Restaurant Association of New Zealand

Restaurant Association News: Things you need to know

The taste professional development-training calendar started in early April and will continue for the next six months. The seminars are held on Tuesdays, so mark that on your calendar as training day.

We started the seminar series this year with Craig Macfarlane presenting ‘Systems = Profits – it’s really that easy!’ Craig co-owns eight successful hospitality establishments plus the well known and respected Ozone Coffee Company. He was certainly entertaining and his insight informative; this session was a great one to start the new training year.

April finishes off with something a little bit different for you and your staff: A basic self-defence seminar for the hospitality industry presented by John Munro. John owns and operates the North Shore Kung Fu and Qigong Health Centre and is the author of The Tiger Within – Practical Self Defence in a Modern World. Our industry is unfortunately one that can leave staff out late at night and potentially vulnerable to violence. Join us at taste for a self defence seminar designed to teach staff some of the basic principles of personal safety such as avoiding danger, how to deal with threatening situations, using self defence to get away from an assault and much more.

We are also lucky enough to have Krishna Botica, partner and manager at Prego Restaurant, present a session on ‘Emerging and First Time Managers’. Stepping into a management role for the first time can be a daunting experience and the advanced skills you need do not always come naturally. “Show me a successful restaurant, and I’ll show you a strong culture of training,” says Krishna. She will discuss conflict management, unexpected pressures and understanding your new role. This is an interactive seminar that deals with real life restaurant issues and offers lots of solutions that attendees can take back into their roles; solutions that can be implemented immediately.

On May 11 Jeremy Dixon the owner of Revive! cafes will be presenting a seminar on effective hospitality marketing and how to boost your café or restaurant sales. Dixon spent 10 years marketing cereals like Weet-Bix at Sanitarium before starting the very successful Revive! vegetarian cafes in the Auckland CBD in 2005. He has a passion for effective marketing and has seen it transform many businesses including his own. Learn basic marketing principles, instant sales generating campaigns and how to measure which ones work, the 10 essential items that every marketing plan should have and how all of this relates to the hospitality industry.

The tutorial the following week, May 18, is by Matt Bradley of Hancocks on ‘The art of mixology – designing innovative cocktails’. Flagged as for beginners, this is also a must for professionals new to this skill. This session will focus on giving you the basics to understanding the art of cocktail making. Matt will take you through the key aspects of cocktail making and spirit categories/production and the history of spirits and drinks. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to review the basics or send new bartenders and floor staff along.

• Marisa Bidois is the general manager of taste – the kitchen and function facility at the Restaurant Association. www.taste.co.nz

 For more information about enrolling in these seminars or a copy of the latest calendar, please contact the Restaurant Association on (09) 638 8403.