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Hospitality announces awards finalists

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Leading New Zealand's hospitality businesses recognised as finalists in industry awards

Casual dining restaurants, cool 'n' classy bars, four-star hotels, and traditional Kiwi country pubs and are among the finalists selected in this year's hotly-contested Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence.

The finalists were selected from among hundreds of hospitality operations located between Northland and Southland - and stretching across the entire gamut of New Zealand's diverse and vibrant hospitality industry.

Hospitality New Zealand chief executive officer Bruce Robertson said it was encouraging to see such a high number of entries coming forward in what had been a busy year for the industry - either finely balancing business continuity through the economic recession and recovery phase, or planning for Rugby World Cup.

"The strength of entries in 2011 is credit to the fortitude of the industry as a whole. There is no denying that the hospitality sector, like many other sectors of the New Zealand economy, has faced a particularly tough period over recent years," said Mr Robertson.

"However, those bars, restaurants, pubs and hotels which have founded their business models on investment, staff training, marketing, and innovation, have come through this period in a much stronger position than their competition.

"What we have seen with these entries is that customers across New Zealand have voted with their wallets. There has been a definite 'flight to quality' - and that degree of quality is represented in the calibre of this year's finalists."

Mr Robertson also noted that for the first time in many years, no single venue, business or region dominated the 15 awards categories. The Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence are judged on a comprehensive range of business-focussed criteria - such as marketing strategies, training programmes, profitability, operational procedures, and customer service.

"Financial performance was a big factor in many finalists' entries this year. Every business which was selected as a finalist outperformed the market in this respect. Ultimately, that performance is a reflection of how customers are selecting where they spend their disposable income," Mr Robertson said.

As part of the thorough assessment programme undertaken on all entries in the awards, venues are personally visited by the panel of judges to ensure the validity of the entry, and to verify all information and data put forward.

"This is a huge process but underscores the credibility and transparency of the judging process," Mr Robertson said.

Winners in each of the 15 categories will be announced at a gala awards dinner taking place in conjunction with Hospitality New Zealand's annual conference being held in Christchurch on November 3.

The finalists for this year's Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence are:

Best bar:

Brew on Quay, Auckland

Shed 2, Napier

Suite, Auckland

The Zookeeper's Son, Auckland

Best new/redeveloped accommodation hotel:

Amora Hotel, Wellington

Grosvenor Hotel, Timaru

Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier, West Coast

Best music entertainment venue:

Opononi Resort Hotel, Opononi, Northland

Sale Street, Auckland

Shed 2, Napier

Best sports bar:

Four Kings, Wellington

Shed 2, Napier

The Fox, Auckland

Best country hotel:

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell, Northland

Karamea Village Hotel, Karamea, West Coast

The Riverhead Tavern, Riverhead, North of Auckland

The White Swan, Greytown, Wairarapa

Best new/redeveloped bar/restaurant:

Ballarat Trading Company, Queenstown

The Riverhead Tavern, Riverhead, North of Auckland

The Zookeeper's Son, Auckland

Best restaurant:

Orangerie, Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco, Nelson

Smith and McKenzie Chophouse, Hamilton

Soul Bar and Bistro, Auckland

Dallows at Sale Street, Auckland

Excellence in marketing:

Rydges Wellington

Jet Park Airport Hotel, Auckland

Smith and McKenzie Chophouse, Hamilton

Excellence in host responsibility:

Little Rock Bar and Nightclub, Nelson

Shed 2, Napier

SKYCity Auckland

Excellence in customer service:

Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco, Nelson

Iguana Street Bar & Restaurant, Hamilton

Jet Park Airport Hotel, Auckland

Soul Bar and Bistro, Auckland

Best accommodation hotel:

Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim

Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau, Southland

Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco, Nelson

Terrace Downs, Canterbury

Excellence in gaming:

Brazen Head Bar and Caf�, Napier

Rossco's Caf� & Bar, Tauranga

The Station, Napier

The Zookeeper's Son, Auckland

Excellence in training and staff development:

Edgewater Resort Hotel, Wanaka, Otago

Iguana Street Bar and Restaurant, Hamilton

Soul Bar and Bistro, Auckland

Best beef dish:

Caf� Izone, Christchurch

Mint Dining Room, Nelson

Mount Bistro, Tauranga

Novotel Capital, Wellington

Best lamb dish:

Dallows at Sale St, Auckland

Karamea Village Hotel, Karamea, West Coast

Mint Dining Room, Nelson

Mount Bistro, Tauranga

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