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Stadium hospo staff show their savvy


Delaware North Graduates

Delaware North Graduates from Cohorts 1 and 2 who completed the Hospitality Savvy Award

The iconic Sky Stadium in Wellington hosts sporting clashes, concerts, and events and exhibitions, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from around Aotearoa and further afield. To keep each of them fuelled up and ready to enjoy a great day or night out is no mean feat.

That task falls to the Delaware North hospitality team which operates Sky Stadium’s catering and hospitality services, from public catering on the concourse and in hospitality lounges for up to 50,000 patrons. The team also runs large conferences and functions in the stadium’s multiple and versatile spaces.

The strong local partnership with ServiceIQ has enabled the launch of Project Human Capital, an innovative hospitality workforce revival initiative.

The fruits of the association were evident last week when 40 staff had their success in achieving the ServiceIQ Hospitality Savvy Award recognised at a Celebration Day presentation dinner.

“We have been working with ServiceIQ for many years and the quality of their workplace training, and support in delivering it, has given us a real edge as a business,” says Ron Cherian, Delaware North’s General Manager of Food & Beverage at Sky Stadium.

“This partnership also makes it easier for us to give our people something valuable and we are thankful to ServiceIQ for collaborating with us. The trainees gain industry relevant skills and a recognised Award, along with its 20 NZQA learning credits. As most of our staff are school students, this opportunity to learn, train, qualify and earn makes their transition into the mainstream workforce more structured and purposeful.

“Following the disruptions and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and the skilled labour force challenges faced by the industry, this project now has to be ongoing to be a successful hospitality workforce revival initiative,” notes Ron.

“We are confident of seeing a return on our investment, and we also want to thank the Hospitality Training Trust for their support. We hope more businesses embark on similar programs to rebuild our industry,” he says.

Shane Harmon is Sky Stadium Chief Executive. “I have worked in sports, venue management and major events for more than 20 years across New Zealand and Australia. I know how important the customer and visitor experience is. It may seem a small thing, but it can elevate a good experience into a great one.

“The thing that makes that difference is having good people who have the knowledge and skills to deliver a consistent and professional service. I’m delighted with the Delaware North and ServiceIQ joint initiative to do just that and have seen the value that training in the workplace delivers. It’s clear to me that it’s the right combination of real-world experience and ability to immediately apply the new skills and knowledge for the benefit of the business, the customer, and the staff member.”

Andrew McSweeney, ServiceIQ Division Director, notes that the service sectors make up about 21% of Aotearoa’s economy – more than $60 billion.

“They also have about 29% of all jobs in the country – that’s 730,000 jobs. That means there’s a lot of opportunity in the service sectors, and many people who have started in entry jobs have gone on to run the company or start their own businesses. Many others have used their skills, knowledge, and qualifications to work and travel the globe.

“My team at ServiceIQ is proud to work with fantastic people like Ron and his people, and to work with great businesses like Delaware North. They understand that giving their staff valuable skills and knowledge on-job in the workplace is not just good for the business, it’s good for their people too, whether they build career within the service sector or elsewhere. It’s fantastic, too, that for the casual staff Ron employs who are still at school, that they not only achieve the Award, but the NZQA credits that goes with it.

“Many skills in ServiceIQ’s qualifications are transferable, and many others serve you well in life as well as work. For example, the food safety skills and knowledge that Delaware North’s team gained as part of their ServiceIQ Hospitality Savvy Award will help keep their friends and whānau food safe as well as the thousands of customers they serve at the stadium.”

Delaware North is a global food service and hospitality company which employs more than 55,000 people worldwide. In New Zealand, they are the hospitality partner to Sky Stadium, Auckland Airport and Pinewood Lodge in Queenstown.

Delaware North Shane Andrew Ron

Above: Shane Harmon Chief Executive Sky Stadium; Andrew McSweeney Division Director ServiceIQ; Ron Cherian General Manager Food & Beverage Delaware North – Sky Stadium