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Restaurant Association Media Releases

11 AUGUST 2020 | STATEMENT FROM THE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION ON CHANGE OF COVID-19 ALERT LEVELS

The government has today announced that Auckland is to move back to a level 3 alert system, while the rest of the country moves back to level 2 in a move that will see hospitality businesses in Auckland close for on premise dining.

Level 3 means all Auckland based hospitality businesses are closed to the public other than through contactless delivery and pickup.

For the rest of the country level two means hospitality businesses need to follow the three ‘S’s’ where practicable -with diners seated, separated and served by a single server. There is also a limit of 100 guests. Distancing at counters needs to be by a distance of two metres.

“This is of course a devastating blow for those businesses already struggling from the impact of the COVID-19 lock down and border closures,” said Restaurant Association CEO, Marisa Bidois.

“We will be redistributing our guidelines for safe operations at levels 2 and 3 and are laser focused on how we can best support the industry through these incredibly difficult times. But with support from the dining public we can absolutely do this.”

“We are of course very disappointed but our focus is now on supporting our members to manage this situation as best they can and hopeful that we can get back to normal trading quickly,” concluded Bidois.

07:00 6 AUGUST, 2020 | HOSPO INDUSTRY STRUGGLING TO RECRUIT SKILLED LABOUR AS BORDERS REMAIN CLOSED

A new survey conducted by the Restaurant Association has shown that 78 per cent of hospitality business trying to recruit skilled workers are finding it difficult to do so.

More than half of those surveyed that were actively recruiting for a senior role said they had found it extremely difficult to fill, having to repeatedly advertise the role until a suitable candidate was found.

26 per cent said that whilst they did manage to fill the position, the timeframes to do so were unacceptably long.

Only twenty per cent of respondents said that they were able to fill positions relatively easily.

Forty per cent of businesses surveyed said that they had been or are recruiting for a senior position within their business whilst 64 per cent had recruited for a junior position.

Junior positions were proving easier to recruit for with just over a third of business owners reporting difficulty.

72 per cent of respondents said they had not noticed any increase in New Zealanders applying for these roles.

“The hospitality industry has until now, been in sustained growth. But for some time, we have been desperately lacking the skilled workforce we have needed to support our growth” said Restaurant Association CEO, Marisa Bidois.

“We have relied heavily on a migrant workforce that is now largely inaccessible to us.

“Whilst as an industry we support the need to recruit and train Kiwis, our businesses also need to be able to employ staff that have the right skills for the role. This is particularly vital for senior roles where the right employee can make or break the business.

“Sadly we have seen so many cases of our members providing the necessary evidence of being unsuccessful in finding a suitable New Zealander for a role and yet still blocked from hiring a migrant worker.

“Our members are clearly crying out for skilled people to work in their businesses, but significant under investment in creating viable employment pathways into our industry and a

lack of understanding of the industry combined now with the inability to recruit from overseas has put us in an extremely challenging position.

“COVID-19 has now made it necessary to reset the employee pathway.

“This means investing in hospitality apprenticeships and further training fit for purpose whilst also refining our immigration policy needs” concluded Bidois.

The Restaurant Association has issued a call to the next government to address the employment requirements of the industry as one of its key areas of focus in its 2020 Election Manifesto.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Marisa Bidois, CEO

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

DL: 09 6321400

CELL: 027 559 7777

Becky Erwood, PR

Becky.erwood@outlook.com

CELL: 021 414926

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2500 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 

07:00 22 JULY 2020 | HOSPITALITY BUSINESSES REPORT SIGNS OF RECOVERY DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAY PERIOD

There were high hopes for a strong trading period for the battling hospitality industry during the school holiday period as Kiwis spent time playing in their own backyards.

A survey conducted by the Restaurant Association and released today has shown signs of improved trading. 

64% say turnover is the same or better than last year, this is up from 42 per cent for the same period last month. 38 per cent of respondents traded better or significantly better than the same period last year.

One week in to level 1 just 21 per cent reported turnover of significantly less than the same period last year and this has now gone down to seven per cent. 

However, 34 percent are now trading worse or significantly worse than the same period last year. 

41 per cent of businesses are recording 91-100 per cent foot traffic based on same period last year, indicating a lower spend per customer.

42 per cent of businesses have had more domestic customers than usual at this time of year.

“Hospitality spending definitely improved over the school holiday period which is a relief for businesses that have had an incredibly difficult year. However, there are still significant numbers of businesses still reporting significantly reduced year on year revenues and we’re mindful that there’s a long road ahead” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois

“From speaking to members we’re seeing a reduced spend per customer whilst continuing to feel the impact of the border closure.”

The Restaurant Association recently launched its election manifesto, detailing five key areas of focus for the recovery of the industry. 

“The hospitality industry contributes $11 billion to the economy, making it one of New Zealand’s largest industries. Despite being an enduring powerhouse of the New Zealand economy, policy made for the sector, in particular for hospitality, is fragmented, impractical and often devoid of the everyday realities of operations,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“Sadly, our industry’s strong growth story has been decimated by COVID-19 leading us to five key priorities to best support the recovery of our sector and ensure government policy matches the realities of everyday hospitality operations.

“The hospitality industry has until now, been in sustained growth. But for some time, we have been desperately lacking the skilled workforce we have needed to support our growth.

“We have relied heavily on a migrant workforce that is now largely inaccessible to us. COVID-19 has now made it necessary to reset the employee pathway. 

“This means investing in hospitality apprenticeships and further training fit for purpose whilst also refining our immigration policy needs.

“Despite the enormous contribution our industry makes to the economy we are still lacking our own dedicated ministry. We are calling on the government for greater recognition and better oversight in the form of a dedicated Minister and hospitality unit within the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

“For a sector that generated annual sales in excess of $11 billion and employed more than 133,000 people in 2019, to not have a dedicated Minister to call on for support, means that Government policy regularly misses the mark when considered against the realities of our sector. This became increasingly problematic throughout the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“We are also seeking greater acknowledgement from the next Government for the significant role that hospitality plays in the tourist experience.

“Every single visitor to New Zealand consumes our food, and every aspect of the New Zealand food story – from production to tourism – could recognise the importance of connecting with the people who eat our food. As we navigate no tourists for the foreseeable future, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to apply the hard won gains of our 100% pure reputation to our food industry, repositioning the story of New Zealand’s food experience and better promote the depth and diversity of dining experiences.

“This will also create the halo effect of developing pride in our hospitality story, and encourage more job seekers to view hospitality as an employment pathway for life. 

“The hospitality sector is a core component of the New Zealand lifestyle, however appetites are changing. We are seeing a rise in conscious consumerism: where customers are driven not by prices or flavours alone, but the origins of their food.

“Finally, we would like to see the next government examine and refine hospitality’s regulatory environment.

“Increasing complexity around rules and regulations is making it difficult for local businesses to grow and provide job opportunities. Regulatory changes over the past three years have weighed heavily on hospitality so we are calling for a government-wide review of hospitality regulations at a national and local level and consider ‘best practice’ standardisation where appropriate” concluded Bidois.

The full manifesto is available for download via the Restaurant Association website.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Marisa Bidois, CEO
Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz
DL: 09 6321400
CELL: 027 559 7777

Becky Erwood, PR
Becky.erwood@outlook.com
CELL: 021 414926

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2500 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


07:00 | 14 JULY 2020 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES ELECTION MANIFESTO, CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST THEM IN LEADING A HOSPITALITY RESET

The single most important issue for the hospitality industry is the sector’s recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Restaurant Association is calling on the next Government to work collaboratively to create a concise pathway for rebuilding and repositioning the sector for the future.

“The hospitality industry contributes $11 billion to the economy, making it one of New Zealand’s largest industries. Despite being an enduring powerhouse of the New Zealand economy, policy made for the sector, in particular for hospitality, is fragmented, impractical and often devoid of the everyday realities of operations,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“Sadly, our industry’s strong growth story has been decimated by COVID-19 leading us to five key priorities to best support the recovery of our sector and ensure government policy matches the realities of everyday hospitality operations.

“The hospitality industry has until now, been in sustained growth. But for some time, we have been desperately lacking the skilled workforce we have needed to support our growth.

“We have relied heavily on a migrant workforce that is now largely inaccessible to us. COVID-19 has now made it necessary to reset the employee pathway. 

“This means investing in hospitality apprenticeships and further training fit for purpose whilst also refining our immigration policy needs.

“Despite the enormous contribution our industry makes to the economy we are still lacking our own dedicated ministry. We are calling on the government for greater recognition and better oversight in the form of a dedicated Minister and hospitality unit within the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

“For a sector that generated annual sales in excess of $11 billion and employed more than 133,000 people in 2019, to not have a dedicated Minister to call on for support, means that Government policy regularly misses the mark when considered against the realities of our sector. This became increasingly problematic throughout the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“We are also seeking greater acknowledgement from the next Government for the significant role that hospitality plays in the tourist experience.

“Every single visitor to New Zealand consumes our food, and every aspect of the New Zealand food story – from production to tourism – could recognise the importance of connecting with the people who eat our food. As we navigate no tourists for the foreseeable future, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to apply the hard won gains of our 100% pure reputation to our food industry, repositioning the story of New Zealand’s food experience and better promote the depth and diversity of dining experiences.

“This will also create the halo effect of developing pride in our hospitality story, and encourage more job seekers to view hospitality as an employment pathway for life. 

“The hospitality sector is a core component of the New Zealand lifestyle, however appetites are changing. We are seeing a rise in conscious consumerism: where customers are driven not by prices or flavours alone, but the origins of their food.

“Finally, we would like to see the next government examine and refine hospitality’s regulatory environment.

“Increasing complexity around rules and regulations is making it difficult for local businesses to grow and provide job opportunities. Regulatory changes over the past three years have weighed heavily on hospitality so we are calling for a government-wide review of hospitality regulations at a national and local level and consider ‘best practice’ standardisation where appropriate” concluded Bidois.

Click here to download the Restaurant Association’s 2020 Election Manifesto.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Marisa Bidois, CEO
Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz
DL: 09 6321400
CELL: 027 559 7777

Becky Erwood, PR
Becky.erwood@outlook.com
CELL: 021 414926

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2500 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


12:30 | 2 JUNE 2020 | HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY REPORTS CONTINUED LOSSES

Restaurant Association calls for immediate lift of restrictions and urgent relief package 

The ailing hospitality sector is calling for an immediate lift of restrictions and additional financial relief following another week of falling revenues. 

The Restaurant Association is conducting a weekly survey of its members to gain feedback. After a third week at level 2 it reports that 60 per cent of members are reporting a fall in revenues compared with the same trading period last year with 22 per cent calling the losses ‘significant’.

The survey of Restaurant Association members ranks the single server rule as the single most challenging aspect of operating at level 2 with maintaining physical distance ranking second. 

Whilst the single server rule has now been amended to the ‘greatest extent practicable’ it still means there is still significant onus on the industry to be providing a single server. We are also acutely aware that many members of the public will still be largely unaware of this amendment.  

“The feedback from our members is distressing to say the least.” says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois. 

“These two restrictions alone are proving extremely restrictive. The additional costs required to lay on more staff is significantly increasing wage bills and with fewer tables to serve, for many it’s making the cost of reopening too high.

“We have schools and offices back, sports practises starting and people able to shop relatively freely and yet our industry appears to be working under far more draconian regulations.

“Anecdotal feedback from members has also shown that managing customer expectations has also proved a challenge. Many customers do not understand the single server requirement, or the time it takes to manage service in this way, and understandably would prefer a more seamless service experience. 

“Counter service is available now for only those businesses that do not serve alcohol. This is unreasonably limiting for bars as well as cafes, many of whom have liquor licenses and we would prefer to see that the rule applies only to all business that can meet the physical distancing requirements. 

“Whilst the extension to the wage subsidy has helped it’s only going to apply to businesses sitting at a 50 per cent loss, which completely undermines the needs of those sitting at 20, 30 and 40 percent losses which are still considerable for an industry where profit margins are typically lower than 10 per cent.

 “The losses for our industry are now mounting and with no word on additional relief or a code of conduct for commercial leases, to say our hospitality businesses are battling is an understatement”.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

Contact: 

Marisa Bidois, CEO

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz
DL: 09 6321400 
CELL: 027 559 7777 

Becky Erwood, PR
Becky.erwood@outlook.com
CELL: 021 414926

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2300 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


13:30 | 7 MAY 2020 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION CLARIFIES GUIDELINES FOR HOSPITALITY OPERATIONS AT ALERT LEVEL 2

The government has today announced that the level 2 alert system will allow the reopening of hospitality establishments for dining in. 

The Restaurant Association has been working with government on the guidelines which will see the nation’s restaurants, cafes and bars back open for business. 

The Prime Minister referenced the three ‘S’s’ of the new guidelines with diners needing to be seated, separated and with a single server at each table.

The rules will allow businesses to cater for up to 100 people at a time, with one metre distancing between tables and groups of diners.

All diners will need to be seated and in both outdoor and indoor dining areas.

Businesses will also be required to maintain a contact register of all diners, including takeaway customers.

“We have worked closely with government agencies to put help outline this initial guidance but we will produce further practical guidance for the industry. Whilst we’re still awaiting clarification on a few points, this has been a very collaborative process which we know will be incredibly helpful for businesses and diners alike to understand our collective responsibility when dining out,” says Marisa Bidois, CEO Restaurant Association. 

“The industry is committed to doing its part to make sure we keep this virus under control but we also want to get back into our workplaces. We’ve got businesses who through no fault of their own are facing significant losses, and we want to see them get back to work.

“These measures will take time for the industry to work through and many will be limited in terms of trading capacity. So while we are excited to get back to our businesses not everyone will be able to do this – particularly bars.”

“We are very hopeful that next week will see our businesses opening their doors again to do what they do best, welcoming people into their dining rooms. These establishments have been greatly missed, evidenced by the overwhelming messages of support that we’ve had from the public who are desperate to get back out dining again,” concluded Bidois. 

Level 2 key operational criteria for restaurants:

  • Businesses should adhere to the three ‘S’s’ – customers need to be seated, separated by one metre and each table should have a single server. 
  • Workers should also stay one metre apart from each other where practicable 
  • Have as few servers as possible for each group, and keep the same servers throughout.   
  • Everyone in the venue must be seated 
  • Different groups must be kept one metre apart 
  • Limit the number of people inside at any time so that physical distancing can be maintained – no more than 100 people in any establishment
  • Make sure that people don’t need to queue near other people to enter, pay, or go to the bathroom 
  • Provide good facilities for people to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly 
  • Maintain a contact register with details of everyone that has entered your premises
  • Delivery, drive-through or contactless pick up by customers is still permitted. Businesses must aim to avoid having people queue, and if they are queueing make sure they’re able to maintain physical distancing.

Level 2 key guidelines for diners:

  • Support your favourite local restaurant or café by dining out or ordering takeaway
  • Maintain a one metre distance from other diners
  • Avoid queues by waiting at your table or in your car until the queues have dispersed. 
  • Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands or using hand sanitizer before entering a restaurant, on arrival and when leaving
  • Use contactless payment if you can. 
  • Demonstrate kindness and understanding. Our restaurants are working under operating procedures that are new to us all. Remember that we need to work together to ensure we don’t go backwards.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

Contact:
Marisa Bidois, CEO
Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz
DL: 09 6321400 
CELL: 027 559 7777 

Becky Erwood, PR
Becky.erwood@outlook.com
CELL: 021 414926

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2300 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


07:00 | 6 MAY 2020 - HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY REPORTS CONTINUED LOSSES, DESPITE REOPENING

The Restaurant Association is calling on the government to provide additional fiscal relief to the hospitality industry as it continues to report losses. 

“The reopening of takeaways at Alert Level 3 was a step in the right direction but was never going to be a silver bullet. Some of the figures we’ve heard from members who own fast food restaurants unfortunately do not reflect what we’re seeing across the broader industry,” says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois. 

The Restaurant Association is calling on the government to offer urgent fiscal relief along with a code of conduct for landlords to assist the struggling hospitality sector to manage its fixed overheads. 

“We surveyed our members following their first week operating at Level 3 and the results continue to show significant losses, with 89 per cent of members reporting a downturn compared with the same period last year.” 

“Whilst our survey indicates approximately two thirds of businesses reopened at Level 3, with all shop fronts remaining closed, many restaurants are not adequately set up to capitalise on takeaways and these are the businesses that are being hit the hardest. 

“These numbers are snowballing daily as restaurants and cafes quickly run out of the cash flow required to stay afloat until we re-enter Alert Level 2.” 

Fixed costs, such as rent, and lease costs remain a major issue for the industry. When asked what relief they’d most like to see 75 per cent of those surveyed requested a continuation of the wage subsidy and 67 per cent would like to see rent relief and a business subsidy. 

“Level three will provide some relief but it will not be this way for all. There are relatively few businesses in our industry who are set up to thrive at this level and whilst our Association has put in a huge amount of work to assist with this, we are still mindful that this is still not a viable option for all,” continued Bidois. 

“The wage subsidy was a good start, but it will be meaningless if businesses can’t survive. 

“Even when we do enter Alert Level 2, consumer confidence is still expected to be low and combined with the losses the industry has been carrying since the drop in tourism numbers in February we do expect the ramifications of this to last well beyond a year. 

“The industry still needs urgent financial relief as well as a code of conduct for landlords to enable our business owners to avoid the devastating personal and professional losses that will inevitably occur if more assistance is not offered.” 

When asked what support or financial relief they would like to see from central government members voted as follows: 

  • 68 per cent – support around rent relief 
  • 67 per cent – Financial assistance through a business subsidy 
  • 75 per cent – Financial assistance through an additional wage subsidy 
  • 30 per cent – Flexibility with on-licenses to allow off license with food orders 
  • 53 per cent – Additional tax relief 
  • 39 per cent – Other financial assistance eg refund on license fees 
  • 15 per cent – Redeployment assistance for staff 
  • 23 per cent – Assistance with technology and upgrading the business to comply at different levels 

Ends 

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

Contact: 
Marisa Bidois, CEO 
Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz 
DL: 09 6321400 
CELL: 027 559 7777 

Becky Erwood, PR 
Becky.erwood@outlook.com 
CELL: 021 414926 

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2300 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


08:00 | 22 APRIL 2020 - RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION CALLS FOR DROP IN UBER COMMISSION RATES

The Restaurant Association is calling on the government to enforce a cap on commission rates for third party delivery apps. 

Industry leader Uber Eats typically charges a 30-35% commission rate on all orders and with typical profit margins set at 3-5% many hospitality business owners resort to using Uber Eats as a loss-making marketing exercise.

“With our margins in mind, Uber Eats commissions are crippling for many hospitality businesses. During a BAU trading environment, our members have told us Uber Eats is generally only used as an add-on to their in-store sales,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“However, it is not BAU currently. With all shop fronts remaining closed and as the market leaders, Uber Eats is essentially taking the shirt off the industry’s back. 

“Many owners would love to be in a position to not use them but with their marketing power and the size of their customer database, they don’t feel they can take the risk. 

“The Mayor of San Francisco, where Uber originated, this week placed a 15% cap on commissions charged by all food delivery platforms in the Bay Area during COVID-19, and we are seeing increasing pressure across the Tasman on the same issue.  

“We are urging the New Zealand government to place the same restrictions in the New Zealand market to give our Kiwi hospitality businesses a fighting chance of survival. 

“We’re also calling on Kiwis to support their local restaurants and cafes by jumping on their website or giving them a call with their delivery order.” 

“In the past two weeks we have seen lots of innovative solutions being created by other businesses for online ordering at a fraction of the commission rates.

“Our business owners are also doing their very best to pivot setting up online delivery systems where there previously were none and finding delivery drivers and vehicles. Many are desperate to get back into their businesses, serve their communities and start generating some revenues, however small.

“To do this, many are working for free in their own businesses so it’s a bitter pill to swallow to see Uber Eats take such a large piece of the pie.” 

Ends

Issued by the Restaurant Association

Contact: Marisa Bidois
Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz
027 559 7777

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2300 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


21 APRIL 2020 – RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION ON RENT AND LEASE RELIEF

 

The Restaurant Association is calling on the government to offer additional fiscal relief and a code of conduct for landlords to assist the struggling hospitality sector to manage its fixed overheads.

Whilst the industry gears up to offer takeaway services at Level 3 the Restaurant Association is pleading with the government not to see this as a silver bullet for an industry still reeling from weeks of significant losses. 

“The results of our ongoing research with our members indicates that approximately forty per cent of our membership will not be able to reopen at Alert Level 3 and a further 20 per cent will remain permanently closed,” says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“These numbers are snowballing daily as restaurants and cafes quickly run out of the cash flow required to stay afloat until we re-enter Alert Level 2.”

“Fixed costs, such as rent, and lease costs remain a major issue. These costs have continued despite 98% of our member businesses having no ability to generate any revenue over the last month. 

“Level three will provide some relief but it will not be this way for all. There are relatively few businesses in our industry who are set up to thrive at this level and whilst our Association has put in a huge amount of work to assist with this, we are still mindful that this is still not a viable option for all. 

“The wage subsidy was a good start, but it will be meaningless if businesses can’t survive.

“Even when we do enter Alert Level 2, consumer confidence is still expected to be low and combined with the losses the industry has been carrying since the drop in tourism numbers in February we do expect the ramifications of this to last well beyond a year.

“The industry still needs urgent financial relief as well as a code of conduct for landlords to enable our business owners to avoid the devastating personal and professional losses that will inevitably occur if more assistance is not offered.”


13:45 | 16 APRIL 2020 – RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION OUTLINES GUIDELINES FOR HOSPITALITY OPERATIONS AT ALERT LEVEL 3

 

The government has today announced that the level 3 alert system will allow the reopening of hospitality establishments through restricted takeaway services. 

The Restaurant Association has been working closely with government on a contactless delivery and pick up plan which gives the hospitality industry an opportunity to generate some revenue whilst their shop fronts remain closed. 

It will also allow diners the opportunity to use their local hospitality businesses as a means to get food provisions for themselves and other members of their family who may be struggling to access food through other essential food services. 

“The ability to offer takeaway and delivery services offers our industry a lifeline in the lockdown, it’s not a full solution and will not suit all industry but it may help keen some business a float where it is appropriate. New Zealand has so far remained an international outlier in terms of contactless and kerbside food delivery options, despite many countries maintaining these while under similar lockdown conditions,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois. 

Bidois has presented the Contactless Delivery Programme to the Epidemic Response Committee, government ministers, MBIE and MPI and once the details have been finalised it will be made available to all 2300 of its members. 

The programme includes guidelines for how production, delivery, drive through and pick-ups will work. 

“Hospitality businesses are used to working to strict food control plans and we do not anticipate that the additional guidelines will cause our members any issues, many of whom are anxious to get back into the establishments. 

“The easing of restrictions on our sector will also allow them to play a valuable role in feeding their communities which we know will be welcome to so many Kiwis who need this service,” concluded Bidois. 

Contactless delivery plan key points: 

  • Online or phone contactless ordering 
  • Restricted menus and minimal staff in kitchens to prepare orders 
  • Description of safe spot for leaving package 
  • Delivery drivers to be wearing gloves and face masks 
  • Delivery driver to knock on door and send text when food has arrived and ensure that the food is taken inside the property but watch from a 2 metre distance 

ENDS

Issued by the Restaurant Association

Contact: Marisa Bidois
Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz
027 559 7777

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2300 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


14 APRIL 2020 - RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION UPSKILLS THE HOSPO WORKERS DURING LEVEL 4 LOCKDOWN

Kiwis can expect first rate service from their favourite restaurants and cafes when they reopen.


The Restaurant Association is offering free online training to its members [BE1] [MB2] [MB3] in everything from table etiquette through to wine service in an effort to use the lock down period to upskill the industry.

“Hospitality is such a full on and busy career choice so its workers often struggle to find the time they would like to dedicate to training and development” says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois[MB4] [MB5] .

“When we reopen the workforce will look quite different so we see the lockdown period as an excellent opportunity to give those baristas, chefs and front of house teams time to upskill.”

The Restaurant Association has created the Raise the Bar Training Academy offering online learning in everything from dealing with tricky customers through to creating an excellent guest experience. 

The Raise the Bar Training Academy will pull in both local and international experts from the industry including Larry Nadeau formerly of the French Laundry and Marek Przyborek, Sommelier at Huami in Sky City.

Raise the Bar officially launches today and can be accessed via the Restaurant Association’s website. https://www.restaurantnz.co.nz/event_category/professional-development/


RAISE THE BAR ONLINE TRAINING SCHEDULE

Tuesday 14 April 2pm – Levelling up service – Honing your observation skills  
Presented by Krishna Botica, XUXU Dumpling Bar, Café Hanoi and Saan. 

Wednesday 15 April 10am – Levelling up service- Secrets from a Sommelier 
Presented by Edmundo Farrera, La Fuente wine and Mezcal

Thursday 16 April 2pm – Levelling up service- Creating the best guest experience 
Presented by Steve Logan, Logan Brown. 

Friday 17 April 2pm – Levelling up service-Dealing with difficult customers 
Presented by Margaret Main, Turning Tables

Tuesday 21st April  2pm- Levelling up service – Beyond the label of old world wines
Presented by Marek przyborek, Huami 

Thursday 23rd April 2pm Levelling up service – Maître d’ tips for success 
Presented by Katie Woodhead, Hello Beasty 

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association of New Zealand

Contact: Marisa Bidois
Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz
027 559 7777

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2300 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


16:00 | 8 APRIL 2020 - RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION CEO MARISA BIDOIS PRESENTS TO EPIDEMIC RESPONSE COMMITTEE ISSUING THREE RECOMMENDATIONS TO GOVERNMENT

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois this afternoon presented to the Epidemic Response Committee outlining the current issues facing the sector, calling for immediate financial assistance and giving three recommendations for the government to adopt in the coming weeks.

She called primarily for additional relief to manage fixed overheads as well as cashflow assistance to keep hospitality businesses afloat during the level 4 period when they have no ability to generate income.

She laid out three immediate recommendations for government as we track back to Level 3:

  1. Provide clear operations guidance for hospitality at all Alert levels
  2. Consider the implementation of contactless and kerbside delivery options
  3. Amend the Ministry of Health-issued hospitality guidance.

She also set out some of the hospitality sector’s long term considerations, as it searches for its ‘new normal’.

“As an essential service, the food sector has been in higher demand than any other. However adhering to Government guidelines has not been straightforward” Said Bidois.

“The most common frustration among our members has been the sheer volume of inconsistent advice around food as an essential service, and the absence of advice of operation when alert Levels change.

“We need MBIE to fast track development of operational guidance for hospitality. This guidance is currently non-existent, despite our businesses operating under food control plans and strict food safety requirements set by MPI. 

“We accept we are in an unprecedented time, however stress the importance of transparency around decision making and fairness of guidelines. There is a growing perception that some of the food sector conditions are overly stringent, inconsistent and unfair.

“New Zealand also remains an international outlier in terms of contactless and kerbside food delivery options, despite many countries maintaining these while under similar lockdown conditions. In support of the Government’s decision to put health first, our Contactless Delivery Programme adopts a less is more approach, establishing a criteria that will ensure businesses participating are only those that we can be assured will maintain the highest protocols around safe preparation and delivery.

“We would also like to see the Government review its COVID-19: Guidelines for hospitality establishments. These guidelines, issued by the Minister of Health on 21 March, are grossly inadequate. The resulting guidelines were rushed and issued with insufficient sector consultation, leaving large parts of the hospitality sector unaccounted for. We would like officials to relook at the guidelines, and ensure that they better represent the diversity of the hospitality sector and how these businesses need to conduct themselves when we move between different Alert Levels.

“There is significant apprehension within the hospitality industry around the future appetite of local diners, figuratively. Members are unsure as to whether Kiwis will venture out, or continue to stay home for fear of contracting the virus. When the time comes, we will be looking for a clear, consistent, and concerted effort from the Government to ensure messaging reassures New Zealanders that they can feel safe to get back out there and enjoy dining out once again” concluded Bidois.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

Contact: 
Marisa Bidois
Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz
027 559 7777

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2300 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


8:30 | 24 March 2020 - STATEMENT AND INFORMATION ON BEHALF OF RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION CEO MARISA BIDOIS

From what we currently understand all hospitality businesses must close and move to close their takeaway operations from midnight on Wednesday.

Food delivery businesses including those that make prepared meals are considered essential services and are still allowed to trade and deliver.

Here is a statement:

“This is an extremely challenging time for our country and for the world. As you can imagine we’ve been fielding a significant number of calls from our members looking for clarity on what this means for them. One thing unites them all – they are all committed to playing their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 throughout New Zealand.

“We are now working with the government to see how our industry is able to assist and relieve pressure from the grocery sector along with helping our members to understand the impact of the restrictions that they are now operating under”


12:00 | 23 MARCH 2020 - RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ISSUE CLEAR GUIDELINES FOR CAFÉ SECTOR

The Restaurant Association is calling on the government to issue clearer guidelines to New Zealand’s café sector on the collection of customer data.

“Since the requirement to collect customer data was issued on Friday afternoon we’ve spent all weekend fielding enquiries from distressed café owners on what is required from them.

“Many of them offer takeaway services and are unclear as to whether they are also required to collect data for those not dining in. This is also relevant for restaurants now offering takeaway services but particular important for our café sector for whom takeaway is a huge part of their business.”

There are almost 9000 cafes and restaurants across New Zealand which makes up 51 per cent of the hospitality sector. 

“Our 2300 membership is predominantly made up of businesses in this sector. The industry is 100 per cent committed to doing what they need to, to contain this virus but we cannot do so if we are not clear on what is required from us.”

“We urge the government to consult with all industry associations as much as they can in advance of announcement so that we can ensure we get the right information out to our members and in a timely fashion.”

Issued by The Restaurant Association 
Contact: 
Marisa Bidois
Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz
027 559 7777

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2300 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career. 


14:15 | 17 MARCH 2020 - COVID-19 BUSINESS RELIEF PACKAGE

STATEMENT FROM MARISA BIDOIS, CEO RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION OF NZ

 “We think this is a good start by government and we hope that they will be willing to review this as time goes on but it will go a long way to assisting those that have been hit in the early stages.” 

A survey of Association members has shown that the hospitality industry is being significantly impacted by the Covid-19, with some reporting losses of up to 60 per cent.

“At our last estimation approximately $6 million a week per week is being lost by hospitality business which has now increased to $10 million a week. A figure we expect to increase further as time goes on.

“Hospitality contributes more than $11 billion per year to our economy[NW1]  and is one of the country’s largest employers, so we’d really like to see them supported by the government.”

The Association is offering hospitality businesses impacted by Covid-19 free emergency membership, which gives them immediate access to a range of legal, payroll and marketing advice, as well as on the ground support. 

“At this time we are still encouraging people to support their local dining establishments whilst also being mindful of social distancing. We have issued a COVID-19 support pack which is available to all hospitality businesses to help them to understand how to protect the health and wellbeing of their patrons and their teams in these challenging times” continued Bidois.

“We also know a number of businesses that are putting in place contactless delivery solutions so we encourage diners to contact their favourite local establishments to see what they are able to offer to those in self isolation or that are concerned about being in public spaces.”

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

Contact: 
Becky Erwood
Becky.erwood@outlook.com
021 414926

The Restaurant Association is the link between good food, and good business. It supports New Zealand’s diverse and creative hospitality businesses to deliver first class experiences to diners. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, it has worked to offer advice, help and assistance in every facet of the vibrant and diverse hospitality industry. The organisation now represents, advocates and cheerleads for more than 2300 hospitality businesses within New Zealand. It offers 24/7 advice and assistance on key industry issues, from property lease advice to wellness in the workplace. The Association also provides its members with industry-wide accreditation programs which set best practice standards and help them measure how they’re tracking. It also works with Service IQ to deliver the New Zealand Apprenticeship programme and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme. Over the past two years more than 300 job seekers have participated in HospoStart and made their start on a hospitality career.