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Welcoming 2018: Reflecting on the Restaurant Association’s achievements this past year

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Thank you for your support in making 2017 a fantastic year. As we head into 2018 it’s natural for business owners and leaders to digest what has been and plan for what might be.

The last 12 months have been filled with change, as many election years often are, and 2018 will bring more change. At the Restaurant Association we survey our members before the crazy season starts to find out more about how our members have found the last twelve months. We are over 2,000 members strong and our member’s number one concern continues to be finding staff. We have a skills shortage in our industry – we need more people to embrace our industry and call it their own. At the Association, we have focused on this issue and work on highlighting our industry as a great place to work through our national awards platform and have consulted with government about this issue for our industry, focusing on immigration policy and training BUT this is something we all need to address as a community.

As an industry, I think we need to challenge ourselves to come up with a solution to attract more people to our industry. A number of our members have started conversations about wellness in the workplace – it’s a movement. These are the kinds of ideas that if we embraced as an industry we will start to attract more people who call this industry their own. This message is not only to attract more people but it’s also about the wellness of our industry as a whole. With that in mind, remember to look after yourself over these busy Summer months.

Thank you to all of you that support the Restaurant Association. My team and I will continue to work hard to support you in your businesses.

Marisa Bidois,

CEO, Restaurant Association

Below is a brief overview of some of the Association’s achievements in 2017.

  • We completed a major rebrand of the Restaurant Association, including the development of new logo, new collateral, new website and more…
  • We grew our Restaurant Association team to 17 people, with 13 located at the Auckland head office, 1 in Waikato, 1 in Rotorua, 1 in Wellington and 1 in Christchurch. We doubled the size of our helpline team and increased the membership department to 5.
  • We have welcomed over 500 new members to the Restaurant Association.
  • Through the Association’s ProStart programme (Auckland, Waikato), where we train unemployed NZ in basic employability skills for the industry, we have helped to train over 130 ProStart students, assisting them to find employment in our industry.
  • We introduced new member savings programmes with Harrows, iMonitor, Helping Hands, Loaded Reports, EAP and Lexis Nexis (to be launched early 2018).
  • The Association actively advocated on the industry’s behalf and was instrumental in influencing government policy on issues such as immigration and food safety.
  • Our helpline assisted over 500 members who called for advice and support.
  • Our MentorMe programme assisted over 100 members.
  • We hosted over 50 events – meetme’s, webinars, professional development seminars and masterclasses.
  • We grew our regional hospitality awards platform to 8, with events in 2017 in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Christchurch and Rotorua. We were also involved in the management of the Nelson Awards and will be for Manawatu in 2018. Two new regional awards will launch in 2018 – Waikato and Queenstown.
  • We recognised Sir George Fistonich into the Restaurant Association Hall of Fame and awarded Everybody Eats the 2017 Good Neighbour Award.
  • We hosted international keynote speakers, Jack Sotti and Hayden McMillan and over 20 local presenters at the 2017 Hospitality Summit, which was held in Wellington for the first time and saw attendees from around the country. The event will move on to Christchurch in 2018.
  • Our Restaurant Association gift vouchers and restaurant gift cards look set to reach sales in excess of $1,300,000 to directly benefit Association members.
  • We represented the industry on over 15 national and regional steering and advisory groups.
  • We conducted research on the industry – from remuneration to surcharges, from dining insights to UberEats – providing benchmarks for members and assisting with media comment.
  • We supported the DineAid charity, helping to raise money for those who need it.
  • We created a platform for awareness of hospitality business owners and employees wellbeing (more to come in 2018).
  • And much more!
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