Hospitality Sector Champions Good Neighbour and Hall of Fame Awards
In front of industry peers the Restaurant Association of New Zealand celebrated two of its best and brightest as
Auckland’s Sir George Fistonich was inducted to the Association’s Hall of Fame and Everybody Eats was named as the
industry’s Good Neighbour.
Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association says that both winners have made exceptional contributions to the
“Both are full of heart and have given selflessly. Sir George Fistonich he has been in our industry running restaurants
and producing wine through vineyard Villa Maria and many other well-known estates for many years, supporting the
changing face of our industry.
Everybody Eats is a social movement, raising awareness about the amount of perfectly good produce that is often rejected
and disposed of when it could be shared. Everybody Eats organises pop-up restaurants and is a ‘pay as you feel’ system –
which basically means, give what you can, if you can afford to give.”
“We are extremely proud to honour Sir George as a deserving member of the Hall of Fame, and equally delighted, in
conjunction with sponsor American Express, to recognise Everybody Eats as our Good Neighbour.”
Hall of Fame
Inductees into the Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame have made an extensive and ongoing commitment to New Zealand’s
hospitality industry. The Hall of Fame award has been previously conferred on industry greats such as Simon Gault,
Michael Van de Elzen, Steve Logan, Judith Tabron, Des Britten, Sue Fleischl, Tony Astle and Ruth Pretty. It is voted on
by members of the Association and finalised by the Association’s Education Trust.
Bidois says that, Sir George Fistonich is well respected in the hospitality industry and has contributed to the
hospitality landscape in New Zealand for over fifty years.
“In 1977, he held a series of Croatian-style lamb-on-the-spit barbecues across the country, beginning in Dunedin and
travelling on to Christchurch, Wellington, Hastings and Auckland. A massive success, the barbecues drew a combined total
of over 3,200 guests.
Building on these achievements, Sir George went on to open the first winery restaurant in 1979, Sir George was a pioneer
of the winery restaurant movement in New Zealand. After a two-year battle with local and licensing authorities, and
against all odds, New Zealand’s first licensed vineyard bar and restaurant opened. It was the start of a very important
part of the restaurant scene in New Zealand.”
“Sir George has been an avid supporter of the hospitality industry for many years and continues to be involved,” said
Marisa Bidois, Chief Executive Officer of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand. “He has a well-deserved place
amongst our esteemed Hall of Fame recipients".
Doing Good in the ‘Hood’
Everybody Eats is the Association’s Good Neighbour for 2017, sponsored by American Express, who selected the winner from
a shortlist of worthy finalists.
Bidois says that Everybody Eats is a pay ‘as you feel’ restaurant aimed at feeding people in need, with food that would
otherwise have gone to waste. Volunteer chefs come in and prepare the night’s meals. Chefs from Waiheke’s Mudbrick
Winery, home cooks and others like the team from Bird on a Wire, and The Cult Project have pitched in to assist with the
“Everybody Eats is a very deserving recipient for the Good Neighbour Award.”
Everybody Eats will receive a $2,000 grant to further their community initiatives.
Hospitality Employers Supporting Unemployed Youth
The Restaurant Association runs a programme, called Prostart, in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development for
unemployed youth, giving them hospitality skills and a bright future. Each trainee is mentored by a staff member from
the Association throughout their job search and then placed into a member establishment to further develop their skill
“This programme directly assists our industry with the widespread skills shortage currently faced by employers.”
This award is bestowed on a hospitality employer who has embraced the programme and contributes to the trainees
development and successful employment in our thriving industry.
“Our very deserving winner this year is Soul Bar and Bistro” says Marisa Bidois.
Previous Hall of Fame inductees:
2016 Sue Fleischl
2015 Mike Egan
2014 Michael Turner
2013 John Hellebrekers
2012 Michael Van de Elzen
2011 Simon Gault
2010 Steve Logan