Respect and reputation in the restaurant trade
Lloyd and Mike struck it lucky with the magnifi - cent site of The Cove, but the rest was up to them. Here is Lloyd’s philosophy on what makes a good restaurateur:
Just because you have a monopoly in a local area, don’t abuse it. “Offer a great product and great service every day, give people value for money and a reason to come once a week not once a month.”
With tourists don’t take the mick; don’t think that because they are just passing through, you don’t have to give them your full attention. Give them a good experience and hopefully that will fi lter down to repeat customers and word of mouth. “Because we did this, The Cove took off and it gave us the impetus to expand and bring the same philosophy to other run- down locations.”
Rural or small- town New Zealand has every much the appetite for decent food and good service as Auckland or Wellington. “Our success in local towns like Whangarei proves this.”
Show some community commitment. The Vege Shack gives away excess produce to the local Food for Life group run by Hari Krishna devotees, Buddhi and Suvarna. “Their mission is to provide and serve hot lunches to 1000 children across fi ve schools within the Whangarei catchment.”
Snapshots of a life well- earned: Toni Ambler is Mike’s right- hand woman, helping him achieve success with the Vege Shack.