the country's best.

Remuneration rates under tight control in 2012

The Restaurant Association's 2012 Hospitality Industry Remuneration Survey indicates that wage rates for the industry increased by just 1c over the past year overall, a reflection of the increasingly difficult trading conditions that hospitality operators are experiencing. The average salary increased by 2% from 2011 to 2012.

Win for the Association and partners Grant Thornton as a result of challenge to the IRD

The Restaurant Association has received confirmation from the Inland Revenue on the tax treatment of restaurant tips which seems to back track from previous advice...

Restaurant Association Challenges The IRD

Recently, the Restaurant Association of New Zealand and Grant Thornton, our financial advisers and one of the Associations key partners, sought formal confirmation from Inland Revenue on the tax treatment of restaurant tips. This request was made so that we could confidently publish this advice to Restaurant Association members, informing members on how to meet these tax obligations.

Tork Xpressnap beefs up appearances in Angus restaurants

The Angus brand owns a variety of eating establishments on the south island of New Zealand, focused on delivering a wide range of delicious food (including prime Angus beef) and excellent service in a modern environment.

Helping Your Business' Bottom Line...

The Restaurant Association wants to ensure that all members are taking advantage of the full range of exclusive services and benefits available to them through the Association. There have been a number of new initiatives introduced over the past few months.

Interested in getting involved in the 2012 Gamebird Food Festival?

Restaurants and cafes are invited to get involved in this years Fish & Game Gamebird Food Festival.

Dodgy Customer Complaint Fails To Convince...

We have been alerted by Auckland member, Soul Bar & Bistro to a dodgy email complaint doing the rounds at the moment. We post below the complaint to make other members aware (as well as Soul's reply).

Hospitality Businesses Need To Reconsider Marketing Mix To Attract Customers

Join Hands for Japan

Remembering Japan one year on...

New marina cafe/restaurant building opening mid-year

A new building under construction at Half Moon Bay in east Auckland and designated to contain a range of restaurants, cafes and takeout facilities is scheduled to open mid-year.

Marcel's Great Pancake Race

On the 21st February, international pancake day, Marcels is celebrating an international tradition and holding New Zealands first Pancake Day and Race. The event, entitled Marcels Great Pancake Race, is open to all and will feature races and pancakes to anyone attending in Auckland.

Shutting Down The Workplace Bully

Workplace harassment and bullying does occur but clearly it is unacceptable behaviour under any circumstances. As a responsible employer you should be clearly communicating this to all employees, contractors and visitors to your business as not only do you, as an employer, have a moral obligation to protect your employees from harassment, New Zealand law also requires it.

Get a New Website or Update Your Old One, To Attract More Customers To Your Restaurant Business...

The Restaurant Association has entered a relationship with restaurant and cafe website design specialists Eveve to offer members a low cost, effective website design package to suit your needs.

Protect Your Business' Most Valuable Asset - YOU!

Great new incentives are now available with the Restaurant Association's medical insurance scheme.

New Zealand's battling culinary queen

Fleur Sullivan is one tough lady. She's uncompromising, dedicated and driven....

MEMBER PRIZE! Win a microwave or induction cooker

Guidelines now available for the industry: catering for customers with gluten intolerance

New resources are now available for the hospitality industry to assist with customers for suffer from coeliac disease.

Looking At 'Greening' Your Business? New member benefit...

Restaurant Association members recently told us that they plan to dedicate more resources to furthering their businesses green initiatives over the next 12 months*

Court of Master Sommeliers Programme

This program is available to wine and beverage industry professionals who are seeking to develop their deductive tasting skills, knowledge of the world of wine and all other beverages...

Gas Pipeline Leak Information

This notification is to confirm that, following a serious gas escape, a critical contingency has been declared by the Critical Contingency Operator (CCO) for the Maui pipeline...

New member benefit with key partner Westpac

Westpac will pay a rebate to eligible members on the credit card interchange revenue it earns, where Westpac-issued MasterCard and Visa credit cards are processed through your Westpac merchant facility(s) that are on a Restaurant Association Merchant Service Fee plan...

Cooking For Christchurch

Cooking can be a comfort as well as a skill. This new cookbook aims at adding some monetary comfort to our hospitality colleagues in Christchurch as they go through the long process...

Be Alert To Latest Hospitality Scam

We have been alerted to a scam doing the rounds currently. Several hospitality businesses have received the following letter (two versions) by a person going by the name of Ben Young or Vince Goodchild. The letters outline a poor customer experience with the author ultimately seeking compensation for the experience.

Inland Revenue And The Hospitality Sector

Members are telling the Association that the Inland Revenue is out in the community visiting restaurants and cafs and making enquiries. What are these visits all about? We followed up with Inland Revenue and they provided us with the following comments...

Exclusive Member Benefit Offers Access To Comprehensive Research On The Hospitality Industry

The Restaurant Association has partnered with AUT to produce the first Hospitality Industry Report - a document packed with relevant statistical data, research and comment for the hospitality industry.

Keep customers coming back with Tork hygiene solutions

No matter how great your food or service, if your washroom doesn't cut it, neither does your establishment

National AGM - 2011


FAQ's - Restaurant Gift Card

A list of questions and answers we have in regards to the Restaurant Gift Cards...

Analyse your business performance at a glance.

The Restaurant Association and financial advisors, Grant Thornton New Zealand, have developed a unique online business tool to get you thinking about your business...

Liquor Licensing & Traning - Christchurch

We are still running our courses...

Shop Trading Hours - Restrictions

Back in 1990 the law regulating shop trading hours in New Zealand changed. Since then retailers have had greater freedom about when they can open their shops and the public have had a greater choice about when to shop...

Christchurch Earthquake - Telecom update

In light of the Canterbury Earthquake possibly affecting some Members and customers in the earthquake area, Telecom have some initiatives put in place to support Christchurch customers;

Christchurch Earthquake Information

Information for hospitality businesses affected by the Christchurch earthquake

Every now and then a brilliant idea comes along that revolutionises the way all do business

The latest and greatest development is 0133. It’s a very simple idea that will generate a lot of business for your company...

How to go about paying staff over the Christmas & New Year period

Considering rosters for the Christmas and New Year period but not sure which days are Public Holidays and how to pay your staff. The Public Holidays for 2010 / 2011 are...

Internet Scams and Fraud

The hospitality industry, like all industries, seems to get its fair share of scam emails. They vary slightly along the same theme generally and the Restaurant Association will aim to keep members aware of the latest scam alerts...

Keeping Food & People Safe

Every day, over 500 New Zealanders get food poisoning from food they’ve prepared themselves or from food they’ve bought.

Want Your Money To Be Working Hard Over The Christmas Period?

The Christmas and New Year’s period will mean different things to different businesses. Some close for a well earned holiday, and for many, especially those in hospitality, it will be the busiest trading period of the year...

Bannock Brae Estate wines are still available direct from the producers

Bannock Brae Estate has recently parted company with EuroVintage (formerly Vintage Wines & Spirits). As a result, their wines are now available direct from the producers – at more competitive prices...

Stylish new refit for Waiheke Restaurant

Waiheke Islands best local restaurant Thymes Tables is about to get even better...

Support the Christchurch Quake Appeal

Have you been asking yourself what you can do to help our Chirstchurch friends...

What would yiz be wanting?

Revelations that some restaurants are charging customers “cakeage” for bringing their own birthday cakes lifts the lid on dodgy practices in the hospitality industry.