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Wellington finalists in national hospitality awards

Media release from Hospitality NZ

Diverse range of finalists announced in this year's national hospitality awards

The improving fortunes of New Zealand’s economy are reflected in the diversity and dynamics of finalists selected for this year’s Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence.

The range of finalists across some 16 categories encompasses everything from a country pub in Northland and an upmarket gastro bar in Auckland, through to a five star hotel in Wellington and a café in Southland.

Representing Wellington among this year’s finalists are:

-The Empire Bar and Restaurant Petone, which has been selected as a finalist in the Excellence in Host Responsibility category.

-Portlander Restaurant, which has been selected as a finalist in three categories – Excellence in Customer Service, Excellence in Marketing, and Best New/Redeveloped Bar/Restaurant.

-St Johns Heineken Hotel, which has been selected as a finalist in two categories - Excellence in Training & Staff Training, and Best Bar.

-Rydges Wellington, which has been selected as a finalist in Best Accommodation Hotel category.

-El Horno, which has been selected as a finalist in the Excellence in Host Responsibility category.

-Home Café, which has been selected as a finalist in Best Café category. 

Hospitality New Zealand chief executive Bruce Robertson said that as New Zealand’s economy moved from a ‘recovery’ phase to a more positive ‘growth’ phase, so too had the fortunes of the finalists in this year’s Awards for Excellence.

“The finalists in this year’s Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence reflect that the country’s food, beverage, and accommodation providers are yet again at the forefront of professional business operations in New Zealand, and can justifiably hold their heads high in any commercial environment,” Mr Robertson said.

“There is far more positivity in the wider hospitality industry than there has been for a number of years, and the commercial attitude demonstrated in the entries submitted by the finalists in this year’s awards reflects that.  That optimism is mirrored in the amount of capital investment now being spent on premises. New hospitality businesses are emerging at locations throughout the country, while existing businesses are renovating, refurbishing and expanding – motivated by their owners’ confidence in growing consumer spend.”

“Some of that investment has been substantial – well into the seven figures – and would not have been undertaken lightly. As a result, employment is growing – supported by a stronger emphasis on recruitment, training and staff retention… all of which were themes seen in many of the awards entries from these finalists.”

Mr Robertson said it was also encouraging to see such a broad spectrum of business ownerships represented in the list of finalists – from private companies and family-run venues, through to large corporate entities with a multi-national presence.

“And in a geographical sense, we have finalists stretching the length of New Zealand – from the Bay of Islands in the north to Invercargill and Fiordland in the south. That scope shows the true depth and quality of the hospitality sector across New Zealand,” Mr Robertson said.

Entrants into the Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence are judged over a six week period by a panel of independent industry professionals who assess every competitor on a range of commercial and operational criteria – including staff training and human resources, customer service, marketing and promotional activities, and the demonstration of business growth.

Winners at Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence will be announced at the organisation’s national conference being held in Queenstown on September 25 and 26.

For more information go to www.hospitalitynz.org.nz/Events


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