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Hospitality Business
Intermedia

Hotel director condemns council tax plan

Cairan Handy, Senior Director for Hotel Operations at Stamford Hotels & Resorts, has expressed his dismay and astonishment at the Auckland Council’s proposal to introduce a target rate on the Auckland accommodation sector, saying the council has not realised the full impact of the proposal.

The Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff wants to raise nearly $27.8 million a year from the accommodation sector to help promote tourism and major events in the city. At the present time ratepayers cover this cost and Goff says the impact of the rate amounted to between $6 and $10 per guest a night  – “and as the accommodation sector has been a big beneficiary of the tourism boom…it should meet the cost.”

In a letter to Phil Goff, Mr Handy made numerous comments which have been abridged below emphasising the flow on affect of the proposed tax.

“Since its opening in 1996 the hotel has spent approximately $15 million per annum in expenses, the majority of which flows directly into supporting the local community over a wide range of industries, ranging from employment in the hotel, to laundry, to food and wine purchases, to electrical, plumbing, information technology, and housekeeping.

“The impact on the hotel will be devastating and will increase our rate payment alone by approximately 148 percent, which is an increase of just under $1 million a year.

“As a business this proposal will make it unfeasible for us to continue supporting the Auckland community as the Council rate payments will exceed net profit if it goes through.

‘I think the Council’s statement that hotels should pass the increase on to the visitors is preposterous and unexpectedly naïve for a local government authority responsible for a modern first world city of Auckland’s size and stature.

“If I could pass on a higher rate to our guests then I would. The nature of our business ensures that much of our existing rates are already committed and contracted for up to two years in advance so recuperating the tax is not an option.

“The chore of operating an accommodation business in Auckland has just recently proven to look feasible. The years of patience, from the hotel industry, waiting for the cycle to turn positive had just eventuated over the past 18 months and now it has disappeared again with the Goff tax proposal, which effectively requires hotels to increase room rates in order to pass on the cost to consumers.

“Based on my many years of experience in the hospitality industry, I am certain that the consumer market will not respond kindly to the increased room rates. Holidaymakers will avoid Auckland and choose another state or country to plan their future holiday experience in.

“I understand that I am not alone in my concern over the imposition of the council rate. Other international hotel chains are also in dissension of the council’s proposal. Like us, they have been in tourism for a very long time in many, if not all countries in the world and they too have seen the impact of oppressive targeted rates and taxes.

“The council should take these concerns into its consideration as they have seen first hand the devastating effects of unemployment and lack of spending in all sectors of the community due to the reduction in visitor numbers stalling the economy in its tracks.

“As with the other hoteliers, I will have to consider carefully how the hotel can make up the deficit due to the increase in council rates of nearly $1 million to a total of just under $1.5 million per year. 

“As with the other major Auckland hotels, we will most likely be forced to accommodate the deficit by making employment cuts, ceasing the outsourcing of housekeeping, reducing the variety of produce obtained from the local Auckland and New Zealand community and reducing the services to the trade community.

“If it becomes operationally unfeasible or financially unsound to continue the operation of a hotel in Auckland, we may be obliged to consider pulling our operations out of Auckland altogether in favour of entering another domestic, regional or international market with friendlier policies. No doubt, other international hotel chains which operate multi-nationally will not find it difficult to transfer their operations to another jurisdiction and may consider doing the same. This is not a threat, just a harsh reality of life.

“The knock-on effect on the business of bars, restaurants, taxis, buses, wineries, tours, ferries, retail, cafes, coffee shops, trades, construction and just about everything that successful tourism promotes in the community will be devastating.”

The post Hotel director condemns council tax plan appeared first on Hospitality Business.

A decade of tender & tasty lamb rewarded

Robert Gardyne from Oturehua, Central Otago wins “Glammie” Producer of the Decade award.

The producer of New Zealand’s most consistently tender and tasty lamb in the last 10 years has been announced at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards, aka the Glammies.

For the past 10 years, the Glammies competition has sought out the country’s top lamb based on a scientific assessment and then taste. This year, the results from the past decade were collated to determine Robert Gardyne from Oturehua, Central Otago as the Producer of the Decade.

Having been a finalist in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and the 2016 Grand Champion, Gardyne is no stranger to success. He has farmed for 52 years and believes his success is down to experience and practice.

“Consumers are now much more interested in the food they eat and where it comes from. Reflecting on the past decade, a lot of effort has been put into the management and genetic makeup of the animal to fine-tune the lamb we produce. Gaining an award like this is a huge thrill and gives me confidence in what is to come,” says Gardyne.

Following an independent assessment for yield, tenderness, succulence and colour the top 20 finalists were found and sent to be judged by Beef and Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Chefs in the Grand Final at the Wanaka A&P Show.

Forbes & Angus Cameron from Ashhurst, with their Growbulk processed at Alliance Dannevirke, outshone the 166 entrants in the 2017 competition and were announced as the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Golden Lamb Awards 2017 Grand Champion. This is a remarkable achievement for Forbes & Angus Cameron who also won the beef equivalent competition, the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Steak of Origin, in 2015.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand CEO, Sam McIvor sees the Glammies competition as a platform to showcase the country’s farmers who produce the best lamb in the world.

“Our industry has made dramatic progress over the last 20 years with higher lambing percentages – up 25 percent, an increase of 93 per cent of lamb weight sold per ewe wintered and it’s been done on 2 million less hectares. And even though sheep numbers have gone from 70 million to 30 million, we’re still selling similar amounts of sheepmeat through increased productivity.”

“This competition recognises the quality aspects that are so important to the customer. The excellent results are a reflection of the work that farmers, processors, and scientists have put into driving these aspects of lamb production,” says McIvor.

Adding to the day’s celebrations, Matt & Lynley Wyeth from Masterton were awarded the 2017 People’s Choice Award and Countdown Supermarkets took out the title of Glammies 2017 Retail Winner.

The post A decade of tender & tasty lamb rewarded appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Queenstown gains a taste of QT

Scheduled to open in the third quarter of this year, QT Queenstown Hotel is claimed to be the first five star design-driven hotel to emerge in Queenstown.

Designed by Nic Graham, styled by Anna Roberts, with costumes by Janet Hine and art curated by Amanda Love, QT will consist of 69 larger boutique designer suites and a new hotel dining experience. QT will provide an immersive designer hotel experience complemented by its now open new dining concepts – Bazaar Interactive Marketplace and Reds Bar.

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Bazaar, reinterprets the traditional hotel dining concept with unparalleled views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountain ranges including the iconic Remarkables mountain range.

 It showcases an international mosaic of foods providing Queenstown locals and guests alike with a selection of seafood, cheese and charcuterie bars, Asian and grill stations, authentic Italian woodfired pizzas, and to finish a dessert bar bursting with house-made creative sweets and pastries.

Reds Bar offers an extensive cocktail list and a contemporary living space that is a mixture of nostalgic alpine and après ski ambiance with equally impressive views. Custom furniture including Eames-era chairs, painting and pops of bold colour are some of the unmissable design highlights.

The post Queenstown gains a taste of QT appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Winning Kiwis to compete at Budapest Coffee Championships

Representing New Zealand at the World Cup Tasters Championship & World Brewers Cup competition in Budapest, Hungary this year will be two Auckland professionals following the NZ Specialty Coffee Association’s national competitions, held on March 17 and 18.

Competition venue, L’affre Melrose in Newmarket hosted the event, and a record 28 competitors fought to win the title of New Zealand Cup Taster Champion.  Ken Shi of Roma Coffee Roasters in Drury  won the award. Ken is a veteran competitor in the association’s Barista & Latte Art, although he was a first time Cup Taster competitor. Ken’s  8/8 score in round one secured him a place in the final where he beat three competitors, Takahito Koyanagi (reigning champion),  Michael Stevens and Seulki Park,  with a score of 8/8 in 5 minutes 17 seconds.

Seven Brewers Cup competition entrants showcased single origin coffees through soft brewing devices of their own choosing.

Winner, Nara Lee from Black & Gold – Coffee/Eatery in Rosedale, Auckland, used a washed Pacamara from Hacienda Don Julian, Panama. She described her entry in her taste notes as, “Like biting into lemon, white wine, with a medium body, juicy when it’s hot and silky on cooling.”

Her brewing style was unique, she used v60 glass drippers covered with heating cables controlled by PID. Runner up was Sarah Stephens and third place Dianne Wang.

Both Ken Shi and Nara Lee now have the opportunity to travel to Budapest to compete at the world championships, June 13 -15.  

The post Winning Kiwis to compete at Budapest Coffee Championships appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Food awards finalists represent best of the best Kiwi produce

The Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards has assessed 57 producers as finalists in its inaugural awards. A panel of 10 expert food judges tasted more than 150 products from 82 growers, farmers and crafted producers earlier this month at the Fresh Factory in Auckland.

Finalists span the range of kiwi produce from primary products such as tomatoes from T & G Global, Curious Croppers and Farm Eighty4, seafood from Cloudy Bay Clams and Keewai, dairy such as buffalo milk products from Clevedon Buffalo and goats, sheep and cow cheeses, Lemongrass Ants from Christchurch producer Anteater, non-alcoholic drinks and cordials, relishes, pickles, sauces, baked goods and more.

Awards organiser Kathie Bartley says “being a finalist means producers are the ‘best of the best’. Outstanding NZ Food Producer Finalists have the opportunity to showcase their status by attaching finalist medals to their packaging and using the awards logo on their website and in all their marketing.”

Head Judge Lauraine Jacobs said, “It was exciting to judge these new awards and see so many innovative and interesting products. It reinforces my view that in New Zealand we have some of the finest food in the world, whether it is straight from the farm or ocean, or has been value-added to meet the demand of a world seeking sustainably produced food filled with flavour.”

The judging panel was; respected food writer and champion of New Zealand cuisine, Head Judge, Lauraine Jacobs; Enzo Bettio, founder of Delmaine Foods and owner of Vin Alto; Anna Tait-Jamieson, NZ Life & Leisure, food editor; Lucy Corry, NZ Life & Leisure contributor and food writer; Mat McLean, head chef/owner of Palate Restaurant, Hamilton and Beef & Lamb New Zealand Platinum Ambassador; Sam Mannering, chef/co-owner of The Homestead Company, Auckland; Kathy Paterson, food writer;  Nick Honeyman, head chef/owner of Paris Butter, Auckland; Trudi Nelson, food writer, broadcaster and co-owner of Fresh and Emily King (Sustainable Business Network food programme).

New Zealanders have until the end of this month (Friday 31 March) to vote for their favourite Farmers’ Market, Specialty Food Store or Supermarket, Food Region or Product or Producer. Voting is via the website and the overall results will be announced April 27.

 

The post Food awards finalists represent best of the best Kiwi produce appeared first on Hospitality Business.

Dutch style cheeses reign in champion awards

Miel Meyer, Manager of Meyer Gouda Cheese and his father, company founder, Ben Meyer at the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards 2017.

A second generation cheese making family business with Dutch origins, Meyer Gouda Cheese, has impressed local and international judges to secure the country’s top prize for cheese making.

Highly commended for their traditional Dutch style cheeses, this year it is the Meyer’s innovation with new cheeses that has set them apart from the hundreds of entries submitted for judging. Picking up a slew of medals and four category Champion Awards, Meyer Gouda Cheese also collected the coveted Countdown Champion of Champions Award (Commercial).

The winning cheese was Meyer Smoked Goat Gouda which Master Cheese Judge, Russell Smith  described as “an absolutely gorgeous goat cheese, and a pleasure to eat.”

The Countdown Champion of Champions (Commercial) cheese winner has a smooth creamy texture that delights the palate with sweet and mild piquant flavours,” he adds.

The winning cheese was entered into the Champion New Cheese category of the awards as a cheese that has only been made and sold in New Zealand for less than 12 months.

‘Most of our cheesemaking is with cow’s milk from our own herd, so working with goat’s milk is a relatively new thing for us. Winning this supreme award for excellence in cheesemaking is an awesome reward for the effort he has put in,” Miel Meyer, Manager of Meyer Gouda Cheese says.

“2017 has been a real surprise! We are not known for making goat’s milk cheeses yet these have been selected as the heroes of the awards. My brother Geert is our Head Cheesemaker and is really chuffed to see these cheese do so well in this year’s competition. While I spent many years making the cheese, this job is now up to him.”

In addition to the supreme title, Meyer Gouda Cheese also scored four gold medals that then took Championship titles for:

  • 180 degrees Champion Goat Cheese Award for the Meyer Goat Milk Gouda
  • AsureQuality Champion Dutch Style Cheese for Meyer Fenugreek
  • Ministry for Primary Industries Champion New Cheese Award for Meyer Smoked Goat Gouda
  • Brancott Estate Wines Champion Flavoured Cheese Award for the Meyer Smoked Gouda

Meyer Gouda Cheese was also awarded six silver medals for their Sheepmilk Gouda, Vintage Gouda, Cumin Gouda, Amsterdammer, Smoked Goat Gouda and Cracked Pepper. Finally, bronze medals were also awarded for Meyer Tasty Gouda and Meyer Cumin with Cloves.

“Quality has always come first, we have always been focused on quality over quantity so we are extremely proud of our consistency at the awards as well as this year’s success,” says Miel Meyer.

The Meyers produce around 50 tonnes of Gouda a year. For more information visit http://meyer-cheese.co.nz/

 

 

 

 

The post Dutch style cheeses reign in champion awards appeared first on Hospitality Business.

BREAKING: Winners of the 2017 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards announced!

BREAKING: Two New Zealand cheesemakers of Dutch origin have stepped outside their traditions with two new cheeses that have claimed the top prizes at the 2017 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards.

The Smoked Goat Gouda by Meyer Gouda Cheese was judged as the Countdown Champion of Champions (Commercial), and Fifty Fifty by Mercer Cheese was awarded as the Puhoi Valley Champion of Champions (Artisan).

Both Meyer Gouda Cheese and Mercer Cheese are from Waikato and both have won top honours in the past with traditional Dutch style cheeses. This year it is their innovation with new cheeses that has set them apart from the hundreds of entries submitted for judging.

Both the Champion of Champions cheeses were gold medallists in the Ministry for Primary Industries New Cheese category.

The best New Zealand cheeses were judged by an unprecedented contingent of 34 international and local cheese experts, from more than 370 entries. The twenty-one category winners were announced at a gala dinner at the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards, held at the Grand Millennium in Auckland on Tuesday 14 March, following a two-day cheese competition.

Master Judge and Australian cheese guru Russell Smith, says “Dutch Kiwis have a growing reputation for making inspirational cheeses with New Zealand milks. The 2017 champions are great examples of this expertise.”

“The Smoked Goat Gouda by Meyer Gouda Cheese is an absolutely gorgeous goat cheese, and a pleasure to eat,” Smith says of the Countdown Champion of Champions (Commercial) cheese winner.

“It has a smooth creamy texture that delights the palate with sweet and mild piquant flavours,” he adds.

Smith was also clearly impressed with Fifty Fifty by Mercer Cheese, describing it as “a beautifully aged gouda, with complex sweet and savoury flavours coming from the combination of cow and goat milk.”

A rare cheese, Mercer Cheese only makes it on occasional years when the last of the summer milks are right for this type of Gouda to be produced, and then aged.

2017 was notable for the inclusion of three new cheese companies entering into the awards, including Winsam Farm. This new player to the cheese scene produced an incredible feat, scoring a perfect 100 for their Just Ewe Winsam Farmhouse cheese. The result lead its cheesemaker Catherine Oakley of Winsam Farm to be named the Cheesemaker Of The Year (Milk Test NZ Champion Cheesemaker), with her first ever entry.

Just Ewe Winsam Farmhouse was also the NZ Chefs Association Champion Sheep Cheese. Russell Smith described the outstanding cheese as “a semi hard sheep cheese with a delightful texture and feel in the mouth. It’s delicate savoury and mildly spicy flavours finish off this delightful newcomer to the New Zealand cheese scene.”

While new cheeses dominated the top three prizes of the night, 2017 saw a popular Kiwi blue cheese take out a number of categories. Kapiti Kikorangi from Fonterra Brands NZ won the Ecolab Champion Blue Cheese Award, the Renco New Zealand Export Cheese Award and Fonterra Champion Original Cheese Award.

Officially the most decorated blue cheese in Awards history, Kapiti Kikorangi was described by judges as a truly exceptional and distinctive cheese. “The very seductive creamy texture of this cheese is combined with sweet, spicy blue flavours,” Smith says.

Another Kapiti blue also secured the public vote once again, to win the New World Champion Favourite Cheese Award – a competition where New World shoppers had the opportunity to judge their personal favourite. The Kapiti Kahurangi Creamy Blue from Fonterra Brands NZ proved the winner for the second year running in the public vote, owing to its delightfully smooth texture, delicate blue veining, and mild savoury flavour.

“The people have spoken,” Smith said, commenting on the developing sophistication of New Zealanders’ palate in selecting such a full favoured cheese as their favourite.

Another notable win from a classic Kiwi cheesemaker, Puhoi Valley Cheese, was the Puhoi Valley Feta which was awarded the Kiwi Labels Champion Feta Cheese Award. Puhoi Valley Cheese also went home with the Thermaflo Champion Washed Rind Cheese Award with the Puhoi Valley Cellar Range Washed Rind. Three of the four golds awarded to washed rind cheeses went to Puhoi Valley Cheese.

Now in its 14th year, the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards are held annually by the NZ Specialist Cheese Association, to honour excellence in cheese making.

A full list of all Award winners and medallists is available on www.cheeselovers.co.nz

The post BREAKING: Winners of the 2017 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards announced! appeared first on Hospitality Business.

The Only POS You’ll Ever Need!

 

 

What’s so different about SwiftPOS compared with the rest of the pack?  It’s a fair question so here are some of the answers.

SwiftPOS helps you grow and then grows with you.  The POS needs to be so much more than just a till system with pre-set prices and a few reports these days.  It needs to help you grow your business by including powerful voucher and gift card printing at POS plus full membership/loyalty programs, instant rewards plus analytical business intelligence – all with SwiftPOS.  

For example an automatic SwiftPOS Voucher or Gift Card can appear on say a busy Friday when the spend is $100.00 offering perhaps a discounted meal on a quiet day. Some clients have up to 200 promos running with meal and drink offers on different days and targeting different customers.      

Then SwiftPOS will grow with you.  Many clients start with a single location and progress to 10 or 50 or more using the same SwiftPOS Back Office.

SwiftPOS manages from 1 to 1000 stores with ease due to its solid platform and advanced structure.  Running 200 POS Terminals in one stadium or across many venues is not an issue for SwiftPOS and with these references, you know your business is in good hands with us.

Other differences with SwiftPOS include the vast amount of built in modules and available interfaces for SwiftPOS clients.

These include:

Kitchen and Barista Video
Menu Boards controlled from POS
Take Away orders bumped onto the Menu Board from the kitchen/barista
iPad and Tablet Mobile Waiters and Queue Busters
Bluetooth Eftpos Integration for Pay at Table or in the Queue
Self-Serve Kiosks or Loyalty sign in Kiosk
Web Apps and Phone Apps
Integration to Xero, MYOB, Opera, Clarity, Allied and dozens more
Online ordering through SwiftPOS Web Store,
Online Membership sign up
ACR Integrated Eftpos for seamless operation with combined support

This is just a selection of what’s available from us.

Last but not least is the important one  – Support and on-site Service!

We operate 7 days/24 hours in Auckland  and through 12 SwiftPOS Reseller Support Centres in NZ and the Pacific Islands.  

Our Remote Support Tool is Bomgar which is a high level, high security system that pins every SwiftPOS Terminal and Back Office to our Server for instant support when necessary. It’s our NZ Centralised Support System.   

Our POS Zone is located at 16 – 20 New North Road Eden Terrace. Auckland and you are welcome to visit us at any time.

Phone: 0800 SWIFTPOS
Web: www.acr.co.nz
Support: https://support.acr.co.nz

 

The post The Only POS You’ll Ever Need! appeared first on Hospitality Business.

2019 opening for new Pullman Auckland Airport

AccorHotels’ Pullman brand has been selected by Auckland Airport and Tainui Group Holdings for a new five-star hotel to be developed adjacent to Auckland Airport’s international terminal.

The new 250-room Pullman Auckland Airport will be located next to the group’s Novotel hotel, and nearby to AccorHotels’ ibis Budget hotel, providing travellers to Auckland with a complete range of high-quality accommodation choices from premium to economy.

Construction of the hotel is expected to start by the end of this year, with the hotel scheduled to open by late 2019. The launch of 5-star accommodation will complement a major upgrading programme at the airport, which will see the international terminal expanded to add a domestic wing to provide a totally streamlined service for travellers.

The hotel will be developed by AccorHotels’ established partners, Auckland Airport and Tainui Group Holdings, who also developed the pioneering Novotel Auckland Airport. AccorHotels also manages Tainui’s Novotel and ibis hotels in Hamilton.

The development of the Pullman hotel comes at a time of unprecedented demand for hotel accommodation in Auckland, with the city being the major gateway for international arrivals. In the 2016 year, Auckland Airport recorded 9.3 million international passengers, a 10.4 per cent increase on 2015, fuelled by new services and growth in capacity on flights from the United States, the Middle East, Japan, China, Thailand and Australia.

The announcement of the Pullman hotel for Auckland Airport follows the opening last year of Pullman Sydney Airport, with another Pullman scheduled to open at Brisbane Airport later this year. Pullman hotels have a strong presence at airports across the world, being represented in airport precincts in cities such as Paris, Moscow, Miami and Guangzhou.

AccorHotels, with a current network of 33 hotels in New Zealand is set to grow substantially over the next three years, including the openings of a new So Sofitel in Auckland and a Novotel at Christchurch Airport.

AccorHotels’ Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath, said that the development of the Pullman would contribute significantly to the continued evolution of Auckland Airport as one of Asia Pacific’s most important aviation and transport hubs.

“Auckland Airport has done a remarkable job transforming the precinct into a modern ‘aerocity’ and we are very pleased to be partnering with them, along with our established partners Tainui, in developing the new Pullman,” said  McGrath.

“The success of the Novotel in attracting corporate, conference and leisure travellers has highlighted the potential for a five-star branded hotel at the airport, and with Pullman having such a strong presence in downtown Auckland, as well as in other major cities around the region, it will be a natural fit for the expansion of Auckland Airport’s tourism infrastructure.

 

The post 2019 opening for new Pullman Auckland Airport appeared first on Hospitality Business.

New café opens at Auckland Airport

A new oasis called the Wayfarer, has appeared amid the hustle and bustle of  Auckland Airport.

The Spotless operated café has been introduced following a six month review of the airport by the company and serves Eightthirty coffee, craft beers, local wine and fresh hand-crafted food in an informal atmosphere.

Goods are served picnic style and customers have the option to eat in or takeaway if they are short on time.   Wayfarer has food ordering apps, allowing travellers to plan ahead and has established a loyalty programme for regulars.

Sustainability also features strongly with Wayfarer using biodegradable packaging for all of its goods.

According to Spotless Senior Retail Operations Manager, Ben Blair, there are different types of travellers with distinct needs and this café has been designed to cater for all needs. “Whether is is a large group wanting to settle in before departure or a corporate traveller grabbing a quick coffee on their way to a meeting, we have them all covered.”

The post New café opens at Auckland Airport appeared first on Hospitality Business.

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