Recipients of the 2020 inaugral Restaurant Association Resilience Awards (RARAs), have been named.The association has acknowledged people who have been both influential and made a significant contribution to the sector in response to this year’s difficult Covid-19 pandemic conditions.

Presented by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand and association partners Eftpos NZ, OneMusic and RA Lexis ComplyHub, the awards recognised those people and businesses 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. 180 degree pivots won over the judges in the Eftpos NZ innovation awards.

In Manawatu the award went to the Blind Finch in Ohakune for transforming its once popular hamburger joint and bar into a fully operational bakery.
Seeing the writing on the wall for restaurants and bars, owner Derek Allomes, devised a plan seeing the new national operational requirements as a unique opportunity. Derek’s plan to become an essential service has won over the locals with its freshly baked bread becoming a daily favourite.

Queenstown innovation winner Fishbone exchanged fresh fish for fried chicken becoming Love Chicken while borders remain closed. The restaurant had previously derived 75 per cent of its income from international visitors but was struggling to sell enough to the local community to maintain freshness. The owner reinvigorated a former fried chicken business and Love Chicken was born.

Waikato winner Good George shifted their entire operation from beer and gin production to hand sanitiser. Those that rallied around for their local communities were recognised in the RA Lexi ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero award.

Bistronomy – Hawke’s Bay at Home.

When Hawkes Bay restaurant owner James Beck decided to create a home delivery business for his restaurant Bistronomy, he went one step further, pulling together an expert team of developers and designers to create Hawkes Bay at home – a resource for all hospitality business owners in the region.
Waikato award recipient Montana Events and Catering worked with the local council to
serve up 65 thousand meals to those in need during the pandemic.
Regional recipients of the OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit were quick to redeploy staff and repurpose food to feed those in need.

Taranaki winner Rahul Radharkrishnan of Bach on Breakwater put together low cost
lunchboxes for essential workers delivering them to hospitals and workplaces around the region.

Food rescue service Just Zilch were the recipients of the Manawatu award for working closely with the hospitality industry throughout the pandemic to repurpose food to feel local people in need.

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois says, “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”.

Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Associaiton of New Zealand.

“It has never been more important for diners to get out and try the fantastic array of local dining spots, so we hope these awards inspire the nation to support their locals.”
Greer Davies, Director of OneMusic said “If there’s been one silver lining from 2020, it’s been the privilege of witnessing the spirit, compassion and manaakitanga shown by people and businesses, both large and small. It hasn’t been an easy ride, and like the hospitality sector, the music community has been massively impacted this year. Thanks for making things a little easier for your community and congratulations.”

Kristy Gregory of Eftpos NZ added “with revenues so seriously impacted by this year’s trading conditions, its remarkable to hear some of the stories coming from the industry this year. This is testament to the positivity, generosity and resilience of the hard working hospitality sector who deserve
to be recognised.”

Max Flinkenberg of RA Lexis ComplyHub said “The unchartered trading environment of this year loaded a huge weight of responsibility on the shoulders of our hospitality sector who were operating under never before seen levels of compliance.”

2020 Restaurant Association Resilience Awards Winners

Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation
Good George Brewery
OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit
Hayes Common
RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero
Montana Events & Catering


Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation
Matt Cooper, Social Eats
OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit
Scope Cafe Restaurant Association
RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero
Ray Singh, Indian Star Tandoori Restaurant

Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation
Barbara Olsen-Henderson, Lemonwood Eatery
OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit
Rahul Radhakrishnan, Bach on Breakwater
RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero
Craig & Kate Macfarlane, Macfarlane Consulting Group and Strategy Collective

Hawke’s Bay
Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation
Malo Restaurant
OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit
Jeremy Bayliss, PAK Asian Kitchen, Westshore Beach Inn, Rogue Hop, Napier Brewing, Econo Lodge
RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero
James Beck of Bistronomy for ‘Hawke’s Bay at Home’

Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation
The Blind Finch, Ohakune
OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit
Just Zilch
RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero
Scott and Yvette Kennedy, Nero Restaurant

Eftpos NZ Outstanding Innovation
Fishbone / Love Chicken
OneMusic Outstanding Community Spirit
Fusee Rouge Café, Cromwell.
RA Lexis ComplyHub Outstanding Local Hospo Hero
Grant Hattaway, Blue Kanu and Hattaway Consulting Group

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Innovation
At Yours by Visa Wellington On a Plate
Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Community Spirit
Nova Energy Outstanding Local Hospo Hero
Jackie Lee Morrison, The Pandemic Pack

Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Innovation
Riverside Market owners Kris Inglis, Mike Percasky and Richard Peebles
Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Community Spirit
The Vagabond Chefs
Nova Energy Outstanding Local Hospo Hero
Tristin Anderson, Smokey T’s

Loaded Reports Outstanding Innovation –
Paris Butter at Home
Restaurant Association of NZ Outstanding Community Spirit
Sid and Chand Sahrawat – Sidart, Cassia and Sid at The French Café
Nova Energy Outstanding Local Hospo Hero
Krishna Bottica.

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