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The future of guest experience and putting NZ food experiences on the tourism agenda

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A focus on the expectations of millennial diners along with a closer look at our food systems and developing a culinary tourism agenda for NZ will be the focus for the country’s inaugural combined food and hospitality hui.

The event is a two day annual gathering held October 24th and 25th jointly hosted by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand and Eat New Zealand, that brings together the best local and international leaders in food and hospitality to share ideas, tools and stories, to educate and inspire.

With both tourism and food firmly established as the nation’s leading export industries, Lucy Alborn of Tourism NZ will address how we can better connect them to attract both international and domestic tourists.

With youth travellers accounting for over 193k* visitors to New Zealand a year, a look at the expectations of Gen Y and Millennial diners and the future of the guest experience will be addressed by Joel Christian, General Manager and Charles Guillet, Bartender of the Monday Room.

Millenials dining

GM of Tourism Policy for MBIE Richard Davis will put forward the case for NZ to create a national food celebration to emerge the food stories from throughout the country, and connect New Zealanders with the food of their land. Doing this is also a way of increasing the volume of our international culinary credentials.

Husain Al-Badry, General Manager, Datacom will take a look at emerging technologies and how innovation in design technology can enhance the guest experience.

Future forecasting and analysis of how emerging technologies can enhance the dining experience is also set to be a key focus for kick off day.

Rob Simcic, head of the food and beverage sector for ANZ Bank will release the very first national food and tourism report.

Rodolfo Guzmán, owner/chef of San Pellegrino Top 50 restaurant Boragó in Santiago Chile will talk about his rise to success and how NZ can create a food identity by honouring its own unique local traditions and ingredients.

hui 2018

With the prevalence of mental health issues in the hospitality industry in New Zealand and abroad in the spotlight recently, the Hui will also bring together a panel of well-respected hospitality owners and chefs within Australasia, including Ben Bayley of The Grounds, Rebecca Smidt of Cazador, Nelly Robinson of Nel and Anton Leyland of My Food Bag, along with mental resilience coach Jamie Ford of Resilient Minds, to discuss the topic of mindfulness and work life balance in the hospitality industry.


Angela Clifford CEO of Eat New Zealand says

“Eat New Zealand has always been about connecting all aspects of New Zealand food; from agriculture to hospitality, government to tourism. We’re really proud to offer a diverse line-up of speakers who we believe will contribute significantly to this; the most important food conversation in New Zealand.”


Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois says

“The New Zealand hospitality industry is experiencing continued popularity with both local and international diners. We have some of the world’s most celebrated chefs along with outstanding local produce. The range of options available to diners is phenomenal and, as an industry,  we need opportunities like this to come together to share knowledge and ideas on how we can face up to our challenges and stride into our future.”


*YE November 2017 – MBIE IVS data.

For more information, updates to the event, and to book tickets, please visit Stay connected with updates as further details roll out closer to the event our social channels:

Facebook: @restaurantnz   @eatnz
Instagram: @restaurantnz   @eat.newzealand


Supported by principal sponsors American Express and Lincoln University; associate sponsors iMonitor, Nova Energy and RA ComplyHub; and contributing sponsors OfficeMax, Ōra King, Harrows, Goodman Fielder and Hellers NZ.

Melissa Clark-Reynolds supported by Beef+Lamb NZ

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