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a level playing field
Protect your investment.
There are Bars and Sports clubs out there right now
stealing the SKY service, so they could be stealing
customers from you.
Think about it, you pay a full commercial SKY subscription
and the venue down the road attracts your customers and
If you’re suspicious of a venue let us know and you have our word
that your name will remain completely anonymous throughout
the investigation. It’s all part of our Piracy Promise and for more
information go to www.skybusiness.co.nz.
So help us help you to protect your investment in great entertainment,
together we can create a level playing field for everyone.
Contact SKY Business on 0800 759 333 or email@example.com
Indefatigable hospitality entrepreneur Adam Cunningham owns
several service related businesses throughout New Zealand
including a multi-site hotel, a serviced apartment complex and
an urban backpacker. And his latest venture, AREA Events NZ – a
state of the art events and conference facility – has just opened in
the capital’s CBD.
President of Hospitality New Zealand for six years and on
the board for 12 years, Adam also chairs the ServiceIQ Industry
Advisory Group, belongs to numerous business associations, not-
for-profits, as well as supporting arts and sport in the region.
He’s focused on getting the best deal for operators and raising
the profile he believes the industry deserves- “as the backbone of
tourism and a huge contributor to New Zealand’s economy”.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST SIGN HOSPITALITY WAS THE CAREER
Working part time in a hotel to get through college in Melbourne, I fell
in love with the people aspect and making someone’s day a little more
enjoyable. I never looked back from there.
IS IT MORE DIFFICULT TO RUN A VARIED HOSPITALITY PORTFOLIO?
Once you understand the product and core market, business is
similar no matter what it is. The key is building a team and pushing
them to develop skills and ownership while still holding the driving
wheel. My responsibility is developing culture and standards.
DO HOSPITALITY NZ MEMBERS PRESENT WITH THE SAME
ISSUES AS IN 2004?
Yes, mostly. The complexity of employment law continues
to frustrate – it’s a difficult, paper-driven process. Ongoing
bureaucracy and council requirements make it really hard for
small business owners to simply stay up to date and bureaucrats
just don’t understand.
WHAT ARE THE FUNDAMENTALS OPERATORS NEED
Understand what you’re getting into. They may have always
wanted to own a café or restaurant and from the customer seat
think it ‘looks like fun’, but they dive in without understanding cost
variables and sales that make the industry so challenging. A good
financial management structure, unquestionable standards and a
commitment to live in the business all day every day for the first
two to three years is a good start.
IS THERE ADEQUATE AWARENESS AND PLANNING BY
GOVERNMENT AROUND THE NEEDS OF THE TOURISM AND
Government and agencies love using images of good coffee,
picturesque accommodation and people drinking wine to sell NZ
but don’t understand what makes it tick. Nearly all hospitality
businesses are small to medium enterprises with 3 to 20 staff but
the biggest disconnect is with these operators. Educating decision
makers on the influence these operators have on our domestic
and international tourism markets is an ongoing challenge.
The smile and genuine welcome is a hard one to keep up when
councils and governments don’t listen to the issues. The future’s
exciting for our industry if everyone remembers it’s a difficult
business to keep profitable.
WHAT’S YOUR RESPONSE TO COMMENTATORS WHO SAY
COUNTRIES WITH TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY AS PRIMARY
REVENUE EARNERS ARE USUALLY DEVELOPING ECONOMIES?
They’ve missed the point. New Zealand has a very special
opportunity to stay a world-class destination for a unique experience.
A country our size with this much natural and cultural attraction will
always have strong domestic and international appeal.
YOU TALK ABOUT RAISING THE INDUSTRY PROFILE. HOW?
It’s more about raising our profile as a career. There’s confusion
about pay rates and career prospects that undermines youth
engaging with the industry. We’re often the first employment
experience for people, so the rate of pay is a starting rate.
We’re also the first place people learn about work ethics,
presentation and communication skills. In reality, most hospitality
professionals earn well and grow their careers faster than many
other industries. With travel and options, it’s a great industry.
Parents and educational facilities don’t always understand this.
ANY MORE HOSPITALITY VENTURES IN THE PIPELINE?
Yes but I won’t spoil the surprise! n
It’s all about
best outcomes for
Adam Cummingham on his first business
lesson: “If you’re not strong on
accounting and financial management,
marketing and comms won’t save you.”
Hospitality BUSINESS | September 2016 | 21
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