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Auckland Convention Centre Serves 10,000th Meal

14 July 2004

Auckland Convention Centre Serves 10,000th Meal

This month the new SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre will serve the 10,000th meal since opening its doors for evening events only weeks ago.

The centre, which will open with an official launch function on 28 July, expects to have served over a quarter of a million meals by Christmas with the additional capacity created when it opens for day-time events from early August.

Manager SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre, Mike Horne, said the facility is set to tip the scales in the coming weeks, with a number of large events taking place including the upcoming Mircosoft Tech Ed conference in August for up to 1500 delegates and the Financial Planners and Insurance Association 23 July for some 600 guests.

“The combination of the latest in kitchen technology and a team of talented chefs means that guests receive restaurant quality culinary fare – whether they are at an event with a few through to 1000 or more people,” said Mr Horne.

There’ll be no waiting for your meals at the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre, he said. “We have over 100 waiters on the go so that our 1000-or-so guests all receive their meals within 20 minutes. And they get an espresso afterwards in the same timeframe,” he said.

Cooking for large volumes of people has been an everyday occurrence at SKYCITY even before the arrival of the convention centre. “If you combine the number of meals we do at Orbit each day, The Observatory, Fortuna and SKYCITY’s other restaurants (such as Ming Court and Rebo Bar and Café), we already serve over 2000 meals a day on the main site,” said Mr Horne.

“We have given ourselves the challenge to provide over 1000 guests with a choice of quality restaurant style dishes, with options such as sesame crusted hapuka or quick seared cervena,” said Mr Horne.

“SKYCITY also specialises in large scale off-site events through our outcatering division SKYCITY Catering and Events which also offers boutique-style services at any location imaginable.”

“We have already catered for a number of large-scale events, including 10,000 people at the Cirque du Soleil VIP marquee in 2000, and the Millennium Super Yacht Event on Kawau Island in 2000 and 2003. More recently we catered for Rally New Zealand at the Manukau Superdome,” he said.

To achieve this kind of scale and quality, all the preparation is done at SKYCITY Auckland (offering the largest kitchen facilities in New Zealand). The SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre kitchens are fitted out with equipment that will make any chef green with envy, said Mike Horne. “We have twelve state of the art German ovens, conveyor belts and blast chillers that can reduce hot food from 300ºc to chilled within minutes.”

The SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre, situated on Federal Street opposite SKYCITY Auckland, opened for business on Monday 5 April 2004 and has capacity for up to 1000 (banquet function) on one floor and 800 on another or 1500 (theatre-style) delegates. The new facility has already secured more than 200 bookings for dinners, conferences and events in the next 12 months with other bookings as far forward as 2007 and delegate numbers ranging in size between 300 and 1500.

Currently available for evening banqueting functions, the facility will be open for multi-day or major daytime events from early August 2004.

The $140 million development represents the largest commercial project currently underway in the city. On completion, it will comprise five floors of convention centre and 14-levels above will become the new SKYCITY Grand Hotel (scheduled to open in April 2005) providing 316 rooms of luxurious accommodation in the heart of the city.


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