Top Restauranteurs: What They Look For

August 23, 2017
  • Top Restauranteurs: What They Look For
  • Top Restauranteurs: What They Look For

Food runner

Brandon Lelaulu General Manager of Prego Restaurant in Ponsonby puts in 3 words what he is looking for when interviewing food runners. He is looking for someone to be observant, receptive and have the ability to multitask. Prego have a very successful training regimen for this position.


David Perillo owner of Venosa in Kingsland speaks about his selection process:

"While I’m not usually one to judge a book by its cover, I do believe first impressions count. So it’s important to make an effort if you’re looking to meet for an interview with me. But of course that is not the be all and end all. Personality is at the top of the list. I don’t like over sell but a church mouse is not much good to me either. A genuine love and understanding of food and drink would be a very very close second and third would be an almost psychic ability to ascertain the needs of our customers before their wants and desires are voiced. Of course this really comes under intelligence, so no dummies. Please." 

Check out Venosa on their Facebook page

Waiters/Sommeliers and Bartenders:

Senior On Premise Account Manager for Moet Hennessy Auckland, Shelley Head is looking for confidence, knowledge and inspiration in staff who serve her product. Check out the website

Entry level chefs:

Celebrity Chef and Masterchef judge, Ray McVinnie says 'I will always them a trial if they demonstrate keenness, speed and talent'.

Check out Ray's profile on


Warren Kerr, Head Chef at Oyster and Chop in the Viaduct says when he is hiring, he is looking for the following skills:

  • Basic food training including sauce bases, vegetable and meat cuts and seafood knowledge
  • An understanding of how a restaurant works including day to day running of a kitchen, costs and procedures.
  • Time management and the ability to multi task.

Check out their website

Lindsay Sorrell/ guest editor

I started in hospitality at 19, when chefs screamed, threw knives, swore and got pissed during service. Wait staff who mucked up an order were fair game. None of us was trained and nobody knew anything about food allergies, drink driving was a game, health and safety were just, well, tough if anyone got hurt, minimum wages, trial periods, contracts, job descriptions didn't exist back then. Guests paid with cash and said thank you and neither staff nor guests complained, about anything.

I loved it and quickly discovered I was good at making sense out of chaos for guests.

I went on to become a partner in my first restaurant, then another, managed others' restaurants, opened a fruit and vegetable shop, also a catering business, opened more restaurants for others, started a staffing agency, cooked on super yachts in the Mediterranean, opened a small cocktail bar, qualified as a hospitality tutor and consulted to those who knew they needed help. My passion for hospitality has always been about finding a way to success through good service.

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