INDEPENDENT NEWS

Catering Military Style Brings Award

Published: Mon 30 Oct 2006 04:26 PM
News Release
For immediate release
October 30 2006
Catering Military Style Brings Award
It is expected when joining the defence forces that roughing it will be on the menu, but Eurest civilian chefs and staff, are also no strangers to working in the field supporting the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
At the eighth annual Ministry of Defence Awards of Excellence recently Eurest's work was recognized and rewarded when they were awarded 'Contractor of the Year' in category A for providing catering, accommodation and hospitality services to the RNZAF bases throughout New Zealand.
Throughout the country Eurest, a Compass Group catering brand, manages 10 kitchens and 1540 rooms on Air Force sites.
Accepting the award was Compass Group chief executive John Weeds.
"This is a significant achievement as the nominees were selected across all of the arms of the New Zealand Defence Force. Eurest only provides services to the Royal New Zealand Air Force," says Mr Weeds.
"It is an honour to be recognised and a clear testament to the hard work and professionalism from all Eurest staff working throughout the bases to support the Royal New Zealand Air Force in catering, accommodation and hospitality services."
Working in sub zero temperatures on LPG field cookers, living in tents and using military field ablutions are just part of the job for those working out of Woodbourne, Ohakea and Auckland Air Force bases, says Eurest Woodbourne site manager Paul Darry.
Receiving the award was due in part to the willingness of the staff, throughout the country, to endure the same deprivations as those training for the Air Force, Mr Darry says.
"Many of my staff are ex military so we all have an empathy for the officers and those in training and we want to provide them with top quality, good food they need to keep going," he says.
"Whenever we are required, we're out in the field, working along side the military, living in the same conditions like everyone else," he says. "All the staff throughout the bases concentrate on understanding the military's needs and try to be proactive with a can do attitude."
Eurest was nominated by the RNZAF because it has developed a reputation for an innovative approach to the supply of meals and in particular the flexibility and adaptability needed to go from formal dinners to short notice provision of rations for search and rescue or deployment aircraft changes, says RNZAF Hospitality Contract administrator Shelley Gilmour.
"Throughout their tenure, Eurest has always adopted a can do attitude," Mrs Gilmour says. "Their stance on contract management is held in extremely high regard and is used as an example how the public and private sectors can work together to the benefit of both parties."
The judging criteria included: providing exceptional service, significant innovation to help the New Zealand Defence Force achieve its aims, successful development of wider markets from the outcomes of defence contact and the submission of ideas which can further improve defence efficiency.
ENDS

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