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Hospitality Business
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Queenstown chef shortages & Visa dilemmas continue

A dozen Queenstown chef jobs were advertised on the Seek job site this week, but employers say we shouldn’t hasten to read too much into that with a number of the jobs advertised believed to be from employers meeting government requirements to re-advertise for Kiwis.

With serious shortages of Kiwi chefs and hospitality workers for some time now, much of Queenstown’s hospitality workforce, pre-Covid-19, was made up of overseas workers on work visas. Many of them are still in Queenstown and now looking for work.

Southern Hospitality manager and co-owner of The Hayes, Mark Latham is advertising for a chef de partie. It’s a requirement, he says, to advertise the position because his existing chef’s work visa is about to expire and he wants to keep him on, if possible.

“Immigration New Zealand requires us to re-advertise, both locally and nationally, before an existing overseas employee on a visa can have their expiring visa processed and renewed,” says Mark. “We have to prove first that there are no suitably skilled Kiwis to fill the position,” he says.

Out of 64 applicants for the job so far only two were Kiwis, five were Australians, with the rest all requiring work visas, whether that be for one year after completing training, spouse-related or needing full sponsorship, he says. A job advertised prior to Covid-19 would have normally attracted only about 10 applicants, he says.

Mark and wife, Erica, did manage to hire a new head chef recently after their Australian head chef decided to head home with lockdown looming. The current head chef had worked on superyachts overseas and was unable to return there, says Mark. He and Erica have seven or eight chefs and normally about 5 of them are sponsored on work visas.

Will Eaglesfield – executive chef of the Eichardts Collection, which includes Eichardt’s Private Hotel, The Spire and nearby Lakefront Apartments, had only received six CV’s for a couple of chef’s positions by this week – just one was a Kiwi. His ad incorporated both – one new position to be filled and a bid to keep on his existing Israeli chef, whose visa was also up for renewal. Will says he had lost a number of staff who’d returned to their home countries amid the Covid-19 crisis but was able to retain his team of 14 chefs across three properties, thanks to the government wage subsidy. He was surprised to have only received six applications in the current job climate.  

A spokesperson for Immigration New Zealand says employers are generally required to check that no New Zealanders are available to do the work being offered, and provide evidence of genuine attempts to recruit New Zealanders before looking to hire migrant workers.

Employers may choose to advertise the vacancy by recruitment agencies or posting online ads as part of this evidence, she says. There are a range of visas. Some work visas are employer-assisted, meaning the visa is tied to an individual employer and the role being offered, such as an essential skills work visa, she says. Other visa types have specific work conditions, meaning the visa holder has the right to work for any employer, but only for a certain amount of time.

“New Zealand’s labour and employment market has been significantly impacted by COVID-19,” she says.  “Immigration New Zealand (INZ) may ask employers to provide further evidence, to show that the availability of New Zealanders to undertake the work, remains unchanged, and that the employment offer is still valid.”

The post Queenstown chef shortages & Visa dilemmas continue appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Salty sweet QT Auckland – expect the unexpected from November 1

QT Auckland has announced it is now accepting bookings for its third New Zealand hotel from November 1, 2020. While the name of the new hotels’ signature restaurant is still under wraps, renowned chef Sean Connolly will preside and also run the hotel’s rooftop bar featuring wide spread views of the Waitemata Harbour.

Long time QT collaborator and designer Nic Graham, in conjunction with the Event Hospitality and Entertainment design team have blended contrast and quirkiness through the hotel’s 150 rooms.

Drawing inspiration from oysters and oyster trawlers Graham says the interior design was onset from the Sydney based designer’s first trip to Auckland, and a dozen oysters!

“The salty sweet oyster is a metaphor for the design, where we have elevated the bold use of colour and created a cocooning interior that uses interesting local materials and suppliers, adding to the harbour based neighbourhood narrative of QT Auckland.

“We have mixed custom furniture with found objects and iconic originals, creating an unmistakeable QT experience. Bold environmental graphics draw from the NZ coast and we proudly support both local and international artists throughout the hotel.”

QT Auckland General Manager, Darren Whaite says the hotel will be a truly immersive experience.

“The experience philosophy behind each QT is to ‘expect the unexpected’ and this hotel will certainly deliver this, with unpredictable twists across art and design throughout the dining outlets and amplified through our service.”

QT Auckland is being developed in partnership with Russell Property Group and Lockwood Property Group. Located at 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland, QT has hotels in Wellington and Queenstown.

Cinema group, Event Hospitality and Entertainment also own and operate over 60 hotels including Rydges, QT, Atura Hotels and Jucy Snooze.

The post Salty sweet QT Auckland – expect the unexpected from November 1 appeared first on Hospitality Business.

UK hospitality gears up for July 4 return

Almost 1 million UK hospitality staff members are expected to be back in work from July 4 and over six in ten outlets open again before the end of the month, according to a new survey by UKHospitality, the country’s trade organisation.

The survey shows that over960,000 staff are expected to return to work from furlough over the course of July, with another 720,000 taking the number beyond 1.6 million people by the end of September.

Around 60 percent of the UK’s hospitality sector will reopen on or within a few days of July 4 , with around three-quarters of pubs and accommodation businesses open again by the end of the month.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is incredibly positive news and a fantastic demonstration of the very hard work that businesses have put in getting themselves ready to reopen.

“Everyone can see the devastating effect that this crisis has had on hospitality businesses. Venues have been closed for months and millions of workers in the sector have been furloughed. To see such large numbers of businesses ready to open again, welcoming back so many staff members so quickly is hugely encouraging.

“We know that lots of customers have been incredibly keen to get back out and support their local businesses. It means a lot to customers to be able to go to their favourite restaurant or pub again, but it will mean even more to staff members who may have been unsure whether they would be able to return to their jobs.

“There is still a long way to go and businesses are by no means out of the woods yet. This is a very positive start, though. Getting venues open and customers through the doors means that more jobs will be kept safe. Despite the positive news we need support for those businesses that are still not able to open, and for those whose jobs rely upon them.”

The post UK hospitality gears up for July 4 return appeared first on Hospitality Business.

ANZ travellers vital to NZ hotel survival

Stimulation of domestic travel and opening the borders to Australia are the top priorities for hotels to remain open for the next 12 months, according to a new survey.

The second New Zealand Hotel Market Sentiment Survey was undertaken by Horwath HTL and Tourism Industry Aotearoa to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting hoteliers’ outlook for the New Zealand hotel market in general and their hotel in particular.

110 hoteliers responded to the survey which was carried out between 23-29 June 2020 (prior to this week’s announcement that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit will be hosted virtually). The first survey was conducted in early May.

The survey was released at a webinar for the New Zealand hotel sector which was held in place of the annual New Zealand Hotel Conference and Awards, that had been planned for 1-2 July 2020.

The survey found that 11% of respondent hotels are fully closed, 14% are partially operational and 68% are fully operational (up from 20% in May). 7% of hotels are operating as Government controlled isolation or quarantine facilities.

Overall hotel business confidence has dropped from -64% in May to -72%.

“It is interesting to note that while overall business confidence has dropped, the severity of the negative sentiment appears to have moderated. In other words, more people are feeling negative about the outlook, but the outlook is not as strongly negative as previously thought,” Horwath HTL Director Wim Ruepert says.

Several speakers at the webinar noted that hotels were playing a critical role in supporting New Zealand’s response to COVID-19.

Survey respondents gave the Government a pass mark (6.3 out of 10) for handling the COVID-19 pandemic but many believe it needs to do more to support the hotel sector.

“In particular, they want to see more stimulation of domestic travel (85%), and 50% say the borders to Australia must be opened by September at the latest if they are to remain open for the next 12 months,” TIA Hotel Sector Manager Sally Attfield says.

Anticipation of the trans-Tasman bubble means the outlook for total loss of employment in the hotel sector is a little less severe than it was in May, with the average loss of employment now expected to be approximately 50%, down from 56% in May.

“The Government wage subsidy has helped protect some jobs but hoteliers, along with other tourism operators, need to know as soon as possible whether that will be extended so they can plan their workforce needs,” Ms Attfield says.

The post ANZ travellers vital to NZ hotel survival appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Drive thru Jamaica Blue ?

It’s getting colder by the day, so the team at Jamaica Blue Cafes have made it easier for customers to escape the cold and still enjoy their favourite early morning flat whites.

Jamaica Blue cafes across New Zealand have recently launched their order online function, allowing customers to skip the queues and pick up a Jamaica Blue signature blend coffee and sweet treat when short on time.

Further to this, selected Jamaica Blue’s have now added a ‘near drive-thru’ experience to their online ordering, so there’s no need to leave the comfort of the car. Customers simply add their number plate detail on check-out and employees will run the order out to the comfy car customer!

*Near drive-thru experience currently not available at all Jamaica Blue cafes. Visit www.facebook.com/jamaicabluenz/ or https://www.jamaicablue.co.nz/ for more details on their online ordering function.

The post Drive thru Jamaica Blue ? appeared first on Hospitality Business.

MAGGI® Professional – “LOCALS, SUPPORTING LOCAL. PROUDLY NEW ZEALAND MADE”

The range of MAGGI® products by Nestlé Professional has always championed good food for the hospitality industry but did you know that many of these products are made locally in Auckland?

Built on a belief that everyone, everywhere has a right to food that tastes good and does good, the MAGGI® Professional range includes authentic, locally-made products that are big on flavour and versatility.

Now with its MAGGI® Professional ‘Locals, supporting Local’ campaign, Nestlé Professional is making more people aware of ‘Proudly New Zealand Made’ as it continues to support local hardworking chefs and cooks.

Included in the comprehensive range are: MAGGI® Gravy Mixes, MAGGI Soup Mixes, MAGGI® Boosters, MAGGI® Demi Glace and MAGGI® Jus Lié Beef Flavoured Sauce Mix.

Steeped in rich undertones of juicy meat flavours with hints of tomato and red wine, MAGGI® Jus Lie Beef Flavoured Sauce Mix brings that premium taste to any meat dish. Whether it’s roast chicken or fillet steak, this delicious gravy range is always a winner.

Quick and easy to prepare, MAGGI® Soup Mixes are a great winter warmer. They’re also gluten free and include vegan and vegetarian options. The perfectly blended MAGGI® Booster range will also bring depth of flavour to any dish and are also gluten free.

With such a fantastic range of New Zealand made MAGGI® Professional products to choose from, there has never been a better time for “Locals to Support Local” by bringing some classic Kiwi flavour to your menus. For more information about our amazing MAGGI® range of products and other solutions for your kitchen, please visit our website nestleprofessional.co.nz

The post MAGGI® Professional – “LOCALS, SUPPORTING LOCAL. PROUDLY NEW ZEALAND MADE” appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Napier icon adapts to COVID-19 financial reality

For one long-time hospitality operator, having a healthy social bottom line has been as important as strong financials; a model that just might be a game changer for the industry in this challenging, new business environment. 

“No matter how much you have to cut back, hang on to your staff because they’re everything,” is a realisation that was reinforced for Hawke’s Bay hospo operators Carol and Jeremy Bayliss, while the New Zealand economy was under lockdown.     

Since 2005 their budgets at Napier’s Westshore Beach Inn that the couple has run since 2005, and their new bar Rogue Hop Speakeasy in Napier’s CBD, have focused on the triple bottom line, which takes into account staff well-being and environmental  factors alongside the financials.      

At the Westshore following lockdown, turnover was down 95%. “But when Level 1 arrived and the Blues/Crusaders game played on June 14, we bounced back,” Jeremy says. “The Warriors game and Super Rugby made a huge difference for us, pulling people back out of hibernation.”

“We’ve still got a lot of hard work ahead. Customers now come out early and want to go home early. They want to dine between 6 and 7pm and if they can’t they’ll go elsewhere so we need to cater for that. Overall though we’re feeling that if Covid-19 is kept under control we should be okay.”

When it’s not just about the money    

There’s something special about the Westshore Beach Inn and that’s probably due to the way proprietors Carol and Jeremy Bayliss do their books. They focus on the triple bottom line, which takes social and sustainability factors into account, as well as the financials.

As Napier’s oldest hotel, licenced since 1851, the Westshore has been operating on its present site since 1925 and is one of the few genuine community pubs still operating in New Zealand. 

Their healthy awards cabinet confirms they’re on the right track. Aka, Econo Lodge Napier, the venue won Gold in the Choice Ho­tel Asia-Pac Awards four years in a row from 2012 to 2016 to name just a few accolades.  

Located 10 minutes north of Napier’s CBD, this 160-year-old seaside hotel is a community hub where guests enjoy an appealing, casual place to eat, drink and stay.   

The large garden bar is blessed with sea breezes; popular menu options feature in two restaurants, PAK–Asian Kitchen and the Bistro. Quality wines and beverages are on offer alongside craft beers made onsite and accommodation comprises 15 studio suites.

When Carol and Jeremy took over the lease in 2005, their original vision was for a welcoming, comfy local where people enjoyed a pleasant beer or wine with a pub meal. They realised quickly though their vision needed to change if they wanted to succeed.   

“We had to become much more driven around the food than we thought we’d be. We also built up the accommodation side significantly, developed the garden bar which doubled our capacity and established the Napier Brewing Company onsite to give us a point of difference,” Jeremy says.    

“Initially we were serving 90% Tui beer, now it’s about 1%. It was a rough gang pub and hindsight’s a wonderful thing. It has been far more challenging than we ever thought but we’ve ground it out. We haven’t taken a brewery cheque for seven years and in the past four years we’ve found our niche.”  

As part of their vision revamp, the couple set out attracting a broader customer base and with Jeremy handling front-of-house and Carol on operations, they’ve succeeded. By setting a reputation for great food and beverages and an appealing atmosphere inside and out, the Westshore is now a destination as a Napier local as well.     

The venue is proud of its con­sis­tently good food and seasonal menus showcasing local produce. “Value is a really strong driver and when you’re delivering that as a standalone without the buying power of the groups, you have to keep on innovating.”

It always amazes Jeremy though that cus­tomers ask where their fish comes from but never the chicken or steak.

“We could serve imported frozen chicken that comes in at $6 a kilo but we buy Bostock organic chicken at four times that. I can’t charge four times that for the dish though, but I’m passionate about this – I would rather serve ethical, quality produce and earn less money.” 

Starting out in hospitality 38 years ago as a Wellington student, Jeremy arrived in Napier 34 years ago, buying into the Criterion Hotel in 1986 and going into partnership a few years later, helped develop Ahuriri’s iconic Shed 2. In 1986he saysthere were 32 liquor licenses in the area and pubs were still going broke. “Today there are 220 licenses. We’ve been through four recessions plus unhelpful legislation changes and it’s a miracle we’ve survived.”  

But survive they have and part of that is certainly due to their landlord, Wayne Parker. “Wayne ran the pub himself for several years. He likes the industry and we have a genuine partnership. For him it’s not just about the money either, it’s also about leaving a legacy. Carol and I have done the development work, spending in excess of $1.6m so it definitely works both ways.”

The budgets at The Westshore are done more to break even, rather than how much can potentially be earned. Some staff have started as cleaners and are then nurtured into management roles and seven 14 year olds work in the hotel as dishies one night a week each. They’re paid well and encouraged to contribute to KiwiSaver.

Every Westshore hotel initiative encompasses the triple bottom line. “Of course the financials have to be strong. You have to survive but our reinvestment in the business tells our staff, we don’t take the money and run.” 

Jeremy’s management style is to shake things up, preferring to try 10 things and get three right rather than two and get one right.  “I’ve made mistakes but the joy of working for yourself is that you’re the one making the calls.”  

The couple acknowledges their team of 34 for the many awards that the pub has earned over the years and say their ability to get things done only happens with the right people around them: “They don’t all have to be experts, they just need the customers’ interests at heart. Our saying here goes, ‘The customer isn’t always right but they must be satisfied.’”  

Being able to employ committed hospitality career staff from the Philippines has been a game changer for Carol and Jeremy. They’ve gained stability over the last four to five years through their manager and chefs and that’s helped them be where they want to be.

“Luckily our team realises that if they want to succeed, the business has to succeed but again, it’s a two way thing: some of our chefs live above the hotel and we try to regularly give them three day weekends. Things like this make a big difference to morale.”    

If the Bayliss’s hadn’t come along in 2005, it’s likely that apartments would be on the  hotel site by now but while Jeremy and Wayne are around the Westshore will remain.    

For those considering using a similar hospo model, Jeremy shares a few tips:  “Right from the start, get a good accountant or book keeper; they watch the numbers and you take the risks. You’ll need good people around you too, and pay them well.”  

The post Napier icon adapts to COVID-19 financial reality appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Vegan Sausage Award Winners Announced

No nitrates, no cholesterol and no known carcinogens – these are key attributes of a meat free sausage according to Vegan Society Aoteoroa New Zealand. And to celebrate the growing demand for tasty plant based meat free innovations the society held its annual Vegan Sausage Awards on June 29.

Judged by political comedian Tom Sainsbury and former Head Chef of the Heritage Hotel, Auckland, Gerrard O’Keefe, the awards were hosted at vegan restaurant The Butcher’s Son and attracted 30 entrants from 20 different companies. The judges looked for appearance, consistency and best taste.

Supreme Winner for the second consecutive year was Lord of the Fries with their Beyond Sausage entry, with Grater Goods and their Beet BBQ Banger taking the New Zealand winner award. Logan McLean’s Black Pudding took the breakfast sausage category and Ananda won the speciality category with their Bambino!. For a full list of this year’s winners go to:-https://vegansociety.org.nz/awards/vegan-sausage/results

The post Vegan Sausage Award Winners Announced appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Calling all developing chefs

Entries open for 2020 Lee Kum Kee NZ Developing Chefs Challenge

A chance to represent New Zealand in Hong Kong, a year-long ambassadorial role and a $3,000 cash prize awaits the winner of this year’s Lee Kum Kee NZ Developing Chefs Challenge.

With this year’s second-ever New Zealand qualifying contest announced this month, aspiring young chefs have until 14 August to enter, with finalists set to battle it out in September for a chance to represent New Zealand in the international culinary competition.

Open to all chefs under the age of 40 and either working or training in New Zealand, entrants must first submit a Chinese or Chinese-inspired dish by email and video, using a minimum of three Lee Kum Kee sauces or condiments and a main ingredient of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, salmon or vegetables.

The finalists will be announced Friday 21 August and go on to compete in the New Zealand final in Auckland on 7 September. Held at the Auckland Fish Market in front of a live audience, contenders will have 90 minutes to make and present their dish to a judging panel including Paulie Hooton head chef at the Auckland Seafood School and former head chef at Oyster Inn on Waiheke Island, and Mark Dronjak a seasoned chef with over 40 years in the kitchen and a wealth of published work across radio, newspapers and magazines.

The winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize and a 12-month ambassadorial role, and go on to represent New Zealand at the international finals in Hong Kong in September 2021.

Launched by Lee Kum Kee in 2014 and held every two years, the first New Zealand challenge in 2018 saw local winner Xiayi Luo from Elim Hospitality travel to Hong Kong to compete against representatives from over 20 countries and regions including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Netherlands, United States, Canada, Columbia, France, Czech Republic and Australia, the global winner taking home a cash prize of HK $130,000.

Renowned for inventing oyster sauce over 130 years ago, today Lee Kum Kee is one of the world’s most recognisable makers of authentic Chinese sauces and condiments and has been popular in both commercial and home kitchens across New Zealand since the 1970s. 

Alisdair Methven, National Key Account Manager, Foodservice for Acton International Marketing – Lee Kum Kee’s sole distributor in New Zealand – says the contest aims to nurture Chinese culinary talent and innovation worldwide and provide a platform for Chinese culinary exchange.

“New Zealand may be a relatively small player on the global stage, but we have the advantage of a strong tradition in Chinese cooking. Combined with the real innovation we see happening across Asian cuisines here in New Zealand, whether it be Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Filipino, Japanese or Asian fusion, we believe there is scope for our local winner to be a real contender.

“The opportunity to compete against the best-of-the-best globally also provides the winner with a real opportunity for inspiration and exchange of ideas and the opportunity to really elevate their Chinese culinary artistry. We hope Kiwi chefs see this as a great opportunity for career development and we are excited to see who makes the cut.”

Chefs have until midnight 14 August 2020 to send in their submissions. To request an entry form and terms and conditions, email NZDCC@acton.co.nz

The 2020 Lee Kum Kee NZ Developing Chefs Challenge is proudly supported by Gilmours and Trents.

www.acton.co.nz

www.au-nz.lkk.com

www.facebook.com/LeeKumKeeNZ/

The post Calling all developing chefs appeared first on Hospitality Business.

MAGGI® PROFESSIONAL – Locals Supporting Local

The range of MAGGI® products by Nestlé Professional has always championed good food for the hospitality industry but did you know that many of these products are made locally in Auckland?

Built on a belief that everyone, everywhere has a right to food that tastes good and does good, the MAGGI® Professional range includes authentic, locally-made products that are big on flavour and versatility.

Now with its MAGGI® Professional ‘Locals, supporting Local’ campaign, Nestlé Professional is making more people aware of ‘Proudly New Zealand Made’ as it continues to support local hardworking chefs and cooks.

Included in the comprehensive range are: MAGGI® Gravy Mixes, MAGGI Soup Mixes, MAGGI® Boosters, MAGGI® Demi Glace and MAGGI® Jus Lié Beef Flavoured Sauce Mix.

Steeped in rich undertones of juicy meat flavours with hints of tomato and red wine, MAGGI® Jus Lie Beef Flavoured Sauce Mix brings that premium taste to any meat dish. Whether it’s roast chicken or fillet steak, this delicious gravy range is always a winner.

Quick and easy to prepare, MAGGI® Soup Mixes are a great winter warmer. They’re also gluten free and include vegan and vegetarian options. The perfectly blended MAGGI® Booster range will also bring depth of flavour to any dish and are also gluten free.

With such a fantastic range of New Zealand made MAGGI® Professional products to choose from, there has never been a better time for “Locals to Support Local” by bringing some classic Kiwi flavour to your menus. For more information about our amazing MAGGI® range of products and other solutions for your kitchen, please visit our website nestleprofessional.co.nz

The post MAGGI® PROFESSIONAL – Locals Supporting Local appeared first on Hospitality Business.

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