Snapshot Survey: Is Cash Dead?

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Globally, as our industry is continually becoming more technologically advanced, we are always interested in where the hospitality industry in the New Zealand landscape is at. 

The Restaurant Association recently surveyed our members to find out what percentage of payments made by customers in their businesses are cash transactions, as opposed to electronic payments (EFTPOS, debit and credit card).

Here are the results:



snapshot survey on cash transactions

Essential financial skills in just one day

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Now, Colour Accounting, the highly successful accounting training programme for non-financial managers, is available here in New Zealand.

ServiceIQ, in partnership with BDO Accountants, are holding Colour Accounting One Day Workshops around the country, or on-site at businesses, to give non-financial managers in New Zealand organisations all the benefits of being financially literate.

That’s because these days, managers and business owners are expected to have a good level of financial knowledge as part of their role. Until now, that’s been easier said than done. Many managers may have got to where they are with other skills, but today their role demands that they get to grips with practical financial concepts. That’s where Colour Accounting comes in.

It’s a highly successful accounting training programme that uses real life examples managers can relate to easily. Internationally, it’s the method proven to make non-financial managers confident masters of the financial essentials, and all in just one day.

The presentation is also a lot of fun, and at the end of the day, you’ll have a good, practical working knowledge of important accounting principles that you can use every day.

The Colour Accounting One Day Workshop can also be tailored as an on-site presentation to managers at your business.

Check out the 60 second video at to find out more about the programme.

Book a workshop

Either contact Nikki Rogers, ServiceIQ Training and Development Manager on 027-667 4584 to book a one-day Colour Accounting workshop for your managers.

Or simply register online at

Transforming the way Kiwis do business

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Imagine one of your suppliers changes a simple bit of contact information – like their phone number. They need to tell a whole host of business contacts, such as their bank, their accountant and Inland Revenue. Will they remember to tell you? Maybe not, which means your information is suddenly out of date. Not very helpful, right?

With the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN), this is no longer an issue.

What’s the NZBN?

The NZBN is a unique identifier for every business in Aotearoa, designed to make it faster and easier for businesses to interact and transact with each other (and with government). Key information about each business, like trading name, address and phone number, is held on the NZBN Register at, and by connecting to the NZBN, you’ll be notified as soon as one of the organisations you work with updates their information. It’s instant, it’s online, and connecting to the NZBN Register is free. You own the information that’s held about your business on the NZBN Register, so you can easily update these details at any time.

Using the NZBN means that your business, and others you work with, can stop repeating the same manual processes, cut back on data entry errors and keep information up-to-date using one simple tool – the NZBN.

It’s the future of business

As we move towards a truly digital business environment, the NZBN will become increasingly central to the way we do business in New Zealand. By providing your NZBN, everyone in your business network will be able to quickly and easily access the basic information they need in order to work with you.

Over time, the NZBN will enable new services across finance, customer service, procurement, supply chain management and more. These innovations will help businesses improve productivity, add value to products and services and become more connected with each other.

Connecting to the NZBN will save your business time and money, because you can get the right information, about the right organisation, at the right time.

To get started visit now or call 0508 696 926.

Longevity in hospitality

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Member Spotlight: The Mussel Inn celebrates 25 years in business

Located in the heart of Golden Bay in the northwest region of the South Island, The Mussel Inn boasts fresh beer brewed onsite, one of the most sought after stages for local musicians…and now 25 years under their belt.

We caught up with Jane Dixon, co-owner of The Mussel Inn (alongside husband Andrew Dixon) to reflect on the past 25 years at The Mussel Inn.

Jane shares some insights to their longevity in an industry full of ups and downs.

Tell us about the beginnings of The Mussel Inn

Jane: The Mussel Inn started with humble beginnings at a time when café culture wasn’t really a thing in New Zealand, back in 1992.

It was just at a turning point when liquor licencing laws had just changed and it meant smaller places could be more family friendly. We jumped in at the right time since we wanted to make a place that was good for our family and friends – a place that
we’d like to go to ourselves.

That was the inspiration.

Before we started the business, we used to be involved in a music festival down in Canterbury. It’s something that we really liked
and enjoyed so it’s been a big part of our business. We’re now at a point that we book gigs up to a year in advance.

The brewery opened up three years later in 1995. This was way before there was a thing called craft beer but there were a few little breweries around. Before then, the only beers we had on tap were from the local breweries in the area.

Andrew, my husband, was also a home brewer at the time and wanted to make beer here. So ever since we started brewing on-site, we stopped keeping other beers on tap and only serve our own.

You’ve been in a business a long time. What is the secret to your longevity?

Jane: We have really great staff and we’re really greatly supported by our local community. They appreciate us being here so it makes us feel like we’re doing a worthwhile job.

We’ve committed to being here in the area – we want to live here, with our families, and it’s a community effort. We own the property and live out back behind the business, but we planted the trees on the property and they’re almost like our children now too – we’ve watched them grow.

We’re pretty loyal and we feel we’ve got a commitment to our customers and community. Half our staff have been here for more than five years and our brewer is approaching twenty years with us come this September. Things come up through the years that are difficult, but you get through them.

It’s bigger than just us.

It’s full on busy in the summer, but in the winter it gets pretty quiet so we close for about six weeks in the winter and everyone takes a break together and comes back fresh.   

The Mussel Inn

The Mussel Inn boasts a year-long waitlist for local musicians to take the stage. Photo courtesy of NZ Life & Leisure, Tessa Chrisp

What are some of the most memorable moments over the last 25 years?

Jane: Opening was pretty memorable, with a crowd of people waiting to be let in. That was the type of support we had from the community, which was wonderful. It just went like a rocket from day one.

After a few days, I was crying from being so overwhelmed by the success of it. It was an amazing problem to have…I can’t imagine what it would be like to open something and then sit around waiting for people to come.

For me particularly though, last year, there was a German guy that came in on New Year’s Eve. He came to visit us in one of the first couple of years that we were open – he would have been in his twenties at the time. He came back last year because he remembered the experience for 24 years and it was the one thing he wanted to do on his trip to New Zealand last year. And he was so excited it was the same owners. The trees had all grown up a lot, but it was pretty much what he remembered.

So that was a moment.

We have quite a lot of younger customers now that remember swinging on the trees when they were children, and now they’re bringing their own children in for the same experience. The longevity of the place seems to be an attraction in itself.


The longevity of the place seems to be an attraction in itself.


What are some of your thoughts around the current landscape of hospitality in New Zealand?

Jane: Well, the food safety regulations have become more time consuming and the new Health and Safety Act has a lot more extra work now…it’s all manageable but it’s not really what you want to do. What you want to do is run a hospitality business for people’s enjoyment.

With how much New Zealand loves café culture and going out to restaurants, Kiwis just need a bit of a change in mindset in how the staff are viewed and treated. It’s getting a bit tricky with the minimum wage increase as it’s become a bit out of hospitality’s league. I support the wage increase because people have to live, but then customers will need to understand that this will need to be reflected in price increases as well.

Immigration has been a hot topic and I know that the Restaurant Association has been on top of the issue with the Government and I’m pleased to see that. A lot of overseas people are trained in hospitality and they have
really great attitudes.

Ultimately, we need to make Kiwis understand that hospitality can be a career for New Zealanders and can be a rewarding and worthy job for life.

Located in Onekaka, Golden Bay, The Mussel Inn is an intimate, rustic venue featuring a menu of bar fare and simple mains, plus regular live music.

UberEats won’t lower cut despite cost to some restaurants

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UberEats’ “aggressive” growth nationwide has encouraged hundreds more restaurants to sign up to delivery services, but it’s still too costly for many. • By Madison Reidy • Photo: Dominco Zapata/Stuff


Multinational ride-hailing app Uber’s meal delivery service launched in Auckland one year ago.

It has grown from 70 restaurants to more than 400, launched in Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton, and increased its delivery hours to 4am in some cities.

Uber takes a 30 to 35 per cent cut from the price of every order delivered from a restaurant or cafe.

Restaurant Association of New Zealand chief executive Marisa Bidois said not all restaurant owners were in a financial position to sign up to the service.

The Association had been trying to negotiate a lower rate for its members for months, she said. UberEats had not budged.


Marisa Bidois says she has been negotiating for a cheaper rate with UberEats for months with no progress.


“It is a costly exercise if you are sitting on a 5 per cent margin as a business owner in hospitality.”

UberEats New Zealand country manager Emma Foley said the company was comfortable with its rate and would not lower it this year.

Last year some restaurants began pulling menu items from their listing on the app because they were not making enough money from the service.

Bidois said the growing popularity of online food delivery services meant restaurants needed to start using them or they would be left behind.

“It seems to me like something that is here to stay.”

Some owners had raised concerns that fewer customers were dining in at restaurants, she said.

Restaurant Madam Woo owner Josh Emett was one of the first to sign his restaurant chain onto UberEats last year.

He praised the service, saying it delivered food to more paying customers who were not taking up tables in-house.

“We think it is a valuable revenue stream. It creates more customers.”

Restaurants should only sign up to external delivery services if it did not impact their in-house operations, he said.



Uber Eats takes a 30 to 35 per cent cut from the price of orders made through its food delivery app.


“If at peak times, you are getting overloaded with orders and you cannot keep up with the volume inside your restaurant, then you have really got to ask yourself the question, ‘What is our business model and where does the importance lie?”

Delivereasy director Nick Foster said UberEats’ rate was “right up there” and only high-end restaurants could absorb the cost because they charged more for their meals and received higher margins.

That had been a blessing in disguise for his competitive business.

“Cheap, street eats that would struggle” with UberEats’ rate had signed onto his service that took 20 per cent from each order instead, he said.

“A lot of restaurants will not go with [Uber Eats], because they will not make any money.”

Some restaurants used more than one delivery company; however, UberEats”behaviour” did not allow many Auckland restaurants to use other services, he said.


Not all restaurant owners were in a financial position to sign up to the service.


MenuLog and Food Ninja were other competitors in the market. Foster said there was space for all of them to operate.

​Foster said UberEats’ growth nationwide had been “aggressive” but it fast-tracked the consumer movement towards home delivered restaurant food.

UberEats was advantageous because it could use existing Uber drivers to deliver food, he said. Delivereasy hired its own contracted drivers.

While UberEats still dominated the Auckland market, Delivereasy’s business had grown in Wellington where it started in 2016, he said.

It had launched in Hamilton and Tauranga this year.

We are just doing our thing, the industry is what it is.”

Only the best make the cut

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NZ’s top chefs set to compete in Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards 2018

Premium quality red meat is set to star on menus throughout New Zealand as Silver Fern Farms celebrates the fifth anniversary of their annual Restaurant Awards. Founded in 2013 these Awards recognise the creativity and artistry of New Zealand’s top chefs showcasing their craft and expertise using Silver Fern Farms natural grass-fed, red meat.

The Awards feature exciting changes this year with two new categories. Judges will be on the search for a new Emerging Chef and the new Restaurant of the Year Award. Judging criteria is based on presenting the very best red meat dish, as well as the delicious and inspirational food experience restaurants provide for diners.

Chefs were invited to enter their unique dish using premium cuts of Silver Fern Farms beef, lamb or venison. The entries received reinforce that there is a growing demand amongst discerning diners for dishes that deliver on the expectation of untouched natural, authentic and delicious food.

Marketing Manager Food Service, Bernie de Bono says, “The awards give professional chefs an opportunity to create a memorable taste encounter for diners while also being recognised for their creativity and expertise. We want to provide them with the finest natural grass-fed red meat so they can express their craft and innovation to produce extraordinary results for diners.”


NZ top chefs

Last year’s supreme winner, Paul Limacher, and his award-winning dish.


“We are excited about the growth of the awards, the excellent calibre of more than 60 entrants this year reflects the esteem that New Zealand chefs have for them,” says Bernie De Bono. “We know from working closely with them through the Restaurant Awards that product consistency is critical. Being able to deliver on this is important to us because we set ourselves high standards when it comes to suppling premium quality red meat here in New Zealand as well as in international markets.”

A change of season for the judging period, from October to March and April has encouraged chefs to showcase autumn produce as part of their premium quality red meat culinary creations.

Our judges will be out and about reviewing the 63 delectable dishes across the country to discover who will make the final cut. As well as excellent meat preparation they will be looking for inspired use of seasonal produce, demonstrating great technique and delivering on taste through the use of a combination of ingredients on the plate that complement the red meat hero dish.

De Bono says, “It’s also very rewarding to see the high number of chefs in the regions taking part. We have first time entries from restaurants in towns including Whangarei, Cambridge, Matamata and Putaruru in the North Island and Akaroa and Clyde in the South Island. The breadth and depth of entries this year reflects the very high quality of chefs throughout the whole country, not just in the main centres, allowing passionate foodies from across the country to experience inspirational food.”

Twelve finalists will be announced in early May and the head judges Catherine Bell and Geoff Scott will revisit each finalist restaurant and mark them against a set of strict criteria. At least one finalist will be selected from the following regions:

  • Northland/Auckland
  • Central North Island
  • Lower North Island
  • Upper South Island
  • Lower South Island

Diners can taste the uniquely prepared Silver Fern Farms Restaurant Awards dishes, featuring Silver Fern Farms natural grass-fed, red meat, from menus at participating restaurants from Thursday 8 March to Monday 12 April.

Let the competition begin!

Emergency information and support for member establishments after Cyclone Gita

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The Restaurant Association is aware of the hardships businesses are currently experiencing throughout the country with the damage left from Cyclone Gita. We are working with Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) to support businesses in affected regions to provide emergency information and local resources and setting up community meetings.

We are in contact with member businesses particularly in the Golden Bay and New Plymouth regions, where the cyclone has had a major effect.

Though we recognise that the boil water notice has been lifted after 10 days in the New Plymouth region, we continue to encourage our member businesses in the region to stay in touch for updates on their status.

With the State Highway 60 severely damaged in the aftermath of ex-cyclone Gita, we are looking to create and provide support for the local businesses affected in Takaka, Onekaka, Collingwood and surrounding areas. Please keep in touch with us regarding your status.

Members can login and download the Cyclone Emergency Response Information document to help you make good, safe, sensible and practical decisions during the storm. Please contact the Restaurant Association on 0800 737 827 at any time if you have concerns or questions.

3 essential hospo hiring tips from the best in the business

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Featuring: Andrew Baker of Hip Group, Nicola Richards of Monsoon Poon Wellington and Auckland, and James Bennie of HospoTrain.

WANTED: Experienced Waiter who possesses outstanding customer service skills, will work hard without complaint and arrives early to every shift, will work last-minute when called upon, is willing to be flexible with their work hours, has a great sense of humour. Is laid back but super hard-working. Can also fill in for the barista when called upon. Has a car and full-licence.

Paying $16.50 per hour. Applicants to form an orderly queue outside the door from 6am tomorrow morning….

Gone are the days when you can demand what you need, place an ad, and have tons of calls and a surplus of applicants desperate to work.  With unemployment at an 8 year low and more and more hospitality establishments opening, the best hospitality operators are changing their thinking about how to advertise and hire great hospo staff.

Here are the three top tips that you can do to supercharge your hiring (and it’s not about paying more!):

Tip 1: Sell the ‘Why’

It’s no longer enough to only focus on what you’re looking for, Generation Z (anyone currently 23 years or younger) make up the core of our future hospitality staff. Although, like every generation before, they’re much maligned, they’re also known as the ‘experience generation’ and the good news is they care about your business beyond just being a ‘job’. They are conscious of how their workplace backs up their identity and want to work for a place with a strong brand positioning.

Use this when talking with Jobseekers, it’s as much about you selling yourself to them as it is about them selling themselves to you.

Talk about your organisation as a way of life” is what Andrew Baker, People Manager at Hipgroup recommends. “When we meet with potential team member’s we’re not focusing on their availability, pay, or tasks, we’re sharing our stories and what it’s like to be a part of the Hipgroup family. Hipgroup is about people that are passionate, innovative, caring and are humble in everything we do; and product that encompasses our beliefs of provenance, sustainability, and ethical production. We want people that share our beliefs and see Hipgroup as an extension of themselves.”

Tip 2: It’s not all about the cash…

So you give your staff discounts on food, you have regular staff parties and your team sticks around after work socialising? Great! Make sure you tell any new applicants about it! Not only are these things a great way to hold on to staff and create a productive work culture but it’s a great asset when employing new members.

Nicola Richards of Monsoon Poon tells applicants and new members: “I always make sure we emphasise the brand, perks and team. We like to tell applicants we have the best staff meals in town and our meals are free! It’s a great time for team bonding as the Front of House and Back of House eat together. We set an expectation with new members that they are expected to work hard but that we also celebrate success with pizza nights, outings and regular incentive schemes.”

Tip 3: Invest in training…

Too many businesses are determined to employ only those that have experience. For some roles this is necessary (we wouldn’t recommend hiring a head chef with no knife skills) but employing less experienced staff allows you to find people at a better price, that are more personally invested in your business and are willing to stick around longer.

“It’s about building training as an ongoing process, as something that you do in a conscious way” says James of HospoTrain. “I believe in hiring for personality and training for skills. Every business is different. This way you can train and mould staff to do things that best suits your business. Some staff with experience can be less likely to remain loyal; they may be chasing the dollar and may bring some of their bad habits with them ”

Dave McGregor is the co-founder of Helping Hands. Helping Hands is a hospitality-specialist recruitment site where you can find staff within 24 hours. You can instantly search profiles or place an ad….for free, at

Inland Revenue changes to PAYE coming for your business

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Inland Revenue changes on 17 April will affect your business. Changes to PAYE reporting and a new method for managing provisional tax are designed to integrate tax processes with your day to day business.

You can sign up for a free webinar on these changes. Although the live webinar is now full, you can access it whenever is convenient and watch it in your own time. You just need to register at:

You’ll learn more about the new look and feel of IR’s new system, and find out about the Payday reporting legislation, where employers will be required to report payroll returns information every payday rather than monthly. This will be voluntary from April 2018, and mandatory from April 2019.

There’ll also be a summary of AIM, the Accounting Income Method, a new ‘pay-as-you-go’ option for managing provisional tax using approved accounting software. To find out more on this, you can view IR’s webinar on AIM from 12 February.

Free registration for New Zealand restaurateurs to the NRA Show 2018 in Chicago

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national restaurant association

The annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) Hotel-Motel show held in Chicago, Illinois is due to take place May 19-22, 2018.

The NRA show is an opportunity for the world’s hospitality trade to view innovative and high quality restaurant products and learn the latest trends in the industry.

Complimentary registration to the NRA exhibits floor is offered to New Zealand restaurateurs and buyers through the U.S. Commercial Service in Wellington.

For further details, please email

Cyclone Emergency Response Information

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Be prepared for the upcoming storm with the proper emergency protocols for Cyclone Gita.

Members can login and download the Cyclone Emergency Response Information document to help you make good, safe, sensible and practical decisions during the storm.

Here is a link to emergency contacts in the area: .

If life or property is threatened always dial 111 for Police, Fire or Ambulance.

To find out more about road closures go to:


Contact us any time if you have any concerns or questions at 0800 737 827.

New CEO for Villa Maria

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Villa Maria Estate has announced the appointment of Abe Salt as Chief Executive Officer. Salt will take over from Sir George Fistonich who has spent 55 years at the helm. Fistonich will continue to have a hands-on role in the company as Founder & President.  Salt will report to Sir George and will commence as CEO on March 5, 2018.

“Due to Villa Maria’s success as a major player globally, my ambassador role has become extremely time consuming,” says Sir George Fistonich. “As the CEO, Abe will be able to manage the important day to day operations and strategic priorities for the company. This will allow me to concentrate on my global brand ambassadorial role and drive other large projects such as the development of our new winery and retail centre in Hawkes Bay.”

Salt is an avid wine enthusiast and is passionate about the wine industry. He has undertaken wine education courses with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and University of Adelaide and has also participated in a wide range of social wine education programmes, such as International Chardonnay and Pinot Masterclasses.

Salt joins Villa Maria with 15 years’ experience across the wine industry, investment banking and strategic advisory. Most recently, he was Principal at Iron Gate Consulting where he focused on providing strategic advice to the wine industry.

Prior to Iron Gate Consulting, Salt spent more than five years at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) where he was Global Head of Strategy. During his time at TWE, he led significant transactions and implemented key strategic changes for the business. He served on the Steering Committee for TWE’s global supply chain optimisation programme, driving route to market changes in key regions. Salt was also responsible for delivering TWE’s annual five-year plan, including sales and marketing plans by brand and region. In New Zealand, he led TWE’s acquisition of its Matua Marlborough winery.

Salt has experience in each of Villa Maria’s key export markets including the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Asia and Australia. He also has experience working with luxury brands, such as Penfolds.

He holds degrees in Law and Commerce and post-graduate qualifications in finance and is married with two children. Salt will relocate from Melbourne to Auckland for the role.

“I am delighted that we have found someone with such a passion for wine together with a wealth of experience in FMCG global strategy,” says Fistonich. “We are thrilled to have Abe join us for Villa Maria’s next chapter and help us build on our successes to date.”

Villa Maria exports to more than 60 countries globally and in 2017 it was ranked fourth most admired wine brand in the world by Drinks International, the only New Zealand winery to make the top 5 list.