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05:00 23rd September 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES RECOVERY ROADMAP TO BOLSTER HOSPITALITY SECTOR

The Restaurant Association has unveiled stage one of its ‘Future of Hospitality Roadmap’ to help the industry survive and thrive after the Covid-19 crisis.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, there has been an estimated net loss of over 1,000 hospitality businesses in Aotearoa, representing approximately 13,000 jobs.

“Following the return to alert level 4 in August 2021 we expect the fallout to be significantly higher over the next 3-6 month,” said CEO Marisa Bidois.

Stage one of the Roadmap focuses on reopening and sets out the immediate steps needed to support the full reopening of the sector over the short-term, in line with broader COVID-19 pandemic developments.

In a submission to the Finance Minister on Friday 17th September, the Restaurant Association has put before government eight practical solutions to get businesses back on their feet.

STAGE ONE – REOPENING

  1. Wage Subsidy – Level 2

This is an extension of the current wage subsidy scheme, allowing employers with a decline in revenue of 40% or more to access wage subsidy support at Level 2 to help them continue to pay employees and protect jobs if their business is affected by the change in COVID-19 alert level.

  1. Reopening Payment

The Reopening Payment is a one off, cash payment to go towards resuming operations, namely purchasing food ingredients.

This could be measured against a business’ average revenue during a normal week’s trading to ensure the reopening payments are fairly and proportionately distributed. It would mean a small hole in the wall coffee shop would receive a proportionate payment to their size, as would a large establishment with a much higher average revenue.

  1. Lockout Subsidy (Version 1) 

Businesses would receive a support payment equivalent to 50% of a business’s average weekly sales during an Alert Level 1 trading week.

To define ‘average weekly sales in a normal week’s trading’, this could follow the already established comparator test period, which looks at a typical 14 consecutive days of revenue in the six weeks immediately before the move to Alert Level 4 on 17 August 2021.

  1. Lockout Subsidy (Version 2)

Businesses would receive a fixed amount support payment according to the number of their full time employees.  To reduce administration required to execute, bands have been proposed as follows: 1 – 4 employees; 5 – 10 employees; 11 – 20 employees; 21 – 50 employees; 51+ employees.

This acknowledges the reality that the vast majority of hospitality businesses are owner-operated or micro-SMEs. 

  1. Food Waste Minimisation Payment

Businesses would receive a fixed amount support payment to go towards their perishable food wastage as a result of lockdown measures, according to their weekly turnover.

While a flat rate payment could see businesses disproportionately subsidised, officials reviewing the applications would have discretion to decline applications where the evidence of attempted food donation does not reflect the support payment applied for.

  1. Dine Out to Help Out

The Dine Out to Help Out initiative is modelled off the UK’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ campaign. The Association proposes a homegrown version run in a similar fashion to the UK’s, across in-house dining at Alert Level 1. This would see a discount of up to $20.00 per person, per bill applied to food only.

  1. Dine & Discover NZ

The Dine & Discover NZ initiative is modelled off New South Wales’ consumer driven ‘Dine & Discover NSW’ campaign. This hospitality support initiative would run in a similar fashion to NSW’s, across in-house dining at appropriate alert levels. This option would see every person over the age of 18 years eligible to receive four $25 vouchers (totalling $100) to put towards a meal.

  1. Eat GST-Free.

The Eat GST-Free is a government supported, consumer driven hospitality support initiative, which would see customers discounted the Goods and Services Tax (GST) portion off a total hospitality bill if food is purchased. This option would be less expensive for the Government to enact, allows consumers to create the market, is easy for businesses to execute and is an easy concept for consumers to understand.

In addition, the Restaurant Association is working with councils and local business associations to cut red tape, have licenses and registrations extended and make it easier and quicker for businesses to operate outdoors.

“When we look at jurisdictions across the world that we routinely compare ourselves to, there have been similar, catastrophic impacts on hospitality, however many of these countries have initiated targeted stimulus packages to protect jobs and boost demand.

“Other nations have instead opted for more creative approaches, offering targeted support for hospitality shuttled through consumer activity, for the struggling hospitality sector at minimal procedural and financial cost.

“It is fair to say we have lacked a similar level of proactively here in New Zealand so we have put together a range of options that give our businesses the financial assistance they require.

“Hospitality businesses continue to experience a disproportionate material impact on revenue as a direct result from the Alert Level guidelines. By and large, Alert Level 4 settings see hospitality businesses suffer a 98% drop in revenue, while Alert Level 3 see a revenue drop that fluctuates between 40% to 60%.”

For Auckland businesses that rely on face to face patronage, as at 21 September (the in-principle date to move to Alert Level 3), they will have been completely locked out of trading for a total of 66 days out of the 544 days since the nation’s initial move to Alert Level 4 in 2020. For 12% of this period, our sector has been completely locked out, and then further restricted at Alert Levels 2 and 3, surmounting to 178 days where our operations have been restricted.

The Restaurant Association’s new Future of Hospitality Roadmap has been designed to help businesses get back on their feet, by focusing on reopening, recovery and sustainability.

Stages two and three focus on recovery and sustainability and outline the guidelines for a profitable and sustainable hospitality business model.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

ENDS

Issued by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand:

Contact:

Becky Erwood                                                                               Marisa Bidois

PR Specialist                                                                                   CEO

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz                                                         Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz 

021 414926                                                                                      027 5597777

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 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the Hospostart and Springboard training programmes.

14:00 10th September 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO RESURGENCE PAYMENT EXTENSION

The extension of the resurgence payment is an overdue acknowledgement of the dire financial situation hospitality businesses are currently in says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“Hospitality business owners, particularly those in Auckland are frantic with worry right now about how they can continue to survive. The extension to the resurgence payment will be welcome relief, although sadly, for many businesses it still won’t be enough’ said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“We still have operators in our largest city unable to trade at all and whilst at level 2 those outside of Auckland are back to trading, it is at drastically reduced capacity. These new rules are simply unworkable for most of our industry and more needs to be offered.

“What is clear is the need for the Government to acknowledge and fairly compensate those businesses that are bearing the majority of the cost associated with the current response to COVID-19.

“The resurgence payment is welcome and helpful but it still won’t be enough for many businesses. It has become clear that there should be a different level of government assistance for those businesses prevented by law from earning any income, to those who are able to work from home and keep revenue coming in.”

The Restaurant Association is calling on the Government to consider establishing an operations lockout subsidy for employers: targeted support that will pass directly to business owners locked out of trading at Alert Level 4, 3 and 2 due to Government guidance.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

021 414926

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 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. It works in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme around the country.

05:00 8th September 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO COME TO THE TABLE WITH LOCKOUT SUBSIDY

The Restaurant Association is calling on the treasury to come up with targeted financial assistance that reflects the dire situation its members find themselves in.


In a letter to Rt Hon Grant Robertson CEO Marisa Bidois talks of the Alert Level 4 lockdown sending business scrambling to save thousands of dollars worth of stock, pay wages at normal rates and pay ongoing overheads, all while revenue remains at $0 for the majority of businesses.


“At Level 3 many of our industry are still unable to trade. There are some that trade successfully but they are not the average business,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“While our members are committed to doing their part for our nation, there is a need for the Government to acknowledge and compensate those businesses that are bearing the majority of the cost associated with the current response to COVID-19.


“It has become clear that there should be a different level of government assistance for those businesses prevented by law from earning any income, to those who are able to work from home and keep revenue coming in.”

The Restaurant Association is calling on the Government to consider establishing an operations lockout subsidy for employers: targeted support that will pass directly to business owners locked out of trading at Alert Level 4, 3 and 2 due to Government guidance.


“Support for this kind of initiative has already begun gaining momentum, including through recent public petitioning.


“The Government’s COVID-19 response has been largely employee centric. Now more than ever, business owners are in need of targeted support in order to mitigate rising fixed costs. This is felt exponentially across our industry because at Alert Level 4 our businesses suffer a 98% drop in revenue; at Alert Level 3 this is between 60% – 40% and a level 2 where trading is often heavily restricted by spacing rules and other requirements of trading at this level.


“For context, many of our industry has been barred from earning any income at all for 92 days of the last 459 days (20%), and then restricted to earning no more than 50% of their income due to seating, safe distancing and single server rules for an additional 76 days, (another 16% roughly). It does not add up in the eyes of industry.


“We want to be clear that this is not about profiteering. The cold hard facts of the matter are that we will see a huge number of business closures putting thousands of people out of work if this industry is not offered something to help it get through these enforced closure periods.”


Ends


Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:
Becky Erwood
becky@restaurantnz.co.nz
021 414926

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 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. It works in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme around the country.

16:30 6th September 2021 | HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO NEW LEVEL 2 DINING IN GUIDELINES

Hospitality businesses and their customers will need to get used to new alert level 2 dining in guidelines says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“This time around all staff and customers will be required to wear masks and signing in will be mandatory. Diner numbers will also be restricted to 50 people per venue with one metre distancing between tables.

“Masks will now need to be worn by all customers and whilst diners can remove them whilst eating and drinking, they will need to have them on when entering or leaving the establishment and to use the bathrooms.

“The three ‘s’s’ continue to apply with diners needing to be seated, separated and served by a single server where possible.

“There are some new rules for businesses under the new alert level 2 so we are asking that anyone dining in or picking up takeaways, remembers to scan in and wear a mask. This will make things easier for our industry as they get used to opening under new guidelines.

“As an industry we are united in our desire to fully open our businesses and in a way that keeps staff and customers safe. We know that we can do this, but we do need to work together to ensure that we’re all sticking to the rules.

“Whilst our businesses outside Auckland appreciate the opportunity to open up their shop fronts once more, it is under even greater restrictions than previously further reducing revenues. We would like to see more support for business owners by way of targeted fiscal assistance to help them cover their fixed costs and compensate for their revenue losses.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Level 2 operational guidelines:

  • Venues are allowed a maximum of 50 diners at a time
  • Diners must be seated, separated and served by a single server, where possible
  • Customer facing staff and diners must be wearing masks
  • Masks can be removed for eating and drinking but must be worn at all other times, for example when entering or leaving the establishment or when using the bathrooms
  • All diners must use the COVID tracer app or sign the manual register

Full level 2 operational guidelines for hospitality businesses are available via the restaurant Association website www.restaurantnz.co.nz.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

021 414926

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 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. It works in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme around the country.

16:30 30th August 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO AUCKLAND ALERT LEVEL EXTENSION

Businesses doing it hardest, should be fairly compensated for their sacrifice, says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“The Auckland hospitality industry in particular is paying a heavy price for the elimination strategy.” said Marisa Bidois, Restaurant Association CEO.

“Our most recent feedback from members shows that whilst they largely support the level 4 lockdown, 75 per cent of those businesses wouldn’t be financially viable after two weeks at this level.

“What continues to be pushed under the carpet is the crippling losses that so many industries unable to operate at levels 4 and 3 are facing.

“Whilst we’re pleased to see Northland coming down to level 3 on Thursday, there should be more financial recognition for our industry, particularly those establishments in Auckland.

“Our industry knows what it needs to do to help us to eliminate COVID once again, but we feel that there should be specific compensation offered to those who stand to lose the most.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Covid-19 operational guidelines for hospitality businesses are available via the restaurant Association website www.restaurantnz.co.nz.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

021 414926

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 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. It works in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme around the country.

18:30 27th August 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO ALERT LEVEL EXTENSION

South Island hospitality businesses hopeful of a move of alert levels this weekend will be disappointed by the extension of the level 4 alert level until Tuesday of next week.

“We urge all of those hospitality businesses that are doing it hard right now, to stay strong and seek out help” said Marisa Bidois, Restaurant Association CEO.

“Our most recent feedback from members shows that whilst they largely support the level 4  lockdown, 75 per cent of those businesses wouldn’t be financially viable after two weeks at this level.

“Equally, we have heard from several members that they had only just made their final repayments on loans from the 2020 lockdowns, so they’re devastated they’re back in that position of starting the process again.

“Most people will understand just how challenging level 4 is for any industry that can’t work from home. For businesses owners, it means no revenue at all which is very stressful when you have bills to pay.

“Hospo people are social people and the isolation of being at home unable to work is really tough for them right now so we know how many of them are just looking forward to firing up their ovens and coffee machines and being able to serve people again.”

“We’d also like to see the Government put up some specific financial assistance to those businesses who through no fault of their own are facing huge debts through not being able to open.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Covid-19 operational guidelines for hospitality businesses are available via the restaurant Association website www.restaurantnz.co.nz.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

021 414926

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 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. It works in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme around the country.

18:30 17th August 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO ALERT LEVEL CHANGE

The announcement of a snap level 4 lockdown is challenging but inevitable says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“We are feeling for hospitality businesses who once again will pay the highest possible price to protect the nation from an outbreak of the delta variant.

“Lock down is incredibly challenging for the hospitality industry and in respect of a level 4 lock down, gives them no opportunity for revenue.

“Feedback from members however shows that there is general support for a focused lock down in one area. However hard this would be for the businesses in that area, discussions with members have shown that they would far rather a short sharp lock down that does the job than months of restricted trading or yo-yoing between alert levels.

“COVID is a reality that we are all living with, and whilst we appreciate the approach that has been taken in New Zealand has given hospitality businesses more opportunity to stay operational, the entire industry has been poised for a return to higher alert levels. Those that have been able to, will have been setting money aside to help them to get through business closure periods.

“Whilst the wage subsidy is appreciated and obviously gives employees certainty, we would like to see more support for business owners by way of targeted fiscal assistance to help them cover their fixed costs.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Level 4 guidelines for hospitality businesses are available via the restaurant Association website www.restaurantnz.co.nz.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

021 414926

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 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. It works in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the HospoStart training programme around the country.

23 July 2021 |MINISTRY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION EXPAND HOSPOSTART PROGRAMME TO GET JOB SEEKERS RESTAURANT READY

The Restaurant Association training programme Hospostart, which prepares job seekers for a career in hospitality is set to be expanded as the partnership with the Ministry of Social Development grows.

MSD provides the funding and support for the programme, which plays a vital role in seeing job seekers equipped with entry level skills and mentoring support to gain and maintain employment in hospitality.

Hospostart is run regularly in Auckland and is now expanding to Waikato, Christchurch, Gisborne, Nelson and Northland.

It offers a three week intensive training course and eight weeks job seeking support. The training is employer-driven and updated regularly based on consultation from members and the industry in relation to entry level requirements.

The hospitality industry continues to rate a lack of skilled employees as one of the key challenges facing hospitality business operators.

According to The Restaurant Association annual hospitality report, the number of hospitality businesses in New Zealand increased to almost 18,000 in 2019. While the industry currently employs 130,000 people, the key challenge is a lack of skilled employees.

Restaurant Association member feedback from 2021 indicates that 92 per cent of hospitality businesses trying to recruit skilled workers were finding it difficult to do so. These recruitment challenges remain and in April 2021 this was highlighted as the biggest pain point for operators.

The latest Stats NZ figures show there are more than 135,000 people unemployed in New Zealand. Hospostart hopes to reduce these rates and make it easier for restaurants to find skilled workers.

“Involvement in the programme makes it easier for Hospostart trainees to enter our industry. In addition, knowing they have mentoring support from a team through their first few months of job seeking is a vital component to their success.” Says Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association.

“We are working with a number of establishments that have employed young Hospostart candidates with great outcomes on both sides. Not only is it important to find new recruits for the industry and ensure they are work ready but we also know it’s important to give people the opportunity to have a meaningful career in our industry.” 

Ministry of Social Development’s Director Industry Partnerships Amanda Nicolle says Hospostart would support job seekers get the skills they need to fill the range of vacancies in the sector.

“We’re committed to working with the sector to build the capacity needed with New Zealanders looking for work.

“This is a successful programme that’s highly relevant for the hospitality sector and our job seekers, building confidence and skills to get into work,” says Amanda Nicolle.

Ends

Issued by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand:

Contact:

Marisa Bidois

e: marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

m: 0275597777

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 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the Hospostart and Springboard training programmes.

16 July 2021 |RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION WELCOMES ANNOUNCEMENT TO EXTEND ESSENTIAL SKILLS VISAS

Today’s announcement to extend some essential skills visas for a further two years is welcome news for the hospitality sector, says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois. 

“After months of advocacy, and recent collective action on this issue, today’s decision will provide relief to many hospitality operators, who have battled 18 months of uncertainty.”

The announcement comes in the midst of the Restaurant Association’s Reset Campaign – two month collective action from the hospitality industry following the Government’s immigration reset announcement.

A nationwide, ‘lights out’ movement took place on Tuesday 6th July, and saw thousands of hospitality employers, workers and patrons pause service and turn off lights for two minutes to raise awareness of the skills shortage impacting business operations across the country.

“We’re pleased the Government has listened to our concerns and acknowledged the pressures felt by businesses across the country, while COVID border restrictions remain in place.

“We have said from the outset, modernising the training and employment pathways within our sector is critically overdue. The extension will give many of our businesses some breathing space, while we build our future workforce.”

“We look forward to meeting with Ministers in the coming weeks to further discussions about the future of hospitality in Aotearoa.”

Ends

Issued by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand:

Contact:

Becky Erwood

Becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

021 414926

Marisa Bidois

marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

09 6321400

0275 597777

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 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the Hospostart and Springboard training programmes.

6 July 2021 | HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY UNITES FOR A COLLECTIVE 'LIGHTS OUT' MOMENT

In the grips of a continued staffing crisis, the hospitality industry is preparing for a coordinated ‘lights out’ to make its feelings heard over the Government’s immigration policy.
On Tuesday 6th July, hospitality business owners are gearing up to stop service and turn their lights out for a period of two minutes at either 11.30am or 7pm.


The event is the latest part of the Reset campaign, a two month long collective action to remind the Government of the impact hospitality has in New Zealand with three key asks of Government:
• Provide an urgent additional visa extension for employer assisted work visa holders currently in New Zealand to allow employers to retain their existing migrant workforce
• Allow border exceptions for other critical workers from other industries such as hospitality where there is a proven need
• Extend the number of working hours permitted for those on student visas.


Hospitality businesses across the country are gearing up to participate in the event including Mike Egan, National President of the Restaurant Association and owner of Monsoon Poon in Wellington.
“We want to share with our guests the predicament that all hospitality businesses will be in as we have to go through the lengthy process of trying to renew existing visas. That the symbolic two minutes of ‘lights out’ could be become a reality, where large numbers of hospitality businesses will be forced to either reduce opening hours, which is already happening, or to close entirely.
“The combination of delivering a customer experience with a finished product creates a complex system that requires many skilled hands to perform. This is an industry that cannot be replaced by technology. Our sector has always required a percentage of our team to be drawn from the global hospitality community, they add creativity, expertise and inspiration to our local workforce. The Lights Out initiative will emphasise that without the contribution the hospitality sector adds to the wellbeing of our communities we could be heading to a very dull future.”
Up in Auckland, Auckland branch president of the Restaurant Association and owner of Café Hanoi, XuXu, Saan and Ghost Street, Krishna Botica said “We have had to reduce one service per week for one of our restaurants in order to allow another to remain open.
“We have made every effort on an ongoing basis to get New Zealanders into our businesses but sadly there are often too many caveats around working hours that can rule out a career in hospitality.


“Retooling the employment pathway of our industry is absolutely something we must do, but this will take time and unfortunately, we can’t just ‘flick a switch’. Our best response is to flick a switch at our end and highlight to the whole country that this is what their city centres and regions might feel like if we are not able to recruit and retain an overseas workforce in the meantime.”

Restaurateur, Chand Sahrawat will be participating in Lights Out across her three Auckland businesses Cassia, Sidart and Sid at the French Café.


“We have decided to take part in lights out because half our work force is on some type of visa and they deserve to have some reassurance about their future in New Zealand after working hard with us for so many years” Said Sahrawat. “We want the government to open up constructive dialogue with us about the future of the industry and how it can best work for Kiwis and migrants so it can remain the vibrant, inclusive and diverse industry that diners love.”


“We will be talking to our diners on the night so that they understand the need for us to be supported by the government especially as our industry has already been impacted severely by Covid-19.”


“The situation is beyond critical and is seriously impacting our businesses from keeping their doors open.” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois. “With 20,000 workers needed over the next five years in the sector this is a real issue for our industry and we want to work with government to find workable solutions that keep businesses operational.


“Lights Out is designed to capture the attention of our dining public in a way that gives them an idea of just what our cities look like with hospitality establishments closed for business.” Ends

More information is available on the website at www.hosporeset.nz

The petition is live on the parliament petitions website
https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/document/PET_111647/petition-of-therestaurant-association-of-new-zealand

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

Contact: 
Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood
Becky@restaurantnz.co.nz
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 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the Hospostart training programme.

23 June 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO WELLINGTON ALERT LEVEL CHANGE

The announcement of a return to levels 2 for Wellington is a bitter pill to swallow for local operators says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“We are feeling for our businesses in Wellington, particularly those members that have become locations of interest. We know how hard these alert level changes are on our industry and being a business that has been visited by a positive case adds another layer of compliance and stress on to an already difficult situation.

“Weekends are the busiest times for our industry and we know that some of our members are already experiencing cancellations for the weekend. We’re hopeful that the contact tracers are able to work quickly and establish if there has been any community transmission so that we continue to operate in a level 1 environment”

Ends

Notes to editors

Level 2 operational guidelines for hospitality businesses are available via the restaurant Association website www.restaurantnz.co.nz.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

Contact: 
Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood
Becky@restaurantnz.co.nz
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 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the Hospostart training programme.

4 June 2021 | A MIXED BAG - FIRST QUARTER HOSPITALITY REVENUES SHOW SIGNS OF REVENUE RECOVERY

The start of 2021 proved to be a mixed bag for the hospitality industry, as some regions benefitted from domestic holiday makers, while other regions suffered for this same reason.

City businesses reported that there was a slow return to working from the office, as people eased back into work much later in January, or began their first weeks back by working from home.
The start of February marked a return to ‘normal’, until a community outbreak thrust the country back into higher alert levels on Valentine’s Day 2021.

Alert level movements continued through February, particularly affecting the Auckland region, and it was not until 12 March that the country returned to level 1.

However, as industry sales continue to regain lost ground our recruitment challenges are widely being discussed as the most critical factor affecting the industry now, with critical staff shortages forcing businesses to operate at reduced capacity.

Hospitality continues to show resilience, recording sales growth in the 1st quarter of 2021 that exceeds pre-Covid levels.

Despite the unsettled trading environment in the 1st quarter of 2021, sales for the hospitality industry over the period, January – March 2021, continued to regain lost ground, growing by 5.3 per cent over the same quarter in 2020.

There was a decline over the previous quarter (October – December 2020), however. In comparison to the 4th quarter of 2020 the industry’s sales from January – March 2021 were 7 per cent less.

Overall, sales for the period January – March 2021 were $3077.2 million, which exceeded sales totals for the same period in both 2019 and 2020, when sales reached $2992.6 and $2922.5 million respectively.

“It’s still very much a mixed bag out there,” said Marisa Bidois CEO of the Restaurant Association.

“Whilst some businesses are recovering well, many others are still experiencing significant losses. Establishments in tourist hotspots as well as Auckland CBD are still down on last year with the trend of city centre workers staying home and loss of tourist dollars continuing to cause significant reductions in trade,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

Contact: 
Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood
Becky@restaurantnz.co.nz
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 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development to deliver the Hospostart training programme.

20May 2021 | KIWI RESTAURATEURS REMIND PARLIAMENTARIANS OF THE TRUE COST OF COVID-19 ON HOSPITALITY

With Budget 2021 to be announced shortly, Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois is reminding Parliament not to overlook the embattled hospitality industry in a presentation to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee today.

Flanked by Kiwi Restaurateurs from across the country, the true cost of last year’s response to COVID-19 is set to be laid bare.

“Grassroots hospitality is just coming to grips with the real cost 2020 had on their businesses,” said Bidois.

“Today’s presentation follows on from last year’s Dine out to Help out petition, which called for targeted support for the sector. Because we are now able to quantify the burden of overdue rent, the true cost of urgent bank loans, and the severe staffing needs, our members are pleading for Parliamentarians not to forget them.”

Frank Hsu, of Franks in Wellington says the lack of tourism is still hurting the sector.

“Any kind of target stimulus provides immediate incentive for people to be out and about, to spend money and have memorable, positive experiences.”

It’s far more sombre for Helen Kono of Yoshi Sushi, who had to shut down one of her venues due to COVID-19 and lay off seven staff.

“Most hospitality businesses start with debt regardless, which is paid down from day one. However, many in the sector are just like us, paying off ‘COVID-debt’. After 10 and a half years we had no other choice than to make the heart-wrenching decision to shut down our Featherston Street store.”

Up in Auckland, Harriet Byrnes of Vic Road Kitchen says negotiating her way through the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the toughest things her family has ever had to do.

“Not only did I have to figure out how to keep my businesses open, but I was providing support to my staff, many of whom were here from overseas. They too were under extreme hardship: unable to pay their rent, their mortgage, nor support their families. Targeted support, in any capacity, will help keep this sector alive,” Ms Byrnes says.

Appearing before the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee, the Restaurant Association is calling on Parliament to support a targeted support package that includes a subsidised dining out scheme, a dedicated Minister, better immigration policy as well as investment in training and development to create future pathways into the hospitality industry.

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

“While the tourism industry has received dedicated relief budgets, our industry has received no targeted subsidies despite being a core component of the tourist experience.

“We are seeing the long-tail impact that COVID-19 continues to have on New Zealand’s hospitality sector, so I am asking Parliament to give our sector the manaaki that we are so good at serving up to everyone else,” concluded Bidois.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

Contact: 
Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood
Becky@restaurantnz.co.nz
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 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. 

18 May 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO IMMIGRATION POLICY SPEECH

The proposed immigration policy reform is going to make it even more challenging for the hospitality industry to access the workers it needs warns Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.  

“Around 15 per cent of our work force is currently made up of those on temporary work visas and the reality is that many of these roles are simply not able to be filled by Kiwis.

“The hospitality industry contributes $12 billion to the economy and employs 136 thousand people, making it one of New Zealand’s largest industries. Despite being an enduring powerhouse of the New Zealand economy, we’re continually overlooked when it comes to policy reform

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

“We have relied heavily on a migrant workforce that is now largely inaccessible to us. Our businesses have been holding their breath waiting for the borders to reopen, only to be met with this proposed reform which is light on detail to say the least.”

A recent survey of Restaurant Association members showed that 92 per cent of members were finding it extremely difficult to recruit for senior roles and 73 per were finding it difficult or extremely difficult to recruit for entry level roles.

“Revenue data for the last two months has show that the sector is recovering, which makes it even more vital that we are able to access the labour needed for our businesses to survive.

“We are working hard with the government on training through our HospoStart and Springboard programmes but the reality is our businesses will struggle in the short term without access to migrant labour.

“The speech by Hon Stuart Nash is frustratingly void of detail leaving our sector wondering how they will be able to fill vital roles to keep their businesses open.

“To help create our long term changes, we have a roadmap guiding us towards the industry’s revival and to a stronger more resilient industry. We know that no organisation can implement change alone so we are engaging with key industry stakeholders, including industry operators, business organisations, training providers, Unions, regional tourism organisations and more, as well as a wider stakeholder network that includes Ministers and government departments. We need the support of others and most importantly the government if we want to build a hospitality sector that is truly fit for the future.”

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association 

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

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.  

12 May 2021 |STATEMENT FROM RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT TO DELIVER LOWER CARD FEES TO BUSINESS

“This is a very welcome decision for the hospitality industry,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“Regulation on merchant fees is something we have lobbied hard for so we are happy to see that the government is listening.

“Merchant card fees have been on the increase since contactless payments have come into more general use. These fees have been costing our businesses thousands each year.”

In a survey of Restaurant Association members conducted earlier this year, 69 per cent of respondents said they would like to see government regulation to reduce merchant service fees

“Just under 90% of our members believe that the current merchant fee system needs to change. We still experience higher prices in New Zealand than in Australia and the United Kingdom and pay nearly twice as much as Australian retailers pay in merchant fees. On average, we understand it is estimated to be $13,000 per year more than Australian counterparts.

“With contactless payment increases over the past year, these fees have become incredibly difficult for our businesses to manage

“Bringing transparency to merchant fees will serve hospitality businesses far better over the long term than allowing a hands-off approach to continue.” concluded Bidois.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Restaurant Association made a submission to MBIE in February 2021. A copy of this submission is available to media on request

Contact:

Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood

Becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

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.  

5 March 2021 |STATEMENT FROM RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT TO MOVE TO ALERT LEVELS 2 & 1

“We’re pleased to see the country move back to the lower alert levels. This is the news that we needed after the alert level yo-yo’s we’ve experienced over the last month,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“What is now imperative is that the government looks to offer fair and quick financial support to those industries most hard hit by the pandemic. The constant last minute closures and restrictions on trading put untenable financial and emotional strain on owners. We must remember that any increase in alert levels generally means weeks of cancellations and subdued trading for our sector.

“The government needs to ensure that criteria for subsidies is fair and realistic for our sector.” Marisa Bidois, CEO Restaurant Association.

Ends 

Issued by The Restaurant Association  
 

Contact:

Becky Erwood

Becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

021 414926

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.  

4th March 2021 |RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO WAGE SUBSIDY CRITERIA 

13:00 4th March 2021]

The criteria for hospitality businesses to apply for the latest wage subsidy makes it difficult for an already struggling industry says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.  

The subsidy requires businesses to show a 40 per cent decline in revenue over a consecutive 14-day period between 28 February and 21 March, compared to a typical 14-day period between 4 January and 14 February 2021 (6 weeks before the change in Alert Levels). 

“The previous comparison period was already down due to the compounded effects of the pandemic and border closures so to compare one with the other is quite frankly completely ridiculous and shows how woefully out of touch this government is with our sector.” 

“To compare and understand the losses, we need to be comparing 2021 figures to 2019 figures before the pandemic had taken effect.” 

“The frustrating thing is that we’ve tried to engage with government time and again but our advice is falling on deaf ears.  

“What we need is an actualised plan that takes us beyond revolving lockdowns as a management approach. And if we can’t do that, then we need to fairly compensate businesses for their losses.  

“The events sector, beauty therapy, hairdressing, tourism, retail, we are the handful of industries that remain completely hamstrung by the continued approach to COVID-19 management through ongoing lockdowns, and the current Alert Level system. 

Like hospitality, these sectors all require kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) to turn a dollar. 

In November last year, the Association presented Treasury with hospitality-specific Alert Level guidance to help officials better respond to our sector’s needs in the event the country went back up alert levels. 

“Sector-specific alert level guidance is helpful to those industries that cannot work from home as it addresses both operational and fiscal changes that could be ‘triggered’ each time there is an Alert Level change. This kind of guidance provides much-needed certainty and is the kind of initiative that should have been spearheaded by the Government over the past several months. 

“Hospitality, retail, events and the services industries have all asked the Government to review its Alert Level settings, to improve their approaches, to give cadence to those sectors that require kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face): yet we remain ignored,” concluded Bidois.

Ends 

Issued by The Restaurant Association  
 

Contact:

Becky Erwood

Becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

021 414926

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.  

23:00 27th February 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO ALERT LEVEL CHANGES

The announcement of a return to levels 2 and 3, is a major blow for an industry already struggling for survival says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“This is another major blow for our industry who are already struggling to recover from the compounded impact of changes to alert levels and border closures. With borders closed, our revenues continue to suffer and these changes of alert levels are incredibly difficult to manage.

“Sunday is a big day for hospo and our businesses will have stocked up on food for the days ahead incurring wastage costs on top of significantly reduced revenues. Whilst its good to see that the wage subsidy has been confirmed this time, we cannot stress enough the urgent need for the government to respond with a tailored financial package for our industry.”

Alert level operational guidelines for hospitality businesses are available via the restaurant Association website www.restaurantnz.co.nz.

Ends

Contact:

Becky Erwood

Becky.erwood@outlook.com

021 414926

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 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.

16th February 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION STATEMENT AFTER GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT 17 Feb, 2021

“We’re pleased to see that the government is looking at ways to combine stopping the spread of the virus with the safe opening of businesses.


What is now imperative is that the government looks to start financial support of affected businesses from the first day of any level change. The constant last minute closures and restrictions on trading are no longer workable for our industry – placing an untenable financial and emotional strain on owners. Three days of restrictions generally means weeks of cancellations and subdued trading for our sector.  

The growing disparity between the those that are able to operate their businesses profitably in the current climate, and those that cannot, can no longer be ignored.

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.

16th February 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO REDUCTION OF WAGE SUBSIDY RELIEF, CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT IMMEDIATE TARGETED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • New survey of members shows 40 per cent of Auckland business are not opening at alert level 3
  • 56 per cent of Auckland businesses report being ‘devastated’ by latest trading restrictions
  • Association calls on government to offer immediate and overdue targeted support

The government needs to provide immediate targeted relief to the hospitality industry says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“The reduction of wage subsidy from 14 days to 7 is another kick in the teeth for our businesses. Our industry cannot work from home and at Level 3 meal delivery or takeout is not always a viable option for some businesses. With mounting costs from a year of dire trading, some parts of our industry were just starting to recover, but now we are faced with further closure periods and this adds further financial pressure to our sector,” warned Bidois.

“For almost a year I have been pleading with Ministers to show leadership for hospitality, if we are to keep our businesses open, workers in jobs, and livelihoods intact; and I remain wanting.
“There are many unseen costs associated with alert level movement decisions: fixed rent costs, single server costs, reduced capacity due to physical distancing requirements and more commonly food wastage. While three days seems inconsequential for other sectors an Alert Level 3 movement sees large quantities of wasted food and further financial crunch on businesses.

“Customer unease also means that even when businesses are open at Level 2, customer traffic is severely diminished until confidence builds again gradually on a return to Level 1.”

In September the Restaurant Association met with the Treasury and recommended the Government look into creating specific, sector-led alert level guidance in the event the country goes back up alert levels. Despite establishing this guidance for hospitality, outlining both operational and financial assistance that would be triggered at different alert levels, and submitting it to Treasury in November, disappointingly it has still not been adopted.

The situation is particularly dire for Auckland based businesses. A survey conducted on Monday 15th February shows that 40 per cent of establishments in Auckland have not opened their doors at level 3 with 56 per cent reporting being ‘devastated’ by the new trading restrictions.

In August 2020 the Restaurant Association launched a nationwide petition calling on the government to adopt a scheme similar to the UK’s “Eat Out to Help Out” initiative, calling on the House of Representatives to urge the Government to provide targeted support for the hospitality industry through a home-grown version of the UK’s initiative that the Association has dubbed “Dine out to Help out”.

The petition gathered just short of 3500 signatures in the five days it was live and the written submission was made last week.

“If a world of revolving lockdowns is the best plan we have, then I implore the Government to urgently engage the sectors hardest hit by these lockdowns – hospitality, retail, services industry – and work with them to chart a course for business survival. Nearly a year on, living in an abundance of caution needs to be balanced with a plan to serve those paying the heaviest price to keep us virus free,” concluded Bidois.

Ends

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

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.

15th February 2021 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION FEARS FOR INDUSTRY AS IT RETURNS TO HIGHER ALERT LEVELS

The announcement of a return to levels 2 and 3, is another blow for an industry already struggling for survival says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“Obviously this is a major blow for our industry who are already struggling to recover from the compounded impact of changes to alert levels and border closures. With borders closed, our revenues continue to suffer and these changes of alert levels are incredibly difficult to manage.”

“Many businesses will have stocked up on food for the days ahead and will now incur wastage costs on top of significantly reduced revenues.”

“However, our industry would far rather a short time at level 3 than these extended closure periods we are seeing in other parts of the world. We remain hopeful that we will have a return to a level where we fully open for business by next weekend.”

Alert level operational guidelines for hospitality businesses are available via the restaurant Association website www.restaurantnz.co.nz.


Ends
Issued by The Restaurant Association
Contact:
Becky Erwood
Becky.erwood@outlook.com
021 414926
Marisa Bidois

13th DECEMBER 2020 | A YEAR OF TWO HALVES - HOSPITALITY REVENUES CONTIBUE TO RISE, THEN PLUMMET

2020 Hospitality Report shows industry in continued growth, before taking a sharp decrease

The latest Restaurant Association Hospitality Report finds that nationwide sales for the hospitality industry reached an all-time high of $12.1 billion year ending March 2020, before plummeting, posting just $1.7 billion for the period April – June 2020, a decline of more than 40 per cent.

In 2019 New Zealand’s hospitality sector achieved record sales of over $11.7 billion increasing to $12.1 billion for the year ending March 2020. This represents sales growth of 3.3 per cent over the previous year, which follows three years of significant growth (4.2 per cent from 2018-2019, 3.6 per cent from 2017-2018 and 9.7 per cent from 2016-2017).

Sales growth carried across the industry, with restaurants and cafes recording the highest sales increase in dollar terms. Over half of every dollar spent dining out is spent at a restaurant or café, which has more than 51 per cent market share.

Annual sales for this dominant sector grew four per cent year end 2020, which in dollar terms translates to an increase over the year previous of $236 million.

Takeaway and food to go also realised annual sales growth of 4.1 per cent, the highest for the sector, while catering services also saw a 4.0 increase posting sales of $956.8 million.

Sales in 2020, after March, do not paint such an optimistic picture as under Level 4 lockdown, sales revenue for the industry plummeted, posting just $1.7 billion for the period April to June 2020, a decline of more than 40 per cent compared to the same period last year.

However, trading conditions improved overall in the third quarter of 2020. Whilst the industry overall had a 3.1 per cent decline in sales over the same quarter in 2019, many regions recorded very positive sales growth, including Tasman (up 29.3 per cent over 2019), Kaikōura (19.4 per cent), Marlborough (18.2 per cent) and Northland (17.8 per cent).

“It’s still very much a mixed bag out there,” said Marisa Bidois CEO of the Restaurant Association. “Whilst some businesses are recovering well, many others are still experiencing significant losses. Establishments in tourist hotspots as well as Auckland CBD are still down on last year with the trend of city centre workers staying home and loss of tourist dollars continuing to cause significant reductions in trade.”

The industry was overall still in decline in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the same quarter in 2019. However, takeaways recorded a positive 8.4 per cent sales growth over this period – the only sector to record a positive change.

For all regions it will still take some time to recover from the declines experienced from April – June, with Auckland and Queenstown continuing to be the two most affected regions.

“The road ahead may be a bumpy one but there are also opportunities and with careful planning operators can make it through while building a strong and sustainable business. Operators identify New Zealanders supporting local businesses and building deeper relationships with customers and our communities as two of the most significant opportunities for their businesses over the next 12 months,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

BREAKDOWN BY REGION

Consumer spending remains highest in Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury. These three regions all enjoyed annual sales of more than $1 billion per annum.

The Waikato region also now records annual sales of just under $1 billion, reaching $946 million. Regionally, the largest percentage sales increases from 2019 to 2020 were in Northland (up 10.8 per cent in 2020), Taranaki (up 7.5 per cent), and the Marlborough region (up 7.2 per cent).

From April to June 2020, the 40 per cent decline in revenues was experienced by all regions. With its reliance on international tourist revenue, Queenstown-Lakes recorded the largest decline (down 67.8 per cent from April to June 2020 over 2019) and Kaikōura experiencing a 66.7 per cent decrease.

While trading conditions have improved overall in the third quarter of 2020, it will take some time to recover from the declines experienced from April to June.

REMUNERATION

Industry wage rates increased by just under 5 per cent in 2020, the results of the 2020 Restaurant Association remuneration survey have revealed. In some cases, employee wage increases reflect the efforts of industry operators to recognise the efforts of staff amid the difficult events of Covid-19. However, while the industry continues to grapple with the financial uncertainty of Covid-19, many employers have currently indicated that balancing remuneration rates with business viability is becoming increasingly challenging. 

KEY CHALLENGES

“The shape of the hospitality industry may change forever as a result of the events of 2020. Preparing for future operational success will need to be conducted carefully and with a plan to adapt in the future if necessary. However, while the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt the hospitality industry with uncharted challenges, it also presents opportunities for operators,” says Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association.

A recent member survey indicated that the top three concerns are further increases to the minimum wage, another Covid-19 outbreak and maintaining profitability.

Many hospitality businesses have already adapted throughout the year, finding creative ways to change in order to survive. A recent industry survey identified that more than half of the industry respondents have reduced their opening hours permanently.

To survive, and to thrive, operators have also indicated they are focusing on running leaner, more efficient operations. Forty-two per cent have made changes to the menu, choosing to simplify, or reduce the menu to help maximise efficiencies.

Last minute changes to alert levels, paying fixed costs and finding skilled staff rank as the top three operational issues.

But with crisis comes opportunity, and operators report New Zealanders supporting local business, becoming a leaner business and developing deeper relationships with community as opportunities for the year ahead.

DINER INSIGHTS

The 2020 research reveals the impact the Covid-19 outbreak has had on consumer’s daily lives, helping operators to understand what drives consumer behaviour in our current environment.

Responses were collated from almost 800 customers, who revealed that eating out plays an important role in our daily lives.

Forty-four per cent of consumers eat out at restaurants or cafes one to three times per week. In addition, 40 per cent indicate that they order food to take away (pick up or home delivery) one to three times per week.

Although the majority of customers say that they feel safe dining out at restaurants and cafes, even during heightened alert levels, those aged 55-64 felt safest (58 per cent said they felt completely safe dining out at alert levels 3 or 2), followed by those aged 25-34 (55 per cent).

When asked what measures are most important to make customers feel safe when dining in heightened Covid-19 alert levels, Obvious additional cleaning measures were highlighted as the key factor offering some reassurance, followed by businesses having hand sanitiser available for customers to use.

More than half of the Dining Out survey diners say they will dine out less as a result of Covid-19 – 49.8 per cent will choose to eat more locally and 47.2 per cent say they will choose to dine at places they feel safe to eat in.

People aged 18-24 currently eat out the most frequently with 69 per cent saying they eat out one to three times per week and 3.5 per cent saying they eat out more than four times. Pre-pandemic 14 per cent in this age group ate out more than four times per week, with another 65 per cent eating out one to three times on average. Over the next year, those aged between 45-54 are most likely to dine out less often than before – higher than any other age group. This age group is also most likely to choose to dine more locally in the future.

Ends

Full information and data is supported in the appendix ‘Hospitality Report 2020’

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

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.

27th NOVEMBER 2020 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES WORKERS SUPPORT INITIATIVE

The Restaurant Association of New Zealand has launched a new worker support service named Tautoko Hāpai Ō.

The new service will ensure hospitality workers are able to access support through the latest resources and employment opportunities which in turn aims to support employers to manage workplace relations and get access to those looking for employment in the industry.

It also aims to ensure those who are displaced, can get sector-specific guidance to help them reattach to employment within hospitality.

“It’s vitally important that workers within the hospitality sector, including apprentices and casual workers, don’t get left behind during the tail-end impact of COVID-19,” says Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association.

“During COVID-19 lockdown, we received a surge in calls from workers and non-members needing urgent assistance which put a huge strain on our resources.

“Our organization has been working with business owners for 25 years but we’ve never before been able to offer assistance to those employed within the industry. We see this service as a great way to assist our members through providing support to their teams as well.

“We know how important it is to be able to support all of those working within the industry so we’re really pleased to be able to extend the reach of our services.”

Tautoko Hāpai Ō establishes support for hospitality workers via an online resource portal including region-based job opportunity boards through Facebook along with a displaced apprenticeship redeployment scheme.

Ten job boards have been set up for regions around the country via Facebook connecting business owners with job opportunities with respective recruits.

The online portal will offer resources including how to build a stand out cv along with employment advice.

The new services will all follow the same model of creation that was used by the

Association to establish the successful employer-facing COVID-19 resources that were rolled out through the pandemic, but this time targeted specifically toward hospitality workers rather than employers.

The new service has been made possible with funding from the COVID-19 Workers and Workplaces Assistance Fund.

Tautoko Hāpai Ō launches this week. For more information go to https://www.restaurantnz.co.nz/tautokohapaio/

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

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.

12th NOVEMBER 2020 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION STATEMENT REGARDING COMMUNITY CASES

The latest community cases demonstrate just how important it is that we continue to follow the guidelines for contact tracing and hygiene standards.

Our industry is just about to move into its busiest period so a change of alert levels would be a bitter pill to swallow just as we are getting back on our feet again. But we are now very well prepared and our businesses know what they need to do to continue to operate safely and sustainably.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

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.

15th OCTOBER 2020 | HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY REPORTS SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT; WARNS AGAINST FUTURE RETURNS TO HIGHER ALERT LEVELS

  • New survey of members shows 44 per cent of businesses are operating at significantly reduced revenues in September versus 68 per cent in August
  • 65 per cent of Restaurant Association members are operating at 71 to 100 per cent of pre COVID levels
  • Association welcomes the move to level 1, but warns against future returns to higher alert levels

A new survey by the Restaurant Association shows that there are signs of improvement in the hospitality industry.

The survey shows that 79 per cent of hospitality businesses outside of Auckland are reporting improved revenues for September compared with August, with 21 per cent showing reduced revenues compared to the same period in 2019.

In Auckland the losses are higher with 80 per cent reporting significantly reduced revenues against the same period in 2019 and 29 per cent compared with the same period in August 2020.

“Whilst we’re relieved to see that there has been some improvement, we continue to be concerned about the situation in Auckland’ says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“There are still a large percentage of businesses trading at significantly reduced revenues and there is only so long they will be able to carry these losses.

“We’ve already seen more than 80 business closures just among our own membership and we fear that this number will continue to rise, particularly in Auckland.

“Moving between alert levels hit our industry hard, just as we were starting to get back on our feet. Any future return to a higher alert level could be the final nail in the coffin for a number of our businesses.

“One of the biggest issues is the operational guidelines imposed at each level which are no longer fit for purpose.

“In the event of future changes to alert level, there are a number of initiatives that our industry would welcome in order to do away with rules such as single server and restriction on counter service that would help the industry to minimise costs and maximise revenues.

“The moves between alert levels has been difficult. The overwhelming feedback now from members is to move to level 1 and stay there.

“Hospitality operators continue to be impacted by alert level changes, border closures and consumer uncertainty. We have put a range of measures to the government including rent relief, reduction in GST on food and our Dine Out To Help out subsidised dining scheme but we are yet to receive anything that is bespoke to our industry.

“So many other industries have received targeted support and subsidies so we’re at a loss as to why we are being continually overlooked.”

The Restaurant Association is calling on the government to consider a range of targeted initiatives to support the industry including the subsidized dining scheme ‘Dine Out To Eat Out’, GST cuts on food and government support on commercial lease agreements to name a few.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

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.

9 OCTOBER 2020 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES COVID RESILIENCE AWARDS

The Restaurant Association is launching a new set of industry awards to recognize the epic resilience of its own during the COVID pandemic.

The Restaurant Association Resilience Awards – or RaRa’s – will shine a light on the many people and businesses that have stepped up and showed steely determination as we navigated our way through COVID-19.

Using the Restaurant Association existing regional awards platform, the Association will invite nominations from the industry for Outstanding Community Spirit, Outstanding Innovation and Outstanding Local Hospo Hero in the Rotorua, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Queenstown, Manawatu, Waikato regions, Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.

“While our some of our Regional Hospitality Awards are taking a break until 2021, we want to highlight the people and businesses that have stepped up as we’ve navigated our way through Covid-19. These are our regional Chevron Awards – 2020 Covid edition,” said Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association.

The Outstanding Local Hospo Hero Award recognises an individual who has been influential and has made a significant contribution to the hospitality industry in response to 2020’s covid-19 pandemic. The Local Hospo Hero is recognised for their pioneering spirit, energy, resourcefulness and commitment to the hospitality industry.

The Outstanding Innovation Award is presented to a business that has shown outstanding innovation. New businesses have been born out of an identified market need thrown up as a result of covid-19, while many existing businesses in 2020 have shown innovation by adapting their business model, demonstrating flexibility, innovativeness and nimbleness. This is an Award open to any business that has demonstrated exceptional innovation in the wake of the pandemic.

The Outstanding Community Spirit honours a business or individual that has gone the extra mile to support their local community during covid-19. The winner of the Community Spirit Award will be recognised for uplifting the spirits of those around them, contributing to the life of our neighbourhoods or community and for doing outstanding things making a difference in the region.

“Over the year we’ve been overwhelmed by some of the stories we’ve heard – of people and businesses around the country with amazing community spirit; those who have innovated and changed; and those who have found silver linings in the most challenging of times. These awards will recognize those people that have gone above and beyond to keep their people employed, help their communities and keep their businesses alive all whilst playing their part in stamping out the virus.”

Nominations close on Friday, 16 October with finalists announced on Friday, 23 October.

The winners of the three RaRa Awards will be announced on Monday, 16 November.

“Every region across the country is home to outstanding hospitality, and now more than ever we need to encourage and support our industry leaders during these challenging times.”

Business can find out more and vote by heading to www.hospitalityawards.co.nz/resilience.  

The Resilience Awards are bought to you by the Restaurant Association with support from lead partners Eftpos New Zealand, OneMusic, RA Lexis ComplyHub, Nova Energy and Loaded Reports.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777

Becky Erwood

becky@restaurantnz.co.nz

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.

15 SEPTEMBER 2020 | NORTHLAND AWARDS ACKNOWLEDGE EXCELLENCE IN THE REGION!

Hone’s Garden cream of the crop The Northland hospitality industry acknowledged the outstanding abilities of its own with the announcement of the winners last night.

The inaugural awards recognise the outstanding hospitality professionals, all of whom are making a positive impact on the local café and dining scene. The Restaurant Association of New Zealand are proud to organise and foster these Awards with the main purpose being to unite, grow and promote the Northland hospitality industry.

Known for its rustic pizzas, Hone’s Garden won two of the top accolades winning Gilmours Supreme Award and the Whangārei District Love It Here! Outstanding Local Establishment proving just how popular it is.
The Cove Cafe took out the People’s Choice award. The recipient of this award is selected by the local dining public. Owned by former UK lawyer Lloyd Rooney and Kiwi farmer Mike Fraser, Cove Café has a gate to plate philosophy serving beef and lamb straight from their farm, making it a hot spot on the coast for tourists and locals alike.

An area of outstanding natural beauty, there is no shortage of great places to get a drink in the region.

Outstanding bar of the year went to The Tipsy Oyster in Paihia. A tapas bar and restaurant all combined it offers fresh local tapas and fusion tapas to locals and tourists alike.

There was recognition for those working in the industry too with outstanding front of house team going to the Quay in Whangarei and Marcus Berndt of Terra Restaurant picking up the award for outstanding chef.

Sage Restaurant, Paroa Bay Winery was recognised as the outstanding restaurant of the year.

Marisa Bidois, CEO Restaurant Association of New Zealand says “It’s been a very tough year for our industry which makes it all the more important to recognise our successes.

“With a growing population that swells in the summer months, the region’s hospitality establishments play an important role in entertaining and hosting guests.”

“As an industry it’s so important that we take time out to celebrate our success and acknowledge our achievements. We believe it’s important to shine a light on our industry and make sure we are recognised for the contribution we make to our community and economy.

With all categories keenly contested, this year’s winners truly exemplify what it means to be at the top of their respective categories.”

Leah Greenall, Sales and Operations Manager of Gilmours Northland said “The Northland hospitality industry is changing all the time. Everywhere in Northland you go there is a beautiful place to eat, drink and look at the scenery, it just brings people back here time and time again. And with no overseas travel this year, I believe we are going to have a very busy summer in Northland and more New Zealanders will truly get to see what Northland has to offer. I am super excited that these awards are showcasing the amazing talents of all the establishments that work so hard in bringing the community back together.

The winners were announced at a virtual awards ceremony on Monday 14th September 2020. For more information regarding the awards please visit https://hospitalityawards.co.nz/northland. Stay connected with key updates and announcements on our Facebook and Instagram pages.


Northland Hospitality Awards 2020 Winners
Meadow Fresh Outstanding Barista
Tom Richardson, Third Wheel Coffee Co.

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Bartender
Sam Tarrant, The Butter Factory

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Front of House Team
The Quay

NorthTec Emerging Chef
Temarie Beirne, Jolt Café

Southern Hospitality Outstanding Chef
Marcus Berndt, Terra Restaurant

Bidfood Whangarei Outstanding Café
Helena Bay Cafe

The Hits Northland Outstanding Bar
Tipsy Oyster

The Northern Advocate Outstanding Casual Dining/Street Food
Biggie Bagels

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Ambience & Design
No. 8

Whangārei District Love It Here! Outstanding Local Establishment
Hone’s Garden

Eftpos NZ Outstanding Ethnic Restaurant
Mean’s Vietnamese Café

dinefind Outstanding Restaurant
Sage Restaurant, Paroa Bay Winery

Maurice Trapp Group Outstanding Sales Rep
Rebecca Neill, Bidfood Whangārei

Eat New Zealand Outstanding Food & Beverage Producer
McLeod’s Brewery

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Supplier
Omak Meats

Savour! Northland Outstanding People’s Choice Establishment
The Cove Café

Gilmours Supreme Award
Hone’s Garden


Issued by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand:
Contact:
Becky Erwood
becky@restaurantnz.co.nz
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. The not-for-profit 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. For more information see www.restaurantnz.co.nz.
Facebook and Instagram @restaurantnz [‘/expand]

30 AUGUST 2020 | HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY REPORTS SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED INCOME THROUGHOUT AUGUST

  • New survey of members shows 68 per cent of businesses are operating at significantly reduced revenues
  • 93% of Restaurant Association members do not believe the Government have a sufficient understanding of the hospitality industry in order to make effective decisions

A new survey by the Restaurant Association shows the dire circumstances of the hospitality industry after the change of alert levels in August.

The survey shows that 64 per cent of all hospitality businesses across the country are reporting significantly reduced revenues for August compared with July, with 68 per cent showing significantly reduced revenues compared to the same period in 2019.

In Auckland the losses are higher with 96 per cent reporting significantly reduced revenues against the same period in 2019 and 90 per cent compared with the same period in July 2020. Only two thirds of all businesses in Auckland have actually been able to open for takeaway.

Excluding Auckland where businesses are operating under level 2 regulations, 46 per cent year are reporting significant drops on year and 43 per cent month on month compared with July 2020.

“These figures are highly distressing,’ says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois. “The overwhelming feedback from members is that they are worried for the survival of their businesses.

To date there has been no targeted support for the industry through the pandemic, despite us being one of the worst affected.

“Hospitality operators continue to be impacted by alert level changes, border closures and consumer uncertainty. We have put a range of measures to the government including rent relief, reduction in GST on food and our Dine Out To Help out subsidised dining scheme but we are yet to receive anything that is bespoke to our industry.

“So many other industries have received targeted support and subsidies so we’re at a loss as to why we are being continually overlooked.

“The government’s stance on the wage subsidy being a catch all is frustrating to say the least and demonstrates the lack of understanding and empathy they have to the plight of hospitality business owners who through no fault of their own have been given a dire set of circumstances to operate under. We’re frankly tiring of all of the excuses.

“In other countries such as the UK, the government has been far more proactive in putting together targeted relief packages. I am in touch with my counterpart at UK Hospitality, who has informed us of a number of measures that have been put in place.

“Not only have they implemented the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme which has been an enormous success but they have also introduced a worker support scheme for those who have been furloughed, got rent relief measures over the line, and introduced hospitality grants for small businesses to support business profitability. It is this kind of targeted support our sector so desperately needs as we cannot operate shop fronts and dining experiences digitally.

“The Finance Minister has told me he has instructed officials to undertake further work to ensure the support measures continue to be sustainable, adaptable and flexible for any future alert level movements. This includes potential options to assist the retail and hospitality sectors at Alert Level 2 which is encouraging. But I hope officials are consulting as 93% of our members do not believe the Government (in particular officials) have a sufficient understanding of the hospitality industry in order to make effective decisions.”

The Restaurant Association is calling on the government to consider a range of targeted initiatives to support the industry including the subsidized dining scheme ‘Dine Out To Eat Out’, GST cuts on food and government support on commercial lease agreements.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Becky Erwood

Becky.erwood@outlook.com

021 414926

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 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. [‘/expand]


14:00 25th August 2020 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION PRESENTS PETITION CALLING ON GOVERNMENT TO ADOPT UK’S EAT OUT TO HELP OUT SCHEME

The Restaurant Association today presented its petition calling on the government to adopt a scheme similar to the UK’s “Eat Out to Help Out” initiative, to assist the battling hospitality industry which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The contactless delivery of the petition was delivered to Rt Hon Kris Faafoi by Restaurant Association President Mike Egan and Vice President Steve Logan on the steps of parliament along with a takeaway lunch from Monsoon Poon.

Rt Hon Todd McClay also came out to meet with Egan and Brown to hear about the petition and the challenges the industry is facing.

The petition calls on the House of Representatives to urge the Government to provide targeted support for the hospitality industry through a home-grown version of the initiative that the Association has dubbed “Dine out to Help out”, gathered just short of 3500 signatures in the five days it was live.
“To date there has been no targeted support for the industry through the pandemic to date, despite us being one of the worst affected” says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“Hospitality operators continue to be impacted by alert level changes, border closures and consumer uncertainty. A scheme similar to the UK’s is needed in New Zealand and the number of signatures gathered shows the appetite for a scheme like this among businesses owners and diners alike.”

Under the UK scheme, the Government foots the bill for 50 per cent of a meal eaten at a cafe, restaurant or pub from Monday to Wednesday until the end of August. It sees a maximum saving of £10 per person applied to meals at more than 70,000 venues and was used more than 10.5 million times in its first week. The scheme has already been hailed as a success by many restaurateurs in the UK.

“Our Dine out to Help out initiative will put much needed cash back into the pockets of hospitality businesses that are really struggling whilst also helping Kiwis to get a freshly prepared meal at a discounted price.”

If adopted, the Dine out to Help out initiative will run in a similar fashion to its UK equivalent across in-house dining at appropriate alert levels. The discount will not apply to alcohol, only food Mike Egan, National President of the Restaurant Association and owner of Monsoon Poon added “The impact of the pandemic on our industry has been devastating and a lot of our members are at their wits end. Everyone is trying to hang in there, we’ve already seen closures and there will be more to come if we don’t do something to inject some money into the sector.

“Rather than just asking for a handout this is a great way of putting money into our customers hands to encourage them to dine out again. Uptake in the UK has been phenomenal and if we experienced the same level of success here, the result would be a huge boom for our industry.”

A recent survey conducted by the Restaurant Association found that of those businesses able to remain open at alert level 3, 87 per cent were reporting revenues significantly lower than the same period last year. For those at alert level 2, that figure was 49 per cent with a further 29 per cent reporting lower year on year revenues. 12 per cent of businesses are anticipating closing their businesses for good in the next 30 days.

“Our industry has been battling for months now, with thousands of jobs lost and businesses looking to close their doors for good. This country has an incredible hospitality scene and if we want it to survive the pandemic’s ongoing impact, the Government needs to do something different.”

“We have a membership of 2500 establishments alone to support this scheme and we’re ready and able to work with the government and its associated agencies to roll this out here,” concluded Bidois.

Ends

Notes to editors The petition for the Dine out to Help out initiative, can be signed online via the New Zealand Parliament website online here and the Dine Out Help Out website here https://www.dineouthelpout.co.nz/sign. There is also a link on the Restaurant Association homepage here www.restaurantnz.co.nz. It has been spearheaded by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, and is supported by the Hospitality Recovery Taskforce, which includes hospitality leaders from across the country. More on the Taskforce can be found here.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Becky Erwood

Becky.erwood@outlook.com

021 414926

Marisa Bidois

Marisa@restaurantnz.co.nz

027 559 7777


16:00 24th August 2020 | STATEMENT FROM RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION FOLLOWING EXTENSION TO LEVELS 3 AND 2

“We’re looking for the quickest possible return to level 1 trading but we had expected the government might extend the level 3 period within Auckland until Friday. The closure for another full weekend, which are key trading days for hospitality is another blow,” said Marisa Bidois CEO of the Restaurant Association.

“Keeping the rest of the country at level 2, also seems an unnecessary measure given where the current clusters are. We are currently looking at a closure rates of between 10 and 12 percent of all hospitality businesses as a result of the restrictions.

“Our businesses are crying out for help and yet we’re still being denied targeted support.

“We’ve faced ongoing restrictions to trading and reduced visitor numbers from the ongoing closure of the border. The majority of our industry is made up of small owner operator businesses that cannot sustain these ongoing closures and restrictions. Quite simply, there will be at least 10 per cent of our industry closed which translates to around 13,000 jobs rising if these restrictions continue.”

The Restaurant Association has launched a nationwide petition calling on the government to adopt a scheme similar to the UK’s “Eat Out to Help Out” initiative, to assist the battling hospitality industry which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The petition calls on the House of Representatives to urge the Government to provide targeted support for the hospitality industry through a home-grown version of the initiative that the Association has dubbed “Dine out to Help out”.

The petition, which closes tonight, currently has just under 3000 signatures, garnered in just five days and is the 10th highest signed petition on the petition’s website.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Becky Erwood

Becky.erwood@outlook.com

021 414926

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 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.


7.00AM 20 August 2020 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION LAUNCHES PETITION CALLING ON GOVERNMENT TO ADOPT UK’s EAT OUT TO HELP OUT SCHEME

The Restaurant Association has launched a nationwide petition calling on the government to adopt a scheme similar to the UK’s “Eat Out to Help Out” initiative, to assist the battling hospitality industry which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The petition calls on the House of Representatives to urge the Government to provide targeted support for the hospitality industry through a home grown version of the initiative that the Association has dubbed “Dine out to Help out”.

“Despite contributing more than $11 billion to the economy and employing over 133,000 people nationwide, there has not been any targeted support for the industry through the pandemic to date,” says Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“Hospitality operators continue to be impacted by alert level changes, border closures and consumer uncertainty: without focused, targeted assistance many hospitality businesses will not survive. A scheme similar to the UK’s is needed in New Zealand.”

Under the UK scheme, the Government foots the bill for 50 per cent of a meal eaten at a cafe, restaurant or pub from Monday to Wednesday until the end of August. It sees a maximum saving of £10 per person applied to meals at more than 70,000 venues and was used more than 10.5 million times in its first week. The scheme has already been hailed as a success by many restaurateurs in the UK.

“Our Dine out to Help out initiative will put much needed cash back into the pockets of hospitality businesses that are really struggling whilst also helping Kiwis to get a freshly prepared meal at a discounted price.”

If adopted, the Dine out to Help out initiative will run in a similar fashion to it’s UK equivalent across in-house dining at appropriate alert levels. The discount will not apply to alcohol, only food.

A survey conducted by the Restaurant Association this week found that of those businesses able to remain open at alert level 3, 87 per cent were reporting revenues significantly lower than the same period last year. For those at alert level 2, that figure was 49 per cent with a further 29 per cent reporting lower year on year revenues.

12 per cent of Auckland businesses and 5 per cent of businesses outside of Auckland are anticipating closing their businesses for good in the next 30 days. 49 per cent of Auckland businesses and 40 per cent of those outside Auckland are looking to change their current business model to survive.

“Our industry has been battling for months now, with thousands of jobs lost and businesses looking to close their doors for good. This country has an incredible hospitality scene and if we want it to survive the pandemic’s ongoing impact, the Government needs to do something different.”

“We have a membership of 2500 establishments alone to support this scheme and we’re ready and able to work with the government and its associated agencies to roll this out here,” concluded Bidois. 

Ends

Notes to editors

The petition for the Dine out to Help out initiative, can be signed online via the New Zealand Parliament website online here. It has been spearheaded by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, and is supported by the Hospitality Recovery Taskforce, which includes hospitality leaders from across the country. More on the Taskforce can be found here.

Issued by The Restaurant Association

Contact:

Becky Erwood

Becky.erwood@outlook.com

021 414926

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 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.


15:30 17 August 2020 | STATEMENT FROM RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION FOLLOWING DETAILS OF WAGE SUBSIDY EXTENSION

“We appreciate and support the extension to the wage subsidy. However, we would have liked to see the subsidy threshold dropped to 30% rather than the confirmed 40%.

“We also believe the scheme should have been extended beyond two weeks.

“It is clear from speaking to our members that further financial support will be necessary, specific to our industry.

“Hospitality businesses are still paying fixed costs even when closed or partially open and some decisions on commercial lease payments which we have now been waiting on since April, is critical. Without this, we will face closure rates of at least 20 per cent if not more.” Marisa Bidois, CEO Restaurant Association.

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 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.


14 AUGUST 2020 | Statement by the Restaurant Association

The extension to level 3 trading in Auckland will be extremely challenging for those hospitality businesses already struggling to recover from the first lock down period and extended border closure.
During the last level 3 alert, 33 per cent of businesses did not open, and the remaining 67 per cent that did open reported significantly reduced income.

Given takeaway only represents 20 per cent of all hospitality revenue we estimate that businesses who are open are trading at most a quarter of usual revenue.

We appreciate and support the extension to the wage subsidy and look forward to hearing more details on it. However, further financial support on commercial lease payments which we have now been waiting on since April, is critical. Without this, we will face closure rates of at least 20 per cent if not more.

Anecdotal feedback from members indicates that they are weeks away from going out of business giving them debts they will be dealing with a number of years. Should this level 3 period be extended again this will break the back of many hard working business owners from some of our favourite dining establishments who are on a knife edge.

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 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.


14 AUGUST 2020 | RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION APPEALS FOR RESTAURANT INDUSTRY TO REMAIN OPEN FOR CONTACTLESS DELIVERY AT ALL ALERT LEVELS

Survey of members shows more than 50% support takeaway delivery at level 4

The Restaurant Association is calling on the government to make amendments to the trading restrictions on restaurant businesses in the event of a return to a level 4 alert.

At alert Level 4 back in March, a blanket ban was placed on hospitality operations, meaning 98 per cent of Restaurant Association member businesses had no ability to generate revenue.

It is now urging the government to continue to allow the operation of contactless delivery should we return to level 4.

“Delivery options continue to be made available to other businesses such as online retail and supermarkets. Our industry has already proven it can operate a safe contactless service at level 3, so we see no reason why these couldn’t be extended to level 4,” said Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

An urgent survey of Restaurant Association members conducted on Thursday 13th August, indicates that just over 50 per cent would be in support of the Government making this change for hospitality at Alert Level 4, should we have to return and 14 percent would need more information before making a final call .

“We have seen unmitigated success with contactless food delivery, following

the creation and introduction of Alert Level 3 operation guidelines,” continued Bidois.

“These guidelines set out how food and beverage businesses can implement safe contactless delivery programmes. It is our view that should we return to Alert Level 4, the Government removes the current Alert Level 4 restriction on contactless food delivery and takes steps to ensure it can continue.”

“We also continue to call on government to deliver the additional fiscal relief we’ve been asking for since we came out of level 3 in May.

“Among our Membership alone we have had more than 50 businesses close, which is around 1000 jobs losses, and we are anticipating more closures as the end of the wage subsidy draws near, so we need the government to step up and offer a continuation of the wage subsidy which is desperately needed if this lock down period is to be extended,” 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 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.


13 AUGUST 2020 | HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY REACTS TO RETURN OF RESTRICTED TRADING

After almost 24 hours at levels 2 and 3, hospitality businesses are adapting to another stint of restricted trading.

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 restaurants and cafes 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.

“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.

“Putting in place the regulations is not the principle issue for our members given ours is an industry that already operates under rigorous food control plans. The cost of these regulations combined with the revenue losses are the main factors we are now battling with.

“With the short notice period many restaurants have been left with hundreds of dollars of unsaleable perishable food. We are working with our members to help them redistribute this to food banks but as worthy as those organisations are this is lost revenue at a time when we’re already suffering sustained losses of income.

“Putting on additional servers, maintaining distancing in restaurants at level 2 and closing on premise dining at level 3 means our businesses are once again managing diminishing returns.

Even for a relatively short period, losses to our industry will be substantial.

“We are calling on Kiwi diners to continue to support their favourite establishments. Grab a coffee from your local café and order a contactless takeout if you’re in Auckland. Outside of Auckland, we would strongly encourage people to dine out in the knowledge that it is completely safe to do so.

“We are also calling on government to deliver the additional fiscal relief we’ve been asking for since we came out of level 3 in May.

“Among our Membership alone we have had more than 50 businesses close, which is around 1000 jobs losses, and we are anticipating more closures as the end of the wage subsidy draws near, so we need the next Government to know its priorities for hospitality early.

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

“Despite the enormous contribution our industry makes to the economy we are still lacking our own dedicated ministry. 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 and something we urgently need addressed by the incoming government,” 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 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 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.