Smoke off the water
TWO years ago, Paul Lange began to turn his passion for American barbecue into his professional project.
Now, the Beeliar man has reaped the rewards after winning big at the Perth Royal Food Awards.
Having left his job as an off-shore chef to start rubs and sauces company SmokeyQ, Mr Lange’s business was named champion savoury preserve for its smoked honey sauce, while its coffee rub took out the champion salt and other seasonings category.
Mr Lange said the recognition felt like two years of hard work paying off and vindicated his decision to turn a hobby into work.
“Two years ago, I bought an old smoker for a barbecue sauce and started cooking at home for family and friends,” he said.
“I thought there weren’t many good rubs available on the market, so I started making my own. I’ve got nine barbecues now, so I’m cooking on different barbecues every weekend.”
Mr Lange said the American barbecue style easily appealed to Australians.
“American barbecue started over 100 years ago, cooking food for the poorer people with tough cuts of meat for 20 hours, but now it’s become a fad,” he said.
“It’s tasty, goes well with beer and bourbon and the Australian culture loves anything barbecue. Cooking in the backyard with your family and friends is good fun, whether it’s meat or vegies.” CELEBRITY chefs and national convenience store franchises have done much in the past few months to throw the issue of staff wages and underpayments into the national spotlight.
The Federal Government’s subsequent announcement of plans to criminalise wage theft seems, on the surface, a logical response.
The detail, however, has left many small business owners fearing it may unfairly target those who make honest mistakes in trying to adhere to a complex award system.
The starting point for small businesses in WA that employ staff is to know which industrial relations system they fall under, whether it’s the state system or the national system.
Generally, the national system applies to incorporated business – those with ‘Pty Ltd’ or ‘Ltd’ in their name – while the state system applies to sole traders, unincorporated partnerships and some trusts.
You can avoid costly mistakes by understanding the applicable pay and employment obligations.
If your business belongs under the national system, the Fair Work Ombudsman can provide assistance and information to meet your employer obligations.
In the state system, contact Wageline for assistance.
The SBDC supports the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, who has called for laws and regulations governing pay and conditions to be simplified as part of a sweeping review.
When you factor in superannuation, tax, employment conditions and record keeping demands, small businesses with any doubts about their obligations are advised to seek advice.
An online visit to smallbusiness.wa.gov.au or a call to one of our experienced team members on 13 12 49 is always a great starting point.