March 2023 Manager’s Meeting

Welcome! After opening new shops in Nelson, Karaka and Ashburton, lots of events and conferences, and helping each other through natural disasters… It has been a very busy six months!

Things have started to settle down now, and recently we marked a major milestone for the company: the first manager’s meeting in our new head office!

Head of National Ops Takeshi sets the scene
Director Nick lays out the company vision for 2023
(with bonus appearance by Jack from Te Rapa)

This may sound boring, but it is not! At St. Pierre’s, we hold monthly meetings for shop managers and partners to connect with head office. During the pandemic, they had to be held on Zoom, and for some time before that a combination of opening shops outside Auckland and the small size of the former HQ meant that we just could not get everyone in the same room. Zoom is a handy tool, but there’s something special about reconnecting over a cuppa that grows the ‘company as family’ vibe that St. Pierre’s is known for.

Now, however, we have a new, larger head office with space for all our HQ staff and many guests! And on Tuesday 14 March, we finally had the first big gathering in the conference room. All the Auckland area shop managers (and some from further away!) and head office staff were present, with regional and South Island managers joining via Zoom. As a growing company, we’ve had many new staff come on board since our last big manager meeting in November, and it was a great opportunity for shop managers to put a face to the names they email so often.

Each department got to talk about their new projects for the year, such as new shop openings, new software systems, customer loyalty initiatives, staff training improvements. There’s lots happening soon – watch this space!

Perry and Ron introduce the Finance team


The great thing about face-to-face connection is the opportunity for unvarnished feedback and engagement with the front line… and shop managers certainly took the chance, with most staying on well after the meeting finished to discuss new initiatives with the head office team, work on improving the customer experience, or just throw ideas around.

Above all, it was a great day to reconnect with old friends and reaffirm the values we all share as St. Pierre’s leaders. Thanks to everyone for attending – see you all again soon!

2022 Christchurch awards party!

Welcome back! After our final conference for the year, the last big event for 2022 was the Christchurch awards party on 23 November – and it went off!

A beautiful southern day for a big event!

The southern St. Pierre’s family packed out the South Garden Chinese restaurant for a night of frivolity and recognising all their many achievements. We love friendly competition at St. Pierre’s, and there’s no question that the South Island team was the best at bringing the energy to the awards party! The cheering, singing and support for fellow shop team members – and staff from other shops – as they won prizes was just amazing!

Everyone’s contributions are recognised, starting with the best associates!

Awards parties are about celebrating all shop staff, and in particular recognising the high achievers over the last year. Importantly, everyone is eligible, not just managers!
We provide individual cash prizes for the runner up and best part time and full-time staff, as well as rising stars, specialty manager of the year and overall manager of the year. Categories also recognise shops with the best promotion, second mile service and food presentation.

A really important category – servant leadership.
Which manager is best at serving and helping their own team succeed?

A new category recognises the best Servant Leader in each region – the manager who works to put their staff first and help them to grow. Finally, we have a strong tradition of managers sharing the rewards with their staff, whether managers win an individual prize or the shop as a whole wins. In other words, we celebrate everyone’s efforts every day, because great food depends on teamwork!

Yasu from Riccarton – the best sushi manager in the South Island! Well done!
Yasu enjoying the moment – well earned!

And not to forget our past winners – many of our Managers of the Year are still with the company, some as managers, some in other roles. Check out the honour roll!

Our Managers of the Year over the years – check out where they are now!

And because our awards parties are not too serious, fancy-dress costumes are encouraged. Our South Island team brought the outfits to match the energy! We had a whole shop team of cavemen, 90s St. Pierre’s staff in genuine retro uniforms (wow!), pirates, rubber ducks (?), plus an Andean cattle herder (?!?) and everything else imaginable. Enjoy the craziness!

Zoe introducing the costume awards finalists…

It really was a fun night for everyone. Check out the positive energy on all the tables!

Christchurch was the last of our awards events in 2022. If you missed them, check out the Wellington and Auckland awards party articles. See you all at our next events in 2023!!!

Cyclone Gabrielle update

I’m just writing to share an update about how our people have fared in the terrible weather over the last few weeks, particularly Cyclone Gabrielle.

In short, all of our people are OK. This is more important than anything else. Shop operations are returning to normal in most places, but with the damage to many homes, it will take a long time for the communities to recover. Still, we will keep doing what we can as a company and as individual community members to help the people around us.

Five of our shops were affected by the cyclone. Grange Warkworth and Silverdale – in the north of Auckland – suffered heavy flooding, power cuts and internet outages during the worst of the rain. Staff had difficulty getting home the day the cyclone hit, but were all OK. The damage was ultimately minimal, and the shops were able to reopen after just one day closed.

As you will know, the storm damage in Hawke’s Bay was severe, particularly in and around Napier. Taradale, where several of our staff live, was evacuated, with some of our st¯f spending the night at an evacuation centre. However, everyone was fine and their houses undamaged. Once the rain eased, the Hawke’s Bay St. Pierre’s team swung into action. The power was on at the Hastings shop, but the two Napier shops (Carlyle Street and Onekawa) were without power for some time.

This meant the ingredients would soon be wasted. With no phone reception, it was difficult for managers to check on their staff, but Takashi and Francisco did the best they could to distribute food and check on their teams. Hastings manager Hiromi – who lives in Napier – also got some ingredients from Napier and took them back to the Hastings fridge. After cleaning on Friday, Hastings shop reopened on Saturday, but with deliveries disrupted, regular operation was not possible, so the decision was made to make sushi and distribute it to people in need.

Hiromi and his team made a total of about 170 rolls on Sunday, taking 40 rolls to a local evacuation centre, 30 to a food hub in Hastings, and 100 to Pakowhai Road, one of the most devastated areas. A few days earlier, people had been rescued by helicopter off house rooves there, but by Sunday the cleanup and salvage work was underway. Simply wanting to provide some encouragement, Hiromi stopped by every house and handed out one pack of sushi per person. It was just a token gesture, but well appreciated by the locals working to rebuild their lifestyles.

In terms of support from head office, our team has been working hard to resume deliveries so that the shops can reopen. All three Hawke’s Bay were up and running by Friday 24th February and ready to serve their communities again. All staff wages lost due to the shop closures are being covered by head office, and we are working to provide whatever other support we can to our staff and their broader community.

In short, it has been a terrible few weeks for many people around NZ, but the way that people have pulled together and supported each other has been heartening to see. Few parts of NZ have been spared by this disaster, so please keep helping the people around you however you can, which we will continue to do also.

Please stay strong for each other.


Hiromi and team keeping positive despite the terrible events while making sushi on Sunday