Johnny (Auckland Area Manager)

Welcome our new series about St. Pierre’s area managers!

Today we’re back in Auckland, talking to Johnny, one of our area managers. Our AMs play an important role, linking head office and shops, supporting stores with new initiatives and bonuses, and feeding ideas and opinions back from shops to head office – so things go better for everyone! Johnny spends a lot of time visiting stores, and his broad experiences mean he always has something to add.

Born in Vietnam, Johnny successfully graduated with a Bachelor in Manufacturing Mechanical Engineering. After moving to New Zealand, he completed a NZ Diploma in Business level 6, during which time he also worked at The Coffee Club Westfield Manukau, and in the menswear department in Farmers Manukau. His next job was at St Pierre’s Elliot St, and Johnny recalls with a laugh that

All of a sudden, six years have passed and I am area manager for CBD and West Auckland! I started as part-time then full-time staff at Elliot St., then I moved to the K Road store as assistant manager in April 2018. In October 2018, I got promoted to K Road store manager.

Our K Road shop

In early 2021 I was offered a new challenge as area manager, which I’ve been doing since February. Yes, there’s been changes for sure. Firstly, this is a new experience and a big challenge for me as I am responsible for a much bigger team, but it is also a great opportunity to work with amazing people in different stores as well as our head office team. There is so much creatively and energy at St. Pierre’s, I love it! And secondly, I need to get my driver license sooner, that would make my job a lot easier, he smiles ☺

With new stores opening, and then the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been a hectic first 8 months in the job. But Johnny has clear aims in mind, which he sticks to: My goals at the moment are to help all new managers in my area run their stores effectively. I want to help all the stores that I look after so they can achieve their Bonus Targets after we move back to level 1 in Auckland.

We reckon one of the reasons Johnny enjoys his work so much is that he’s a real foodie! He loves to discover and create new tastes, commenting that I love all Asian food such as Thai, Chinese, Korean, Japanese food –  and of course Vietnamese food! The taste of home is very important to me too!

Vietnamese food – a delight for the eye!

Johnny embodies the spirit of the helping hand. His broad experiences mean he can contribute to your shop’s operations in unexpected ways – so next time he’s in your store, be sure to take on board his suggestions, and share your ideas with him! St. Pierre’s has a strong culture of being “people first”, supporting each other as we set challenging goals. Here’s to everyone across the St. Pierre’s Group working together and aiming high!

Big Milestones today!

Hey everyone! Tonight, Tuesday 21 September, marks two big milestones in the fight against COVID-19.

NZ outside Auckland has been at Alert Level 2 for two weeks, meaning that customers can come into our shops and we can provide higher levels of service (while still maintaining social distancing).

We’d like to thank everyone at shops outside Auckland for their huge effort in adapting successfully to the rules, keeping everyone safe while still providing the sushi and Bento Bowl flavours our customers love!

Great work in Level 3 everyone!

And of course, at midnight tonight, Auckland moves from Alert Level 4 to 3. Level 3 is still a lockdown situation, so – among other restrictions – customers are not able to enter our shops, but we are now able to reopen our Auckland stores. 22 shops will be reopening tomorrow. If you work in Auckland, you’ll have heard from head office directly and from your manager about the reopening plan.

The first couple of days will be busy, as there will be lots of ingredients to prepare – and chances are, there will be lots of customers desperate for their St. Pierre’s fix! But our team outside Auckland has done a fantastic job with reopening, so now it’s our turn in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Customers will be keen for their favourite flavour!

We’d also like to thank you all for other efforts you’ve made recently! During the lockdown period, we launched three more online training courses, and you have all responded magnificently! 88.6% of all front-line staff have now finished the five training courses available to everyone – fantastic! (Another 2.3% have done all but the COVID Level 3 course.) The online training is designed to help you work more effectively and efficiently, so thank you everyone for engaging in it!

If you’re still getting emails from me asking you to finish your training, then the system hasn’t registered that you’ve finished yet. Please log back into your TalentLMS account, and finish it off, to help your work moving forward go better 😊

We’re also working on more training courses, this time for people looking to become shift supervisors (3IC), assistant managers (2IC) and shop managers (1IC). If you’re in these positions or have asked to, look out for more training soon. And if you’re thinking of taking up the challenge of a manager role – talk to your store manager! They’d love to hear you’re keen, and so do we in head office!

In the mean time, thanks again everyone! Stay safe, and see you in store soon!

Ning (Hastings)

Welcome to the next in our series about St. Pierre’s assistant managers!

Today we’re heading just down State Highway 2 in Hastings, talking to Ning.

Ning on a day off

Born in Thailand, Ning’s family know her as Supattra Rattanaworametha – but everyone in the St. Pierre’s family calls her “Ning”.

When she first came to NZ, she was working in an environment with many fellow Thais, so she set herself a high goal: challenging herself to improve her English by working in a customer-facing job with people from all over the world. This led her to start at Hastings St. Pierre’s around four years ago.

Ning when she began her new life in NZ

She clearly made an impact, as after only about three months she became shop partner Hiromi’s first assistant manager! But as Ning explains “it was really hard at first. There was a lot of training, a lot of new things to remember and skills to master, at the same time as working to improve my English. It was very tiring.”

Ning brings flair to a St. Pierre’s platter!!

One advantage for Ning was that she is a very practical, creative person. “In my spare time, I enjoy drawing, crafting, and fruit carving.” The skill of using a knife to turn pieces of fruit into beautiful artworks is not well known in NZ, but the results are breath-taking. Successful fruit carving takes foresight, attention to detail and very steady hands – all of which are valuable skills in a sushi kitchen!

The artist at work, preparing next-level dishes. It’s genuinely food as art!

Despite her success at work and improving her language skills, Ning is not resting on her laurels. She has set an ambitious goal – to buy a house in Hastings together with her mother. “I’m very grateful for the St. Pierre’s profit-sharing programme, which I’m setting aside to help buy a house. Our goal is to purchase in 2022. At the same time, I’m also working to send money to help family back in Thailand, so every dollar counts.”

The power in iconic Thai images is unmistakable

Ning’s interests in art range from the traditional to the very modern!

St. Pierre’s has a strong culture of being “people first”, supporting each other as we set challenging goals. Ning has already achieved a lot in a short time, and I’m sure she will continue to reach new goals! I you’re visiting Hastings, or just passing through, be sure to stop by and see Ning and her team. And here’s to everyone across the St. Pierre’s Group aiming high!

Hard at work creating amazing masks for a festival