ANZ NZ Commercial & Agri General Manager, Penny Ford, said it was great to see the benefit increased tourism numbers and a strong local market were bringing to the sector.
“Businesses are really responding to the demand for a different dining experience, whether that is through a sustainably grown paddock to plate story, catering to the increasing number of people moving out of major cities into the regions, or growth in centres like Christchurch and Auckland.” Ford explains.
For Fraser and Rooney, supporting the economic health of Northland matters too and hiring locals is an absolute priority.
Over the summer months, they employ up to 160 locals which drops to around 80 in winter. “Good staff is everything,” Lloyd explains.
Managing staff through seasonality is one of the biggest challenges for the business. Fraser and Rooney are not alone.
A recent ANZ commissioned TRA survey into challenges facing small to medium businesses identified cash-flow management due to seasonal fluctuations as one of the biggest obstacles they face.
Fraser and Rooney’s relationship manager at ANZ, Nikita Tomlinson, says “while they are ambitious and they’ve leapt onto all of these opportunities it has come really quickly” – and that can be an issue.
She explains Rooney is conservative and understands his cash flow. “He understands how much he needs to pay in wages and what the produce bill is going to be.”
Overall Tomlinson credits their investment in staffing as the business’ greatest strength.
“They care about the people that they employ, which means they’ve got people who will work for them whenever they need. Their staff are happy and excited to be part of their growth”.
That’s no coincidence, each of Lloyd and Fraser’s restaurants have a simple goal - to provide great food and service at all times and to leave customers with a feeling of warmth and connection.
“We couldn’t do what we do if we didn’t have great staff and to have great staff they’ve got to feel valued,” explains Lloyd.