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Hospitality Sector Champions Its Good Neighbour Award and Hall of Fame

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In front of industry peers the Restaurant Association of New Zealand celebrated two of its best and brightest as Auckland’s Sir George Fistonich was inducted to the Association’s Hall of Fame and Everybody Eats was named as the industry’s Good Neighbour.

Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association says that all winners have made exceptional contributions to the community.


“Both are full of heart and have given selflessly; in Sir George’s case supporting the changing face of our industry, and Everybody Eats case is a social movement raising awareness of the amount of perfectly good produce that is often rejected and disposed of when it could be shared. Everybody Eats organises pop-up restaurants and is a ‘pay as you feel’ system – which basically means, give what you want, if you can afford to give.

We are extremely proud to honour Sir George as a deserving member of the Hall of Fame he has been in our industry running restaurants and producing wine for many years, and equally delighted, in conjunction with sponsor American Express, to recognise Everybody Eats as our Good Neighbour.”

– Marisa Bidois, Chief Executive of Restaurant Association


Hall of Fame

Inductees into the Association’s Hall of Fame have made an extensive and ongoing commitment to New Zealand’s hospitality industry. The Hall of Fame award has been previously conferred on industry greats such as Simon Gault, Michael Van de Elzen, Steve Logan, Judith Tabron, Des Britten, Sue Fleischl, Tony Astle and Ruth Pretty. It is voted on by members of the Association and finalised by the Association’s Education Trust.

Bidois says that, Sir George Fistonich is well respected in the hospitality industry and has contributed to the hospitality landscape in New Zealand for over forty years.

“In 1977, he held a series of Croatian-style lamb-on-the-spit barbecues across the country, beginning in Dunedin and travelling on to Christchurch, Wellington, Hastings and Auckland. A massive success, the barbecues drew a combined total of over 3,200 guests.

Building on these achievements, Sir George went on to open the first winery restaurant in 1979, Sir George was a pioneer of the winery restaurant movement in New Zealand. After a two-year battle with local and licensing authorities, and against all odds, New Zealand’s first licensed vineyard bar and restaurant opened.  It was the start of a very important part of the restaurant scene in New Zealand.”

– Marisa Bidois, Chief Executive of Restaurant Association

“Sir George has been an avid supporter of the hospitality industry for many years and continues to be involved,” said Marisa Bidois, Chief Executive Officer of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand. “He has a well-deserved place amongst our esteemed Hall of Fame recipients”.


Doing Good in the ‘Hood’

Everybody Eats is the Association’s Good Neighbour for 2017, sponsored by American Express, who selected the winner from a shortlist of worthy finalists.

Bidois says that Everybody Eats is a pay ‘as you feel’ restaurant aimed at feeding people in need, with food that would otherwise have gone to waste. Volunteer chefs come in and prepare the night’s meals. Chefs from Waiheke’s Mudbrick Winery, home cooks and others like the team from Bird on a Wire, and The Cult Project have pitched in to assist with the preparation.

“Everybody Eats is a very deserving recipient for the Good Neighbour Award.”

Everybody Eats will receive a $2,000 grant to further their community initiatives.

Everybody Eats takes place between 6-8pm, every Monday evening at Gemmayze St restaurant, St Kevins Arcade, 183 Karangahape Road.


Hospitality Employers Supporting Unemployed Youth

The Restaurant Association runs a programme, called Prostart, in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development for unemployed youth, giving them hospitality skills and a bright future. Each trainee is mentored by a staff member from the Association throughout their job search and then placed into a member establishment to further develop their skill set.

“This programme directly assists our industry with the widespread skills shortage currently faced by employers.”

This award is bestowed on a hospitality employer who has embraced the programme and contributes to the trainees development and successful employment in our thriving industry.

“Our very deserving winner this year is Soul Bar and Bistro” says Marisa Bidois.

Previous Hall of Fame inductees

2016 Sue Fleischl
2015 Mike Egan
2014 Michael Turner
2013 John Hellebrekers
2012 Michael Van de Elzen
2011 Simon Gault
2010 Steve Logan


Photos from the night:


Check out the rest of the photos on our here.

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