Jo O’Connell of Omega Seafood notes that the latest visitor stats are a double edged sword. In the July 2017 year, a record breaking 1.9 million people arrived in New Zealand for holidays. This is almost double the number in the July 2002 year, when the number of holidaymakers reached 1 million for the first time.

“Combine this with New Zealand’s reputation as a safe, beautiful country alongside Asia and this figure will grow enormously,” she said. “What a wonderful opportunity for the New Zealand hospitality industry to showcase unique New Zealand food experiences. It sounds so easy but bars, cafes and restaurants must cope not crumble under the pressure increased demand will bring. This may require having more staff and simplifying their menus and processes to maximise cash flow.”

Apart from food wastage, mishandled stress could damage relationships within the team and the fall out could be extremely costly on the business. Planning is vital, especially now Food Control Plans are being audited. MPI requires chefs to identify and more formally manage high risk items like seafood and other allergens. Written records must be up to date at all times, with failed kitchens closing until any non-compliance has been addressed.

Live shellfish can cost a lot to prepare safely (labour, wastage) and traceability can be problematic. Worse still, customers expect them to be a cheaper menu option. Omega Mussels and Clams offer all the preparation and presentation options of live shellfish, without the hidden costs. Great flavour, greater profits.