The Restaurant Association of New Zealand has announced the launch of a new set of industry awards to recognise the epic resilience of its own during the COVID pandemic.

The Restaurant Association Resilience Awards – or RaRa’s – will shine a light on the many people and businesses that have stepped up and showed steely determination as New Zealand navigated its way through COVID-19.

Using the Restaurant Association existing regional awards platform, the Association will invite nominations from the industry for Outstanding Community Spirit, Outstanding Innovation and Outstanding Local Hospo Hero in the Rotorua, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Queenstown, Manawatu, Waikato regions, Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.

“While our some of our Regional Hospitality Awards are taking a break until 2021, we want to highlight the people and businesses that have stepped up as we’ve navigated our way through Covid-19. These are our regional Chevron Awards – 2020 Covid edition,” said Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association.

The Outstanding Local Hospo Hero Award recognises an individual who has been influential and has made a significant contribution to the hospitality industry in response to 2020’s covid-19 pandemic. The Local Hospo Hero is recognised for their pioneering spirit, energy, resourcefulness and commitment to the hospitality industry.

The Outstanding Innovation Award is presented to a business that has shown outstanding innovation. New businesses have been born out of an identified market need thrown up as a result of covid-19, while many existing businesses in 2020 have shown innovation by adapting their business model, demonstrating flexibility, innovativeness and nimbleness. This is an award open to any business that has demonstrated exceptional innovation in the wake of the pandemic.

The Outstanding Community Spirit honours a business or individual that has gone the extra mile to support their local community during covid-19. The winner of the Community Spirit Award will be recognised for uplifting the spirits of those around them, contributing to the life of our neighbourhoods or community and for doing outstanding things making a difference in the region.

“Over the year we’ve been overwhelmed by some of the stories we’ve heard – of people and businesses around the country with amazing community spirit; those who have innovated and changed; and those who have found silver linings in the most challenging of times. These awards will recognize those people that have gone above and beyond to keep their people employed, help their communities and keep their businesses alive all whilst playing their part in stamping out the virus.”

Nominations close on Friday, 16 October with finalists announced on Friday, 23 October. The winners of the three RaRa Awards will be announced on Monday, 16 November.

“Every region across the country is home to outstanding hospitality, and now more than ever we need to encourage and support our industry leaders during these challenging times.”

Business can find out more and vote by heading to www.hospitalityawards.co.nz/resilience.

The Resilience Awards are supported by lead partners Eftpos New Zealand, OneMusic, RA Lexis ComplyHub, Nova Energy and Loaded Reports.

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