Auckland Casino All You Need To Know Before Visiting

Christmas day activities - 2019 edition

Christmas Day 2019
This is an update from last year's list which is an update of some list from a year or two ago.
Outdoor Activities
If the weather is good (check forecast[1]), here's some outdoor activities:
[1] Weather forecasts by Metservice and Weather Watch.
Indoor Activities:
Event searches
Public Transport
Auckland Transport's Public Transport holiday timetables from 23 December 2019 - 12 January 2020. Waiheke ferry timetable (pdf).
Food and Drink
Go to the supermarket on Christmas Eve to stock up on food and essentials. No supermarket and most businesses will be closed on Christmas Day. Christmas Day is one of very few mandatory public holidays in NZ, even the casino is closed 24 hours. Only places allowed to remain open are petrol stations, some fast food places and restaurants.
Hospitality businesses (restaurants, cafes etc) are able to charge a public holiday surcharge if they open on public holidays. If they do so they have to state clearly (ie sign at the door, or counter or menu). This public holidays are 25 and 26 December 2018, and 1 and 2 January 2019. FYI 26 December is also known as Boxing day in NZ.
Alcohol cannot be served unless with a meal[2]. So if something that looks like a pub is open, it is highly likely they are open to serve meals and you can order an alcoholic drink with your meal.
Restaurants that are open tend to be fast food places like McDs, KFC, restaurants that are part of hotels, a few ethnic restaurants and maybe a handful of others.
[2] That particular law applies only to Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day as well as before 1pm on Anzac Day. Legislation: Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. Despite the date of the act, the law has been around for some time. 2010 news article about it. Sale and supply on Anzac Day morning, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas Day restricted: on-licences.
Without any particular order:
Other essential info
Alcohol and smoking in public areas
Please note that there's usually an alcohol ban in many public areas like bus stops, parks, reserves etc. This means you are banned from consuming alcohol publicly unless you are in a licenced establishment (ie restaurant). Alcohol bans are either for an event, for extended periods or permanent. For more information about alcohol ban in Auckland.
Auckland Smokefree policy has a list of places where smoking is not permitted. This isn't limited to indoor areas only. It also includes parks, playgrounds, bus stops.
With NY celebrations coming up I won't be surprised if there's both alcohol and fire bans in popular beach areas and parks too.
Fire Season
Fire and Emergency New Zealand is updating the fire seasons for Auckland. From Monday 2 December it will declare a restricted season across greater Auckland and a prohibited fire season across all the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. A prohibited season means a total fire ban, with any current fire permits for the area suspended from the date the prohibited season starts. A restricted fire season means any open-air fires will need a permit.
submitted by nilnz to auckland [link] [comments]

Kia Ora Redditors, I have gone through and analysed wide economic Moat companies listed on NZX. Hope the below helps to narrow down your choices in your investment journey.

Wide Moat, what is that ? Before starting this blog post please read this wide moat businesses explanation here
Okay, now that we are up to speed, before you invest in any wide moat company you need to ensure financials of the business are solid as well, I’ll cover the topic of How to understand the financials of the business in the upcoming blogs so subscribe (here) to know when the blog is out.
Let’s see if we can spot any wide moat business listed on NZX.

Auckland International Airport Limited (NZE: AIA)

Auckland International airport holds a virtual monopoly as the largest airport in NZ and processes the most number of passengers. This is located in the largest city in NZ as well, making it an ideal destination for travelers, With travelers expected to increase in the coming decades, you can clearly see the wide moat around this business.

WILL THE MOAT SHRINK IN THE NEAR FUTURE ?

The likely hood of the moat shrinking is very low since construction of another international airport in Auckland is highly unlikely. Thing to look out for is debt, since airport need vast amounts of money for up keep and improvements( ex: loss of unnecessary capital due to project over runs and delays).
Read a more in depth analysis on Auckland International Airport here

Chorus Limited (NS) - (NZE: CNU)

Chorus manages and builds telecommunications infrastructure in NZ, for ex: when ever you sign up for fiber broadband plan with your ISP, Chorus is contracted to install the connections to your house. As copper cables are replaced by fiber optic cables around NZ, the cost of maintaining these new infrastructure grids are less than before.( Fiber vs Copper wiring: cost of copper and fiber optic cables are stronger requiring less maintenance).

WILL THE MOAT SHRINK IN THE NEAR FUTURE ?

I don’t think the moat will shrink in the near future as setting up a telecom infrastructure company with years of know how is quite difficult, the only way I can see this moat shrinking is if international companies what a piece of NZ infrastructure, but I don’t think the government would allow key infrastructure projects to be outsourced.

NZME Limited (NZE: NZM)

NZME is a New Zealand media company which owns brands such as:
  1. NZ herald
  2. Newstalk ZB
  3. ZM
  4. The Hits
  5. Grab one etc…..
The moat exists but it is a very small one, this moat would have been huge during the hay day of print newspaper readership.
So what has happened here ? Internet….
Print newspaper is virtually dead, newspapers all around the world are struggling to make money as subscribers dwindle.
Due to the drop in readership, less and less ads are placed in the newspaper hence lower revenue.
All the eye balls have moved to “ Social Media”, that’s where the ads are now a days.
The only saving light I can see is Grab One, the popular coupon site in NZ. I do believe this will provide a strong source of revenue to the company but I am not sure if this can offset the losses in the other divisions.

The New Zealand Refining Company Limited (NZE: NZR)

Refining NZ is New Zealand’s only oil refinery and the leading supplier of refined petroleum products to the New Zealand market, including petrol, diesel, aviation fuel and other products As a critical piece of national energy infrastructure, Refining NZ is responsible for supplying:
Moat exists because this is the only oil refinery in New Zealand, It also suppliers around 85% of NZ’s aviation fuel.
I believe the number of travelers to New Zealand will only increase, Provide refining NZ a solid moat, however as electric cars are bound to make in roads in New Zealand, the demand for petrol and diesel will gradually decrease.
So we need to keep an eye out on the financial performance on an annual basis to make sure the business can still maintain the moat.

Port of Tauranga Limited (NS) (NZE: POT)

The Port of Tauranga Located Tauranga (about 200 km away from Auckland) is the largest port in New Zealand in terms of total cargo volume, and the second largest in terms of container throughput.
Total exports:
📷
Total Exports from POT
As you can see the number of tonnes being exported from port of Tauranga is increasing.
Total imports:
📷
Total Imports from POT
As you can see the number of tonnes being imported from port of Tauranga is increasing as well.
I see this trend continuing as the demand for NZ products especially in emerging markets increases and demand for imports increases as NZ population continues to grow.
So the Moat around POT should be in tact for many years to come.

Restaurant Brands New Zealand Limited (NZE: RBD)

Restaurant Brands operates the New Zealand franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr. It also operate a KFC franchise in New South Wales, Australia and Taco Bell and Pizza Hut franchise in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan.
As of October 2018, Restaurant Brands has 261 stores: 94 KFC New Zealand, 61 KFC Australia 29 Pizza Hut New Zealand, 18 Carl's Jr., 36 Taco Bell Hawaii and 45 Pizza Hut Hawaii stores. It employs nearly 8,000 staff across New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii and serves 120,000 customers worldwide every day. Since RBD operates the NZ franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl’s Jr and if you wanted to be a franchisee in NZ then you would have to go through them , this gives RBD an economic moat.
Will the moat shrink in the near future ?
I think the moat will certainly shrink, this is due to the fact that many people are moving away from processed foods to more organic and more healthier options, this will cause sales in fast foods such as KFC, Pizza hut etc to shrink, which in turn means less new franchises opening up. There might even be closures around the corner. So I see the moat being broken pretty soon in the years to come.

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited (NS) (NZE: SKC)

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited is New Zealand’s largest tourism, leisure and entertainment company. It is one of three major publicly listed casino operators in Australasia.
It has entertainment complexes in:
  1. Auckland
  2. Hamilton
  3. Queenstown
  4. Adelaide
  5. Darwin
SkyCity also owns one of Auckland’s best know attractions “Sky Tower”. Although the revenue generated from sky tower to the overall business is small, it is still a jewel in the sky city crown.
Will the moat shrink in the near future ?
Considering SKC is New Zealand’s largest tourism, leisure and entertainment company, it has all the basis covered for tourists that enter into NZ. It also has large convention centers where numerous conferences are held, I don’t see the moat shrinking any time soon. As they in casino lingo “ House always wins”.

South Port New Zealand Limited (NS) ( NZE: SPN)

SPN is the southern most commercial port in NZ located at Bluff. It is situated in the highly productive province of Southland which is responsible for producing a sizeable proportion of New Zealand’s total exports by value. The region’s major exporters are all situated within 80km of the port.
All the moat characteristics explained for Port of Tauranga (POT) exist here as well.

Trade Me Group Limited (NZE: TME)

Trade me is the largest internet auction website in NZ. It has Trade me property, motors, jobs etc.
Trade me had held a monopoly on internet auctions for quite some time in NZ, but it’s moat has been slowly eroding away, how ?
Trade me jobs is competing against Seek, LinkedIn
Trade me property is competing against realestate.co.nz, oneroof etc.
Trade me market place is competing against Facebook marketplace.
Looking at all the competitions trade me is facing it seems quite difficult to hold down the moat in the future.

Vector Limited (NZE: VCT)

Vector is New Zealand's largest distributor of electricity and gas, owning and operating networks which span the Auckland region.This distribution system gives Vector an economic moat.
Vector has been involved in electrification projects - charging stations for electric cars, which I think is great for future growth. As number of electric cars increase, there will definitely be a need for more and more charging stations which vector can deliver. The moat seems to be very much intact.
submitted by NakkiGN to PersonalFinanceNZ [link] [comments]

Auckland Christmas Day activities

Below is a list I posted as reply to a tourist's query in /newzealand. I am posting this list here in case there are visitors or new Aucklanders. I realise most of us know about this.
Please be nice and kind to all.
Outdoor Activities
If the weather is good (unfortunately not according to forecast[1]), here's some outdoor activities:
[1] Weather forecasts by Metservice and Weather Watch.
Indoor Activities:
Public Transport
Public transport will be on a Sunday timetable in Auckland. https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/ Bus, train and ferry Christmas holiday timetables. From 24 December 2018 to 6 January 2019, most public transport services will be operating to a Christmas/New Year holiday timetable.
Food and Drink
Go to the supermarket today (Christmas Eve) to stock up on food and essentials. No supermarket and most businesses will be closed on Christmas Day. Christmas Day is one of very few mandatory public holidays in NZ, even the casino is closed 24 hours. Only places allowed to remain open are petrol stations and restaurants.
Hospitality businesses (restaurants, cafes etc) are able to charge a public holiday surcharge if they open on public holidays. If they do so they have to state clearly (ie sign at the door, or counter or menu). This public holidays are 25 and 26 December 2018, and 1 and 2 January 2019. FYI 26 December is also known as Boxing day in NZ.
Alcohol cannot be served unless with a meal. So if something that looks like a pub is open, it is highly likely they are open to serve meals and you can order an alcoholic drink with your meal.
Restaurants open tend to be fast food places like McDs, KFC, restaurants that are part of hotels, a few ethnic restaurants and maybe a handful of others.
Some of the top restaurants shut down from either today or Monday for a few weeks, unless they are part of a hotel or one of the few known to offer a christmas day meal.
submitted by nilnz to auckland [link] [comments]

Kia Ora Redditors, I have gone through and analysed wide economic Moat companies listed on NZX. Hope the below helps to narrow down your choices in your investment journey.

Wide Moat, what is that ? Before starting this blog post please read this wide moat businesses explanation here
Okay, now that we are up to speed, before you invest in any wide moat company you need to ensure financials of the business are solid as well, I’ll cover the topic of How to understand the financials of the business in the upcoming blogs so subscribe (here) to know when the blog is out.
Let’s see if we can spot any wide moat business listed on NZX.

Auckland International Airport Limited (NZE: AIA)

Auckland International airport holds a virtual monopoly as the largest airport in NZ and processes the most number of passengers. This is located in the largest city in NZ as well, making it an ideal destination for travelers, With travelers expected to increase in the coming decades, you can clearly see the wide moat around this business.

WILL THE MOAT SHRINK IN THE NEAR FUTURE ?

The likely hood of the moat shrinking is very low since construction of another international airport in Auckland is highly unlikely. Thing to look out for is debt, since airport need vast amounts of money for up keep and improvements( ex: loss of unnecessary capital due to project over runs and delays).
Read a more in depth analysis on Auckland International Airport here

Chorus Limited (NS) - (NZE: CNU)

Chorus manages and builds telecommunications infrastructure in NZ, for ex: when ever you sign up for fiber broadband plan with your ISP, Chorus is contracted to install the connections to your house. As copper cables are replaced by fiber optic cables around NZ, the cost of maintaining these new infrastructure grids are less than before.( Fiber vs Copper wiring: cost of copper and fiber optic cables are stronger requiring less maintenance).

WILL THE MOAT SHRINK IN THE NEAR FUTURE ?

I don’t think the moat will shrink in the near future as setting up a telecom infrastructure company with years of know how is quite difficult, the only way I can see this moat shrinking is if international companies what a piece of NZ infrastructure, but I don’t think the government would allow key infrastructure projects to be outsourced.

NZME Limited (NZE: NZM)

NZME is a New Zealand media company which owns brands such as:
  1. NZ herald
  2. Newstalk ZB
  3. ZM
  4. The Hits
  5. Grab one etc…..
The moat exists but it is a very small one, this moat would have been huge during the hay day of print newspaper readership.
So what has happened here ? Internet….
Print newspaper is virtually dead, newspapers all around the world are struggling to make money as subscribers dwindle.
Due to the drop in readership, less and less ads are placed in the newspaper hence lower revenue.
All the eye balls have moved to “ Social Media”, that’s where the ads are now a days.
The only saving light I can see is Grab One, the popular coupon site in NZ. I do believe this will provide a strong source of revenue to the company but I am not sure if this can offset the losses in the other divisions.

The New Zealand Refining Company Limited (NZE: NZR)

Refining NZ is New Zealand’s only oil refinery and the leading supplier of refined petroleum products to the New Zealand market, including petrol, diesel, aviation fuel and other products As a critical piece of national energy infrastructure, Refining NZ is responsible for supplying:
Moat exists because this is the only oil refinery in New Zealand, It also suppliers around 85% of NZ’s aviation fuel.
I believe the number of travelers to New Zealand will only increase, Provide refining NZ a solid moat, however as electric cars are bound to make in roads in New Zealand, the demand for petrol and diesel will gradually decrease.
So we need to keep an eye out on the financial performance on an annual basis to make sure the business can still maintain the moat.

Port of Tauranga Limited (NS) (NZE: POT)

The Port of Tauranga Located Tauranga (about 200 km away from Auckland) is the largest port in New Zealand in terms of total cargo volume, and the second largest in terms of container throughput.
Total exports:
📷
Total Exports from POT
As you can see the number of tonnes being exported from port of Tauranga is increasing.
Total imports:
📷
Total Imports from POT
As you can see the number of tonnes being imported from port of Tauranga is increasing as well.
I see this trend continuing as the demand for NZ products especially in emerging markets increases and demand for imports increases as NZ population continues to grow.
So the Moat around POT should be in tact for many years to come.

Restaurant Brands New Zealand Limited (NZE: RBD)

Restaurant Brands operates the New Zealand franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr. It also operate a KFC franchise in New South Wales, Australia and Taco Bell and Pizza Hut franchise in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan.
As of October 2018, Restaurant Brands has 261 stores: 94 KFC New Zealand, 61 KFC Australia 29 Pizza Hut New Zealand, 18 Carl's Jr., 36 Taco Bell Hawaii and 45 Pizza Hut Hawaii stores. It employs nearly 8,000 staff across New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii and serves 120,000 customers worldwide every day. Since RBD operates the NZ franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl’s Jr and if you wanted to be a franchisee in NZ then you would have to go through them , this gives RBD an economic moat.
Will the moat shrink in the near future ?
I think the moat will certainly shrink, this is due to the fact that many people are moving away from processed foods to more organic and more healthier options, this will cause sales in fast foods such as KFC, Pizza hut etc to shrink, which in turn means less new franchises opening up. There might even be closures around the corner. So I see the moat being broken pretty soon in the years to come.

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited (NS) (NZE: SKC)

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited is New Zealand’s largest tourism, leisure and entertainment company. It is one of three major publicly listed casino operators in Australasia.
It has entertainment complexes in:
  1. Auckland
  2. Hamilton
  3. Queenstown
  4. Adelaide
  5. Darwin
SkyCity also owns one of Auckland’s best know attractions “Sky Tower”. Although the revenue generated from sky tower to the overall business is small, it is still a jewel in the sky city crown.
Will the moat shrink in the near future ?
Considering SKC is New Zealand’s largest tourism, leisure and entertainment company, it has all the basis covered for tourists that enter into NZ. It also has large convention centers where numerous conferences are held, I don’t see the moat shrinking any time soon. As they in casino lingo “ House always wins”.

South Port New Zealand Limited (NS) ( NZE: SPN)

SPN is the southern most commercial port in NZ located at Bluff. It is situated in the highly productive province of Southland which is responsible for producing a sizeable proportion of New Zealand’s total exports by value. The region’s major exporters are all situated within 80km of the port.
All the moat characteristics explained for Port of Tauranga (POT) exist here as well.

Trade Me Group Limited (NZE: TME)

Trade me is the largest internet auction website in NZ. It has Trade me property, motors, jobs etc.
Trade me had held a monopoly on internet auctions for quite some time in NZ, but it’s moat has been slowly eroding away, how ?
Trade me jobs is competing against Seek, LinkedIn
Trade me property is competing against realestate.co.nz, oneroof etc.
Trade me market place is competing against Facebook marketplace.
Looking at all the competitions trade me is facing it seems quite difficult to hold down the moat in the future.

Vector Limited (NZE: VCT)

Vector is New Zealand's largest distributor of electricity and gas, owning and operating networks which span the Auckland region.This distribution system gives Vector an economic moat.
Vector has been involved in electrification projects - charging stations for electric cars, which I think is great for future growth. As number of electric cars increase, there will definitely be a need for more and more charging stations which vector can deliver. The moat seems to be very much intact.
submitted by NakkiGN to NZXStockMarket [link] [comments]

Australia - Travel and Trip Guide

Australia - Travel and Itinerary Wiki

Backstory - I'm a US expat and travel hacker living in Sydney with my wife. We've been here for 6 months and seen a lot of the same questions about the area get posted almost daily. I'll do my best to concisely run through a number of topics here, whether it be about getting here or what to do, in the hopes this makes future questions a little more tactical.

NOTE: PLEASE PROVIDE FEEDBACK IF YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE!

Update 1 - Added booking windows and intra-region travel info.

Getting Here

Cash

Great deals to be had lately in economy. Prices have consistently dropped $800 or so from mainland USA on full service carriers. These sales are pretty frequent. If you have Chase Sapphire Reserve card a $800 cash ticket is just over 53,000 Ultimate Rewards points with FULL points earn on the ticket itself. That's a great deal if you don't care about sitting up front. Business class is significantly more expensive. This is one of the most sought after premium class routes on the planet and with that prices tend to stay high and award availability low.

From the East Coast of the US

I highly recommend AA to DFW and Qantas DFW-SYD. The route is served by a comfortable A380 (good economy, dated 2-2-2 J though) and loads are typically intentionally kept low heading East to maximize cargo capacity. That means you can realistically expect a empty middle seat if you plan well. On the eastbound side it's still possible but less likely. Also, if you fly on low days you may score an upgrade for $1,000 - $1,200 USD per person, per way, via Qantas' bid for upgrade program. Really the major benefit here is connections going further into the US - minimizing travel time on either side of that long leg is incredibly more valuable and comfortable.

From the West Coast of the US

Any carrier works here, chose based on your preference. Every domestic carrier serves the route (UA/AA/DL) and most are newer aircraft (sans Delta's aging 777s). You can also find good deals via Fiji as well as via Auckland on Air New Zealand. I personally don't like breaking up the trip any more than necessary so I don't like those options.

Points

Oh boy, this is a good one. Generally the rule of thumb is simply this, PLAN AHEAD IF YOU WANT TO FLY UP FRONT! The only exception to this is Virgin Australia who sometimes releases J space < 2 weeks of travel. That's absolutely rolling the dice though. Economy wise you can typically find space on at least one carrier so that's less of a topic, and as above, with cash prices being so low it can often be less worthwhile to book the award itself. Up front you really have a few options.  
US Carriers  
Carrier Booking Window Comments
United 338 Good J hard product, meh soft product. Awards open up here and there but typically it's very limited to last minute redemption. Price-wise, they're not the cheapest, but not the most expensive.
AA 331 probably the best hard produce from the group. Same meh soft product (they're US carriers after all). Pricing is also okay, but availability is next to none.
Delta 331 bad products, hard and soft. The seats are old, the service is older. Price is highest BUT you will often find saver-level seats on Virgin Australia (a partner) < 2 weeks out.
  Australian Carriers  
Carrier Booking Window Comments
Qantas 353 meh J product (2-2-2). Good/Great F. Service is also good, very polished. Availability in spurts, but okay price via AA.
Virgin Australia 330 best seat (the Business) and I'm a sucker for a bird with a bar. Conversely, terrible availability unless you're looking within 2 weeks or right at the window.
  Asian Carriers (generally better availability)  
Carrier Booking Window Comments
Korean 360? my personal favorite. Great airline, great US service, and a transfer partner of Chase. And most importantly, they tend to be quite generous with their availability.
Cathay 360 old favorite in the points world. Not the cheapest option but if you have the points then you'll often find availability through HKG when you book at the window. Great seat, classic service, and AMAZING lounges in HKG.
JAL 330 like ANA, in light of recently US carrier devaluations these guys have become a viable option through Tokyo. Some recommend their 777 SkySuite as the best J product out there.
SQ 355 Suites are always a favorite but lately it's pretty impossible to not pull your hair out before actually confirming that route. J availability tends to show up here and there. Recently devauled though so use tool to find best option based on points available.
ANA 356 mentioned in JAL topic, just a solid all around option if you have the points.
  Award Tools Look, I know a lot of carriers were mentioned above and you're probably going well, that's all great, but how do I ultimately choose one given the fact that I have a trip 1+ year out and a few options? That's where the below sites come in handy. They will tell decipher award charts and help you distill down the airlines that you can realistically fly given the points that you have.

Once In The Region

Intra-Region Travel

Sydney-Specific

Rule of thumb, if you have 5+ days in the region than I suggest going outside of Sydney. It's a cool city, but there is SO much more to see. Scroll down for details, but while in Sydney here are a few suggestions:
Places to Stay

Regional

Are you outdoorsy?
Do you like food/drinks?
Extreme activities?
Animals
Cultural
Beaches/Relaxation

Example Itinerary

Assumes 10 days down under.
submitted by itswednesday to awardtravel [link] [comments]

The beginning

http://www.stanleymatthew.com/life-as-a-food-beverage-manager
Hey Matthew,
Just wanted to run you an update of where & what I've been up to so far. Try hit you up each week and keep you up with everything i'm doing.
I've been in the hospitality industry for 10 years now and if there is one thing I have learnt; it would be that the goal posts you are aiming for are like the end of a rainbow. No matter how close you think you are getting they keep finding a way to move further away.
It's easy to think then, What's the point? Why do I keep at it? Why do I put up with the unsociable hours? Why do I continue to deal with delusional customers? Why do I endure the painful conversations with difficult or emotional staff? And the list could go on and on.
I think the answer to these questions is very surprising when I truly think about it. It's not because I love alcohol and food. I mean I do love both of those things.... very much. And it’s not because I love interactions with people. I mean this one time I did an introvert/extrovert test at university and scored the highest in a class of 300 or so on the introvert scale, I was one score away from being as introverted as one person could be. So interactions with people exhaust me, especially those I have trouble relating to.
No, why I do it is because of the challenge. It's just so complete as a problem. Almost all facets of life are encompassed by this industry. Ok almost everyone could say that about their own industry and find ways of proving the statement they have made. But hear me out, let me start with where I have come from and what has bought me to where I am today.
So I moved out of home at 19, the only job I had ever had was working with dad during school holidays helping him flip houses. So when I found myself living in a shoe-box apartment in the middle of Auckland City I was stumped as to what to start doing to pay my rent. Across the road from where I lived was the Sky City Casino and they were looking for staff in a bunch of the outlets and gaming floor. As I was still 19 I was too young to work on the gaming floor, but because I was a guy I was given an interview with one of the restaurants who were looking for more men to balance out the team. This was my first dip in. Now I admit, I was a joke when I first started. I was one of "those" workers, you know the ones. The ones that call in sick all the time, ask to go home early and just have an overall lack of effort. As time went on I slowly learned the trade and got better and better, learned how to make coffees and a few basic cocktails. I also gained confidence in talking to random strangers as I asked them what they would like to drink with their buffet dinner. But at no point in this 12-month experience did I ever think that I was now a hospitality worker. It was a means to an end.
Then in 2008, I moved to the Gold Coast in Australia, quit university, ran away from debts, ex-girlfriends, and just general life struggles. At the time I thought it was a great idea and it would solve all my problems. Instead I was young, dumb and well you know the rest. I was unemployed for 3 months. In that time all I achieved was to learn how to solve a Rubix cube in less than a minute and a half. Don’t get me wrong I still pull out that trick at parties but it didn’t exactly help me eat or pay rent. Instead I bludged heavily on other people and ruined friendships because of my incompetence. I managed to find a job at a factory that lasted a month before getting fired for not showing up enough. Then along came Holiday Inn Surfers Paradise. I remember when I took this job I felt like I was getting desperate and this was my job to keep me afloat not actually start a career in. I mean, it was hospitality. People only work in hospitality while studying for their real job right?
Well 12 months went by and I found myself standing with an eventual very good friend who at the time was my big boss. My F&B Manager. He asked me if I wanted to make something of my career and take this job seriously for once. After a few days I came back and told him I was in. I was going to do whatever it took to become the best F&B Attendant at the hotel. And within 6 months I was promoted to a team leader. I spent the summer as this team leader and by the end of it the timing was perfect and I managed to land an F&B Supervisor job. My career had really started. I was now a salaried worker for the first time in my life, I had responsibility and I guess I still felt I had nothing better going for me so I would stick at it and not screw it up.
Of course I almost screwed it up a number of times. What can I say? I get bored and when I'm bored I do dumb stuff. After a couple of secondments at other properties around the country I landed the Meetings & Events Manager at Holiday Inn Brisbane. It was now 2011 and I had a 12-month contract. I had already decided with my partner at the time that at the end of the contract we would go travelling and head to London to live. So after 12 months of intense personal growth that is just what I did. I had really become an adult at this point and my career was no longer something that I did because nothing else was going to pay the bills. I was doing it because I just overcome the hardest 12 months of work in my life and I loved it. I grew leaps and bounds as a leader and enjoyed the rush. It is hard to explain but I started to feel satisfaction for overcoming all the challenges being thrown at me.
So 2012, I just finished 3 months of travelling Asia and landed in London, the next day I had a job interview for a little restaurant called Charlotte’s Place. The day after I was at a two-day trial and then I was hired as the Assistant Restaurant Manager. I was now running one of the most successful independent restaurants in London. We ended up winning Top Restaurant in London in the Good Food Guide awards while I was there.
7 months after arriving in London I had to head home due to family reasons and I found myself back at the Holiday Inn Surfers Paradise, but it was now called the Outrigger Surfers Paradise and I was the Restaurant & Bar Manager. I lasted here 9 months and although I had the worst General Manager ever, I learned so much here. I learned how to earn a pay cheque. This job was tough! I once served 700 customers for breakfast with 2 chefs and 6 wait staff, and the funny part was that I felt it was an easy day because of all the help that I had. I was used to doing 100-150 covers with one chef and one other staff member. That was my typical day. I never ran so much in a job ever. But what it taught me is efficiency and how to still offer a great customer experience with absolutely no staff. I had to think outside the box so often. I had to find ways of being prepared for everything. And I did. I was so good at it. We hardly ever had complaints at breakfast and we were getting smashed every day.
September 2013 I had had enough and I needed something else. I took on a role of Assistant Bar Manager at Palazzo Versace which lasted 6 weeks before being offered the role of Four Winds Restaurant Manager at the Crowne Plaza in Surfers Paradise, which evolved into the Assistant F&B Manager. And during these 13 or so months I learned more about leadership than ever before. My boss had a way of opening my eyes up to it and it all started to click. I started to realise why I was doing this. Why I was putting up with the unsociable hours, Why I continued to deal with delusional customers, Why I endured painful conversations with difficult or emotional staff. The concept hadn't completely formed in my head but it was starting to take shape and with success after success the picture started to become clearer and clearer.
And then December 2014, I got a transfer to Crowne Plaza Terrigal as the F&B Manager. This was it, I had reached department head level and this was kind of the pinnacle of my F&B career. Yeah I will go on to bigger roles with more revenue and more outlets and bigger teams but essentially it is all the same thing, just the stakes are higher. I am the authority on F&B in this hotel reporting directly to the General Manger and until I make the jump to a General Manager the dynamic of the role is never going to really change much from this. I will always report to the General Manager and I will from now on always be in charge of everything F&B. It’s been 16 months in this role now and I am on the verge of my next step. I have started applying for other roles and this time I am looking to Asia, specifically South East Asia.
So now I am in a position to explain my love for this industry, the challenges I face and the reason I keep asking for more, every time I think I have it all figured out and have taken my department or hotel to new heights I realise that the goal posts have picked up and run away from me. Maybe only last year did I really realise there is no perfect hotel or perfect restaurant. You can always be better, you can always improve. And that goes for everything in life. Don't just accept mediocrity.
I now wake up each morning and ask myself "What can I do today to improve on yesterday?"
Talk to you next week bro.
Stanley
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