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!!!

Christchurch manager’s conference

Welcome! After the Auckland awards party on 7 November, the conference the next day, and the Wellington conference and party the following week, our final conference for the year was in Christchurch on 22 November.

Held on Tuesday 7 November at the beautiful Kate Sheppard House, 12 managers from around the South Island and as far away as Napier came together for a St. Pierre’s style manager retreat. Appropriately for a venue next door to the University of Canterbury, the day was all about thinking and sharing ideas.

The morning session featured an introduction of our top-performing managers nationwide and discussion of how they have led their team to success, such as Tal at Auckland Airport and Seak in Papamoa. South Island managers were also very much in the mix, such as Yoshi and new manager Liren in Blenheim Road, Nan in Invercargill and Yasu in Riccarton. Rather than detailed presentations from individual departments as was the case in Auckland, the emphasis was holistic – on the role of the shop manager – and how the company can support managers and their teams to grow.

But the main focus of the day was sharing experiences and opinions as well as reaffirming company principles and values. Managers took the lead in a number of challenges, thinking critically about how to put company values such as being a people-first partnership as well as improving the quality of people’s lives into action in their communities. The discussion created many new ideas about how to lead the business forward, and left the managers refreshed and inspired – but still tired!

A highlight was the tour of Kate Sheppard House and its gardens, taking a moment to reflect on the special place in NZ history of the building’s namesake. While her portrait is famous for appearing on the NZ $10 note, many NZers are unaware of the struggles she and her fellow suffragettes faced. Moreover, St. Pierre’s is a diverse family, with staff and managers from all corners of the world. Many learned about the role of the suffragette and similar movements for the first time, gaining a new appreciation of the richness of NZ’s history.

The tour was a fascinating trip through history!

While intense, the conference was a great forum for shop and head office staff to reconnect with each other, reaffirm their commitment to the business and their teams, and generate new ideas for the future. The peaceful, elegant setting and small group dynamic was quite unlike the Auckland and Wellington conferences, and in itself a reflection of the southern way of life. We wish all our South Island team the best of success – talk to you again soon!